"The Challenge" is what motivated Keith Gorman to leave his post as Head Baseball Coach at nearby Holy Spirit High School (Absecon, NJ) to take on the same position at Cumberland County College back in the Fall of 2011. The challenge presented was to take over a program that was historically at the bottom end of the Region XIX standings and were an afterthought for many. Soon, that challenge would find out that it would not be a match for Gorman. He would burst onto the scene with 24 (2012) and 33 (2013) wins in his first two seasons with a pair of playoff appearances, including hosting a home playoff series in 2013. The following year, he would take on the role of Athletic Director at CCC and the rest, as they say, is history.
In 2014, Cumberland Baseball would break through and win the program's first Region XIX Championship and would follow that with an appearance in the National Championship game. The 2014 team would win a record 49 wins and send a number of students to the NCAA level with Division 1 and Division 2 scholarships. The following winter, the Women's Basketball program and the 'Super Six' would win their first Region XIX Championship in program history and the college's first women's athletic championship in history. A few months later, Cumberland Softball would win the first Region XIX Championship in program history. On the Baseball end, the Dukes would win 36 games and appear in the Region XIX Championship game for the second season in a row. A couple years later, Cumberland would return to the national scene in record-breaking fashion. In the spring of 2017, the Dukes would win their second Region XIX Championship and finish 3rd at the NJCAA World Series. They would earn 55 wins during the 2017 season, the highest win totaly among New Jersey colleges of any level in history. The following winter, Cumberland Men's Basketball would win 23 games and clinch a berth in the Region XIX Championship game for the first time in program history.
The 2018-2019 season, in what would eventually be his final season as Athletic Director, Gorman guided the Cumberland ship to its finest overall athletic year to date. Men's Basketball would win 19 games and clinch a berth in the Region XIX Final Four, the first time the program returned in consecutive seasons. Dukes Softball earned 19 victories and returned to the Region XIX Final Four for the first time since 2016. Their 2019 season included an 11 win improvement. Lastly, Cumberland Baseball captured the college's first ever National Championship. Within the season, Gorman brought aboard legendary Men's Soccer coach and 5-time Region Coach of the Year, Giuseppe Lamberti, to lead the resurgent Men's Soccer program. Gorman was also able to bring on 2017-2018 South Jersey Times Girls Basketball Coach of the Year, Tara Hartwyk, to lead the Women's Basketball program back to prominence.
What cannot be quantified was Gorman's impact on Cumberland's campus. He served on numerous committees and was always available to volunteer for a large number of on-campus activities. Gorman was a fierce advocate for students and worked tirelessly to enhance their collegiate experience in academics and athletics, and to make a lasting impact on their personal and professional development. The students, past, present, and future, will continue to feel the impact of Keith Gorman as he certainly left the Cumberland campus better than it was before. Consider "The Challenge" conquered.
Region XIX Executive Director and Director of Athletics at Northampton Community College shared his thoughts on Gorman's impact on Region XIX: "I can't say enough about the impact Coach Gorman had on Cumberland and Region XIX as a whole. While his baseball accolades are well documented, his passion for providing opportunities for student-athletes was evident in how he transformed the entire Dukes athletic program and he was a true advocate within the Region for enhancing the student-athlete experience. His presence will be missed within Region XIX, both on the baseball field and in our meetings … I wish him and his family all the best as they embark on a new journey at Barton College."
Assistant Athletic Director, Jonathan Dijamco, had this to say regarding the departure and impact of Gorman. "What made Keith special was that he always had the student's well-being at the forefront of his decisions." Dijamco continued, "He was an incredible person to work alongside as he never strayed from doing the right thing. Some say he was a 'tough customer', but I always viewed it as him preparing the students for the next step. To me, that is such an important person for students to have in their lives. Keith never fell short when it came to serving our students and he will be sorely missed across this campus."
Cumberland County wishes Keith Gorman the best of luck in his latest challenge at Barton College.
The search for Cumberland's Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach will be conducted immediately.