Coaching Staff

RodkeyD.J. Rodkey enter his second season as the Head Coach of the Thundering Herd for Oudoor Boys and Girls Track & Field, succeeding Ed Boardman who remains on the coaching staff as a veteran assistant. Coach Rodkey, entering his fourth year on the Thundering Herd coaching staff and his sixth year as a track & field coach, is the Information Technology Teacher at Carlisle High School. Prior to joining Carlisle, Coach Rodkey was the Head Cross Country Coach at Blairsville High School and an Assistant Varsity Track & Field Coach at Saltsburg High School, both of which have now merged to become River Valley High School. Rodkey has worked with multiple state qualifiers and medalists at Saltsburg and Carlisle, including 2018 state medalist Jenna Beitel. His most recent state medalist was Rhyan Mitchell, the 2022 District 3 Champion in the triple jump, who also placed 6th at the PIAA State Championships and the prestigious Penn Relays that year. He has also had the privilege to be around some of Indiana County's hall-of-fame athletes and coaches, including Angel Piccirillo and Rick Foust. Coach Rodkey has also had the privilege to work with several successful head coaches who became mentors to him, including Ed Boardman (Carlisle), Michael Gentile (Homer-Center), Melissa Milanak (River Valley), Chris Matava (United), and Matt Rodkey (Homer-Center), his father.

Coach Rodkey served as a PIAA Official for basketball, cross country, and track & field from 2015 to 2023. Rodkey is a 2015 graduate of United High School and a 2018 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems. Coach Rodkey also earned a Graduate Certificate in Sports Management from Liberty University in August 2022 and his USATF Level 1 Track & Field Coach Certification in March 2022. Rodkey's primary focus at Carlisle has been on jumps, and he has experience coaching sprints and distance. Rodkey is also the founding advisor of 
Carlisle Esports where he serves as the General Manager. He also serves Carlisle as an Assistant Varsity Cross Country and Indoor Track & Field Coach and a volunteer Young Life Leader at Carlisle for South Central PA Young Life.

Coach Rodkey’s coaching philosophy and the RODKEY Rules are derived from his experience with his coaches while a student-athlete as well as from leadership studies during his courses at Liberty University, which included leadership examples set by Vince Lombardi and John Wooden’s pyramid of greatness. Not every student-athlete may win, but everyone can improve. Our goal as a coaching staff is to help Carlisle student-athletes improve to go as far as they desire in athletics, academics, and life. 

Coach BoardmanEd Boardman took a step back in 2023 after leading the Herd through a hugely successful 15 years.  As the Head Coach from 2008-2022 Coach Boardman added many years to the banners that hang in the High School Gymnasium. The banner that looms the largest being the Indoor Distance Medley Relay that won the NATIONAL Championship on  March 10th, 2017.  That night, at the Armory in New York City, Sam Affolder, Jared Griffie,  Isaac Kole, and Noah Affolder broke the US National record for the event, last set in 2001;  sixteen years prior.  He also takes great pride in his milers’ dominance.  For a HS boy to break into his top-5 at 1600, he would need to run 412 or faster.  A HS girl would need to go 5:01 or faster.  Many school records from around the state of PA would not even make his top-5.  Not to mention that Noah Affolder’s 8:42.94 en route time is the fastest 3200 ever run in PA indoor history.       

In his last stint as an Assistant Coach he spent 2004-2007 as the long distance coach at Shippensburg University during Spring Track seasons under the tutelage of Olympian and World Championships’ Bronze Medalist Steve Spence. During his four seasons of coaching at the collegiate level, his athletes claimed 22 PSAC places, including 5 individual Conference championships.  He coached one All-American, Kelly Stewart, who placed 4th at NCAAs in the 10K and later qualified for the US Olympic Trials in 2008.  Boardman attended Shippensburg University himself, was a varsity athlete throughout his four years of undergraduate study, and served as a team captain for both the cross country and track teams for the 1999-2000 season.  

He works full-time for the Department of Defense in Mechanicsburg, Pa., where he is employed as a Financial Management Analyst.  He also holds a Master's of Business Administration from Shippensburg University and used to even teach night classes at the University on the topics of Organizational Behavior and Strategic Business Management.  He resides with his family in Shippensburg where his children are predominantly engaged in soccer, field hockey, and wrestling.  

Boardman (Track & Field only) by the numbers:

7 Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division Team titles (3 Boys/4 Girls)
5 District III Team Championships (4 Boys/1 Girls)
1 State Team Championship-2017
2 State Team Runner’s-up-2014 (Outdoor) and 2017 (Indoor)
1 State 3rd place-2015

12- Individual/Event State Championships:
     Ashley Corum at Triple Jump-2008, 2009, and 2010
     Zach Brehm-800m in 2013, 1600m in 2014, and 3200m in 2015
     -(Also the State Meet Record pre-Covid/new event order)
     Deshawn Millington at Triple Jump in 2014
     Isa Paschall at Triple Jump in 2015 (Indoor)
     Isaac Kole at 1600 in 2017
     Boys 4x800 in 2017 (Indoor)
     Boys Distance Medley Relay-2017(Indoor)-Also the State Meet Record
     Noah Affolder-Mile-2017 (Indoor)

Many State Medalists, and Many on to continue at Division I schools such as Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Duquesne, University of Delaware, Liberty, University of South Carolina, Alabama, Duke, Miami, UNC, UNC-Wilmington, UMBC, Mount St. Mary’s, Oregon, BYU, University of Washington, Syracuse, VMI, American, William & Mary, and West Point.

Coach Baitinger Tyler Baitinger is entering his third year of coaching for the Thundering Herd Track and Field Program. Coach Baitinger volunteered the past two seasons and helped out mostly with the sprinters. Originally from South Jersey, Baitinger was a part of Clearview Regional's High School Track and Field program for 4 years (graduated in 2016). He went to West Chester   University where he studied Sociology and Youth Empowerment (graduated 2020). During his   last two years of college, he coached Track & Field for West Chester East High School. He has lived and coached in Carlisle ever since. 

Tyler works full time for a world-wide youth ministry called Young Life. He has been married to his wife, Jillian, for over 2 years. They have 2 dogs and became first-time parents in November 2022, when they welcomed their baby boy, Deacon. He is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Ministry Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. Coach Baitinger loves to be a role model for students on and off the track, helping them grow not just in athletics, but in life as well.

Coach ChandlerT.Y. Chandler enters his fifth season as a track and field coach after nearly two years off serving in the Air National Guard. Coach T.Y. attend Carlisle High School until his junior year when he moved to Virginia Beach, VA graduating from Tallwood High School. He was a mid distance runner and a sprinter, and he qualified for the New Balance Nationals in the sprint medley during his senior year. He also competed at the AAU junior Olympics in the 1500m. Coach T.Y. has two little girls named Ava and June, and he is currently working in the school district as a food unit lead at Mt. Holly Elementary School.

Coach HannahHannah Cotton 
has lived in Carlisle the past three years working with Club Beyond, a military youth ministry, at the Carlisle Barracks. She ran Cross Country for a year at Covenant College before transferring to Messiah College where she graduated from in 2020. She loves running and is currently training for an ultra and is excited to be volunteering with the Track and Field Team. Other than running, Hannah loves all things outdoors, reading, and walking alongside students through her work and volunteering with Young Life.

Ryan CrimRyan Crim enters his first season on the Thundering Herd coaching staff. Coach Crim grew up in Bernville, PA where he participated in soccer and track at Tulpehocken High School and swam in the summer for Western Berks.  In 1987, he was a part of the team that won the school their first State Championship in soccer.   In track, for a time he held school records in the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 relay as well as a top ten time in the 110 m hurdles.  Those records have long been broken although he remains in the top ten times for all three of those events.  He continued to play soccer and coach well into his 40s when he hung up his cleats and clipboard.  

 In his downtime, he enjoys time with family, outdoor activities, travel and playing guitar while singing loudly off-key.  The last activity much to the chagrin of his family and dogs and the reason why he is now a family physician and not on a stadium tour.  As a family physician, he has worked with athletes at all levels on nutrition and performance,  He especially enjoyed spending time with the dancers at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Wake Forest Women's Basketball team as an assistant team physician.

He is looking forward to working with the team this year and helping the athletes reach their full potential on and off the track.  In terms of coaching philosophy, it is the same as the philosophy that he holds in life:  "Deserve Victory!"  You can translate that to mean be worthy, do the right thing, and in whatever it is you choose to do in your life, do it to the best of your ability.   

Coach X
Xaviera Eastham, also known as Coach X, is making a return to Carlisle Track and Field as the Head Throwing Coach again after a brief break. With a background in coaching throwers spanning over a decade, Coach X brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team.

Originally from a large High School in Kansas, Coach X was a multi-sport athlete, excelling in varsity volleyball, basketball, and track. Her track and field career was particularly noteworthy, as she participated in the T&F State Meet for all four years of high school, specifically in the throwing events. During the summers, she furthered her skills by competing in AAU T&F as a heptathlete and throwing events. In 1992, Coach X even had the opportunity to participate at the AAU JR Olympics in Tallahassee, FL, competing in the heptathlon, javelin, and discus events.

Continuing her athletic journey, Coach X pursued higher education at Wichita State University on a full scholarship for T&F. While studying for her BFA in Graphic and Print Design, she initially competed as a heptathlete during her freshman year. However, she soon made the decision to focus solely on perfecting her throwing technique, specializing in javelin, shot put, discus, and hammer. Her dedication paid off, as she represented her university in the NCAA National Championships in Buffalo, NY, in 1998. Throughout her college throwing career, Coach X earned the prestigious titles of MVC (Missouri Valley Conference) Champion Athlete and All-American Athlete multiple times.

As the Head Throwing Coach, Coach X is dedicated to instructing her athletes in the proper throwing techniques and highlighting the significance of technique rather than relying solely on physical strength. Her guiding principle is helping her athletes reach their full potential.
Throwers Have No Finish Lines!

Tim PalmerTim Palmer joins the Thundering Herd Coaching Staff this season to assist with sprints. Coach Palmer graduated from Carlisle High School in 1986. During school those years, he participated in 4 varsity sports: one year in cross country, two in basketball, three in football, and four years in track & field. After graduation, he joined the (USAR) United States Army Reserves to stay actively fit. In 1992 he left the USAR, but still wanting to stay fit he participated in 5ks,10ks, half marathons, and directed a great team of people for a 5k run at the Hope Station in 2006.  In 2007 he was employed with the West Shore YMCA where he received his personal training certification in March 2012. Then in the month of June 2012, he received his certification for R.I.P.P.E.D., and in 2013 received his certification for Body Pump. He taught Body Pump only at the Carlisle Family YMCA but taught R.I.P.P.E.D in the CFYMCA and at the WSY, Gold's Gym, Platinum Fitness, Carlisle Community Center, and in the Springtime on tennis court around Carlisle. Coach Palmer has always had a passion for the challenge to stay fit and to help those who have the same passion to stay fit and healthy while having fun.  His saying is always "Feeling Fit Feels Good!!!"

Coach Pavlovich Christian Pavlovich returns for his fifth year on staff to assist with throws. A 2014 graduate of Carlisle himself, Christian was a javelin thrower and goalkeeper during his high school time. Christian still holds the new rules javelin record at Carlisle. He attended Messiah College where he would go on to be a 3-time Conference champion, 4-time competitor at the NCAA National Championship meet placing 9th as a senior. Christian still holds the javelin record at Messiah.
Christian works for West Shore Home, as a video specialist, creating commercials for television and social media platforms. Coach Pavlovich loves to read, thrift shop with his wife Molly, and see student athletes develop skills they can take beyond athletics and into the other areas of their lives.

Coach KaiKaila Sawyer is entering her third year on the Thundering Herd coaching staff. Coach Kai is a 2012 Mechanicsburg alumni who participated in both track & field and basketball. She was a district and state qualifier who then attended Shippensburg for a year and was a member of their track & field team. Coach Kai coaches pole vault, assists with jumps and sprints, and also serves as the head 9th grade girls basketball coach at Carlisle.