Jose Rivera joined the Carnegie Mellon University track and field coaching staff in 2015 and works with the sprinters and hurdlers.
In four seasons with the Tartans, Rivera has mentored two male athletes to three top-three finishes in the hurdle events at the UAA Outdoor Championships which helped the team win the 2017 title. While setting a new school record, the women's 4x400 meter relay team placed third at the UAA Indoor Championships in 2017.
In 2018, Rivera worked with freshman Marvin Bennett Jr. who was named the UAA Rookie of the Year at the conclusion of the indoor season after winning the 60-meter dash and placing in the 200-meter dash. He followed that with a second-place showing in the 100-meter dash during the outdoor meet. Bennett Jr. also set the school record in the 60-meter dash during the indoor season. On the women's side, Rivera mentored sophomore Leah Kendrick who placed third in the 100-meter hurdles at the UAA Outdoor Championships and the 4x400 meter relay team which took third at the same meet with a new school record performance. The 4x100 meter relay also had an All-UAA third-place finish while the top finish of the year came from junior Debarati Bhanja who set a new school record in the 100-meter dash.
Much of the Tartans success in 2019 was aided by Rivera's work with the sprinters as Bennet Jr. won four UAA Championships, was named the UAA Indoor and Outdoor Athlete of the Year and competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 200-meter dash, a first for a Tartan athlete. The men's 4x100-meter relay also won the UAA Outdoor Championship for the first time since 2012. On the women's side, senior Debarati Bhanja won the 400-meter dash at both the UAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, becoming just the second Tartan to win both sprint events in the same year.
A year after COVID-19 halted the track and field seasons in 2020, Rivera mentored his first All-American in a Tartan uniform when first-year Andrew McGovern placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. McGovern also set the school record in the event during the year.
Rivera came to Carnegie Mellon following a three-year stint as the head indoor and assistant outdoor track and field coach at Gateway High School. During his time at Gateway, Rivera coached two individuals and two relays to be PIAA state champions while the team earned PIAA runner-up status. Since 2009, Rivera has been the sprint and hurdles coach for Future Stars Athletics, a USA Track & Field youth club where over 50 of his sprinters and hurdlers have qualified for the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics.
Rivera is a tenured professor of anatomy/physiology, athletic training and therapeutic exercises as well as the program director for the Athletic Training program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he is a member of various departmental and university committees, including the IUP University Senate, advisor for students majoring in Athletic Training and the advisor for the IUP Martial Arts Club.
Rivera received a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education and Athletic Training from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985 and a Master of Science in Athletic Training from Old Dominion University in 1987. Additionally, he has completed graduate studies in Orthopedic Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Massage Therapy at the Muscular Therapy Institute in Boston, and Administration and Leadership Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The Puerto Rico native has been a certified athletic trainer (ATC) since 1986 and a college professor since 1994. His experience includes serving as a personal trainer for Roger Kingdom, 1984 and 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 110-meter high hurdles and former World and Olympic record holder, a member of the Puerto Rico delegation to the 1990 Central American and Caribbean Games, faculty for IAAF-NACAC Level II and Level III coaching certification courses at the Puerto Rico Olympic Training Center in 1990, faculty for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health Fitness Instructor Certification Course (taught Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics) from 1999 to 2005 and has given over 35 professional presentations at the local, state and national level.