A veteran member of the faculty in the Department of Equine Studies at Johnson & Wales, Dirk Fogg took the reins of the hunt-seat team when it was a club team nearly two decades ago. Hired as a coach/instructor, Fogg’s varsity teams have inched their way closer and closer to an IHSA regional championship.
Prior to the 2018 season, an individual national championship had alluded Fogg's riders. Freshman Jennifer DePietro ended that streak when she won intermediate over fences at the IHSA National Championships.
Under Fogg’s mentorship, the 2015 Wildcats came within a point of a first-place finish and a spot in the IHSA national championships. In 2016, Caitlyn Walker placed eighth at the IHSA national championships in the walk-trot-canter division. During the 2017 season, year Hannah Coutu just missed out on a spot at nationals when she took fifth at the regional championships in intermediate flat.
Horses have been an important part of Fogg’s life since moving to Massachusetts when he was six years old. Growing up on a family-owned stable, members of both sides of his family were avid riders. Fogg began giving teaching lessons at age 15 at a stable in Dartmouth, Mass.
He later attended Skidmore College, where he rode on a nationally-competitive hunt-seat team for four years. Upon graduation from Skidmore, Fogg was involved in the architectural industry, but maintained his ties to the world of competitive riding.
After a stint at a stable in New Hampshire, Fogg came to Johnson & Wales. Now in his 16th season as the coach of the hunt-seat team, Fogg has his Wildcats positioned to compete at the zone and national levels as the IHSA begins its 50th year.
“Being an academic and a coach,” he says, “intertwines so well with the philosophies of Division III athletics. Our institution and our department are so very committed to seeing our students grow as athletes, as scholars, and as people.”
A political science major at Skidmore, Fogg earned his MBA in organizational leadership at Johnson & Wales.