CONVENTION UPDATE: A Glance At Endurance Symposiums

NEW ORLEANS – Technical Symposiums will once again take center stage at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention. This year the Technical Symposiums will be presented by REKORTAN.

Like the past few years, there will be 32 Technical Symposiums spread across four days at the USTFCCCA Convention, which this year will take place from Monday, December 17 through Thursday, December 20 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa deep in the heart of Texas.

#USTFCCCA18 QUICK LINKSConvention Website | Register

For those who don’t know about the Technical Symposiums – or need a refresher – four disciplines will be represented: endurance, jumps, sprints/hurdles/relays and throws. Eight coaches will share their knowledge with their colleagues in each discipline, which brings us to the grand total of 32 dissertations.

Here is a closer look at four coaches who are scheduled to present Technical Symposiums in the endurance discipline.

Dee Brown, Iowa Central CC

Dee Brown’s teams at Iowa Central CC have been synoymous with success.

In 15 years with the Tritons, Brown’s teams have combined to win 10 NJCAA titles in cross country and 10 more in the half marathon. Iowa Central’s men own records for most half marathon team titles won (six) and the lowest score to win a national title (six points). Brown’s athletes have also starred individually, winning countless individual titles in cross country and track & field.

Al Carius, North Central (Ill.)

USTFCCCA Hall of Fame coach Al Carius has a simple philosophy for his programs at North Central (Ill.): "The thing we value most is personal improvement, doing something you haven’t done before. You’re not a better person if you’re an All-American and not a worse person if you’re not. Athletics should be fun. It does mean you always give your best. And when you do that, you can live with the results.”

Results are something the Cardinals have had in spades over his 52 years as a coach. North Central (Ill.) has won 29 NCAA Division III national titles under his direction – including a staggering 18 in cross country alone. Carius-coached athletes have won seven individual NCAA titles in cross country, 61 individual and relay championships in track & field and garnered 647 All-America honors.

The USTFCCCA named the award given out to the NCAA Division III Men’s Program of the Year after him.

Ryan Cole, Air Force

Ryan Cole was named the head coach of the Air Force cross country programs in 2014.

Since then, the Falcons have soared to new heights. In just his second year (2015), Cole led the men’s team to the Mountain West Conference title and two years later, guided them back to the NCAA meet, a place they hadn’t been since 2013. The previous year was extra special for the Air Force women’s program, as the team punched its first-ever ticket to the NCAA meet.

Prior to coaching at Air Force, Cole was an assistant coach at Arizona State for seven years.

Artie Gulden, Utah State

Artie Gulden’s programs are on the rise at Utah State.

The Aggies shined under Gulden’s control in 2017 as both of their cross country programs made the NCAA meet for the first time. Utah State’s women ended up finishing 14th as a team, while the men fought valiantly with two-time All-America selection Dillon Maggard pacing the way.

Gulden-coached athletes have earned 18 All-America honors (three cross country, 15 in track & field) and five individual and/or relay championships in the Mountain West Conference.

Gulden is the son of legendary Bucknell cross country and track & field coach Art Gulden.

Eric Heins, Formerly of NAU

Eric Heins laid the groundwork for Northern Arizona’s dynasty.

From 2007 to 2016, Heins served as head cross country coach (2007 to 2016) and Director of Track & Field and Cross Country (2010 to 2016). After eight top-10 finishes in nine years at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the Lumberjacks finally broke through in 2016 when Heins led them to the national title. At the conference level, Heins’ teams captured 29 Big Sky titles during his time in Flagstaff.

Heins retired from coaching in 2017 as is currently a Regional Admissions Officer at NAU, based out of Houston.

Michael Whittlesey, PH.D., Kansas

The Kansas Jayhwaks have rocked under Michael Whittlesey’s watch.

Over nine seasons in Lawrence, Kansas athletes have captured numerous All-America honors and Big 12 Conference titles. Perhaps the biggest moment for the Jayhawks over those years was the rise of Sharon Lokedi, who won the 10,000-meter crown at the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in a meet record time of 32:09.20 and earned All-America status as a freshman at both the NCAA Cross Country Championships and the NCAA Outdoor Championships.