Saturday, November 28, 2009

Washington assistant coach Kelly Strong resigns...

Here is the complete text of the release from the University of Washington announcing that assistant coach Kelly Strong (far left/photo by Paul Merca) has resigned her position as an assistant coach at the school:

"Washington track and field and cross country assistant coach Kelly Strong has chosen to resign after more than seven years of invaluable contributions to the Husky program. Strong has served as the primary assistant coach for the women's distance program under head coach Greg Metcalf since 2002, helping build the cross country team into a national powerhouse."

"Kelly Strong has been instrumental in taking this program to heights never before seen at Washington," said Metcalf. "Her efforts recruiting and mentoring our young women have been second-to-none, and her efforts have helped build the current momentum and positive energy that our women's team thrives on. I wish her all the best and can't thank her enough for her outstanding contributions."

"Thanks to the work of Metcalf and Strong, the UW women's cross country program has enjoyed the best three finishes in school history over the last three seasons, culminating in the program's first ever national championship in 2008. This year the Huskies placed third at the NCAA Championships, with sophomore Kendra Schaaf finishing as the individual runner-up and named a Honda Award Finalist. The Huskies have won the past two Pac-10 and West Regional Championships."

"All told, women's distance athletes during Strong's tenure have earned 27 All-America honors, including four more this fall in cross country. The cross country program reached NCAAs in six of her eight seasons working with Metcalf."

What will Kelly's next move be, and where will she land? It's been known by numerous people within the national community that she was a very integral part of the women's distance team's success. It's also been known that she had turned down several coaching positions, the most recent being a coaching position at Michigan State last year, in order to be with this group.

I will miss Kelly and her contribution to the program. Whoever gets this position will have some big shoes to fill.

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