Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trisha Steidl out as head track and cross country coach at Seattle University...

SEATTLE—Seattle University athletic director Shaney Fink announced late Monday that head track and field/cross country coach Trisha Steidl (left/photo courtesy Seattle University) will not return as head coach for the 2017-18 season.

Steidl’s Redhawks finished sixth and fifth in the men’s and women’s standings at the most recent Western Athletic Conference outdoor championships.  She, along with her husband Uli, who served as an assistant coach, led the program as it transitioned from Division II to Division I, and earned a WAC team title in cross country during their tenure.

According to the Seattle University release, the Redhawks qualified three qualifiers to the NCAA Division I track & field championships, though research from this web site only shows that their three qualifiers—Dylan Burnett in the javelin in 2013 & 14, and Shaddye Melu in the high jump in 2015, only got as far as the West Preliminary round, and not to the national finals.

There had been rumblings, particularly on the popular letsrun.com message boards, that people were not happy with the direction of the Seattle University track and field program, particularly with the fact that since being eligible for full Division I status in the 2012-13 academic year, the school had failed to qualify one athlete for the NCAA finals.

In fairness, the school does not have an on-campus track and field facility, as athletes have had to travel to various nearby high school and park department facilities to train. The school’s high tuition rate has made it a challenge for the staff to recruit walk-on athletes, according to several sources.

As of this writing, the bios of the Steidls, along with sprints/jumps/throws coach Chad Pharis, who coached Mandie Maddux to a WAC crown in both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon this year, were still up on the school's site.

A national search will start immediately for the next head coach. The school's release announcing the change is available here.

NOTE:  The sports information department at Seattle University contributed to this report.

No comments:

Blog Archive