Southern Oregon hires former Texas A&M CC coach

Brent Ericksen has been chosen to head the Southern Oregon University cross country and track and field programs, Athletic Director Dennis Francois announced Wednesday.

Ericksen has been the associate head coach of the two programs at NCAA Division I Texas AM Corpus Christi.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a program like the one at SOU," Ericksen said. "It has great facilities and is in a wonderful location. I really look forward to being there."

At Texas AM Corpus Christi, Ericksen was responsible for all phases of a combined sprint, hurdle, jump and multi-event program that set 13 school records. He also helped the women's cross country squad win the Southland Conference Championship.

Prior to Texas AM Corpus Christi, Ericksen was the men's track and field head coach at Wisconsin-La Crosse (2006-07), leading the school to the NCAA Division III outdoor national title.

Ericksen was named national, regional and conference coach of the year and during that season coached four national champs, five runners-up and 36 All-Americans. His team set the record for largest margin of victory at nationals, winning by 65 points.

"Coach Ericksen brings a vast amount of knowledge, experience and energy to our cross country and track and field programs," Francois said.

SOU football coach Steve Helminiak chaired the search committee, which sifted through a pool of more than 80 applicants to come up with four finalists.

In the end, said Francois, Ericksen "provided the balance we needed in the reorganized structure of the programs. I am confident he will carry on the tradition established by the countless student-athletes and coaches who have dedicated so much to our cross country and track and field programs."

Ericksen also coached at NCAA Division II Texas AM Kingsville from 2000-06, California State University-Stanislaus (1998-2000), South Dakota State (1997-98), Marquette (1995-97), Mount Mary College (1993-95) and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (1990-93).

Ericksen's first day at the Ashland campus will be Aug. 18 to jump start the cross country program. "The first thing I need to do is round the kids up and get them ready and see where they are," Ericksen said. "I'll try to do some late recruiting and see if we can find anyone still out there. You never know, it's always worth trying."

He replaces Marnie Binney in cross country and Mike Jones in track and field.

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