Release Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Charleston, W.Va. – University of Charleston Athletic Director Dr. Bren Stevens today announced the school will reinstate men’s track and cross country on the Charleston campus. UC plans to compete in both sports for the 2014-15 Mountain East Conference season.
“I am excited to add men’s track and cross country as it will benefit the University of Charleston by providing an opportunity for more student-athletes to compete at the DII level in a sport that they love, while utilizing a premier facility such as UC Stadium for practices and competitions,” said Dr. Stevens. “Furthermore, it is my belief that the men’s program will help enhance our already successful women’s track program, which we currently sponsor.”
The two new athletic teams will be the university’s 16th and 17th varsity sports sponsored by UC, with eight on the men’s side and nine on the women’s. The teams are eligible to compete immediately in the NCAA Division II, and the newly formed Mountain East Conference, beginning in the fall of 2014.
John Blankenship, current coach of the Golden Eagle women’s track and cross country teams, will now assume the role of Director of Cross Country and Track & Field. Blankenship, a 2006 graduate of Concord University, is in his third full season of coaching the women’s teams at University of Charleston. He was a track and field two-time All-American in the shot put while at Concord as well as an All-WVIAC performer in football. To date Coach Blankenship has guided seven NCAA national qualifiers, 42 All-Conference student-athletes, 23 conference champions, five Academic All-Americans and four All-Academic teams.
A national search is ongoing to fill the role of head coach for the men’s track and cross country programs.
With the addition of both programs, UC becomes the 10th MEC member to sponsor men’s cross country and seventh for men’s track. Other schools sponsoring the sports include Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Concord, Notre Dame College, University of Virginia College at Wise, West Liberty University, Fairmont State University, Urbana University and Glenville State College.
For more information, contact:
Travis Chandler, Asst. to the AD for Compliance & Marketing
University of Charleston