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WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ- Monmouth University has tabbed former Marquette Head Cross Country Coach Mike Nelson as the next Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, Vice President/Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil announced on Monday. "After a star-studded search for our new director of track and field and cross country, I am pleased to welcome Mike Nelson to our family," said McNeil. "Although Joe Compagni's shoes will be difficult to fill, I am confident that Mike has all of the tools to move our program forward. His leadership ability was apparent from the start and his commitment and interest in Monmouth was infectious. I believe the student-athletes will be energized and engaged by his passion for this sport and I look forward to reaching new heights under Mike's direction." Nelson comes from Marquette University in Wisconsin where he served as a Head Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach. While with the Golden Eagles he helped lead Marquette to four total BIG EAST indoor and outdoor track titles in the last four seasons and has coached more than seven school record holders. Since 2007 he has guided the Marquette Cross Country team with five All-Great Lakes Region performers and a numerous All-BIG EAST honorees. During that span 16 Golden Eagles have earned NCAA Regional qualifying spots. While at Marquette he initiated a fundraising project that raised over $50,000 to refurbish the men's and women's track & field locker rooms. Before arriving at Marquette, Nelson established the track & field program at Saint Louis University, serving as head coach. He also spent time coaching at Emporia State University as a graduate assistant. "I would first like to thank Dr. Marilyn McNeil, Jennifer Lawlor and the entire hiring committee for entrusting me with this incredible program," said Nelson. "It is truly an honor to be named the next Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at Monmouth University. I'm thrilled to be leading a program with a rich history, strong administrative support and outstanding facilities. My aspiration is to continue the legacy of excellence that was established by Coach Compagni. He and his staff have set the bar high! My family and I are excited to get to campus and immerse ourselves in the Monmouth community!" He is a 2003 graduate of Truman State University where he was an a four-time All-MIAAA performer while helping the Bulldogs to back to back NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship meets as a junior and senior. n.

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