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Kirk Nauman named head women's and men's cross country and track & field coach

Posted from Monday, August 05, 2019 through Thursday, August 22, 2019

Southwest Minnesota State University Director of Athletics Chris Hmielewski announced on Monday that Kirk Nauman has been named the new head women's and men's cross country and track & field coach at SMSU.

Nauman brings 20 years of collegiate coaching experience to SMSU including 16 years as a head coach. He becomes the third head coach for the cross country and track & field programs since being reinstated in 2012. Nauman, who has been named conference coach of the year more than 20 times in his career, takes over for Dan Allen, who served as head coach four four seasons.

“Kirk brings an extensive coaching background that centers on the importance of student-athlete academic and athletic success, a strong student-athlete experience and the development of competitive programs,” Hmielewski said on Monday. “His coaching philosophy focuses on developing cross country and track & field teams that embodies excellence in all aspects of the program. He stressed the importance of student-athlete and team characteristics such as; trust, respect, humility, passion, collective responsibility, communication and relationship building.”

Nauman recently completed his third season (2016-19) as head men's and women's cross country/track & field coach at NCAA Division III Roanoke College in Salem, Va. During his time at Roanoke he coached six NCAA Championship participants, four All-Americans and 23 Old Dominion Athletic Conference champions. A total of 94 Roanoke student-athletes were named all-conference while 30 were named all-region during his tenure.

“I would like to thank Chris Hmielewski and the search committee for allowing me the opportunity to become the head cross country and track & field coach at Southwest Minnesota State University,” Nauman said. “During the interview process, I felt that SMSU is committed to growing and evolving the program into a competitor at the NSIC, regional and national level.”

Before taking over at Roanoke in 2016, Nauman served as the women’s and men’s head track & field coach for nine successful seasons (2007-16) at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. CSS reached new heights under his guidance with 33 NCAA Championships qualifiers with 10 NCAA All-Americans including nine his last four seasons. A 20-time Women’s and Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Nauman led the Saints to a combined 27 UMAC women’s and men’s indoor and outdoor team championships. He had a total of 31 UMAC Performers of the Meet during his tenure, while in the spring of 2019, Nauman was named the UMAC’s Track & Field Coach of the Decade.

Prior to arriving at CSS, Nauman was the head track & field coach and assistant cross country coach four seasons (2003-07) at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. During his four years at Saint Mary’s, Nauman’s teams set more than 70 team records, had 20 NCAA Championship qualifiers including six All-Americans. The 2005 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, Nauman had more than 60 MIAC All-Conference performers including 13 individual champions.

Nauman has also spent time as an assistant coach for track & field and cross country at Minnesota State University and assistant track & field coach at Allegheny College (Pa.). He was also interim head track & field coach for one season at Wisconsin-Superior.

“It was evident in the interview process that Kirk is a life-long learner and passionate about the coaching profession,” Hmielewski said. “I look forward to working together with Kirk on strengthening our women's and men’s cross country and track and field programs in all areas and establishing a winning tradition within the NSIC and NCAA Division II. We welcome Kirk and his family to our Mustang family and look forward to watching him grow the success of the cross country and track and field teams at SMSU.”

Nauman earned his bachelor's degree in sports administration from Wisconsin-Superior in 1999, where he was a member of the track & field team and was team captain as a senior. He later earned his master's degree from Minnesota State in sports administration.

“I look forward to growing the program with talent and depth as we continue to take the program to the next level,” Nauman said. “With the program being quite new, I am excited to get started to see where we can take it over the next number of years. My wife, Jamie and I are excited to return to Minnesota after being away for three years. Especially with having young children, it will nice to be closer to our family and friends in the Upper Midwest. Both professionally and personally this is a good move for my family and me.”

Southwest Minnesota State University is located in Marshall, is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.


— Kelly Loft

Category: Athletics