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NMU narrows search for new head track coach

September 4, 2012
By MATT WELLENS - Journal Sports Editor ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University athletic department will interview three candidates over the next 10 days for its women's track and field head coaching vacancy, beginning with today with Kirk Nauman of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.

David Thompson of State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego) visits Marquette on Thursday and the University of Miami's Cheree Hicks interviews on Sept. 13.

Nauman and Thompson both bring NCAA Division III head coaching experience, while Hicks has been an assistant at the NCAA Div. I level since 2001.

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"All three finalists have very strong credentials," NMU athletic director Forrest Karr said. "They are all certified through USA Track and Field and each has significant college coaching experience at multiple schools.

"At this stage, it comes down to fit. It will be helpful for the search committee to spend time with the finalists in person and get feedback from student-athletes and staff."

Nauman has served as the head men's and women's coach of Div. III St. Scholastica since 2007 and before that, spent four seasons as head men's and women's coach at Div. III St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona.

Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant for Minnesota-Mankato - where he earned a master's degree - and an interim head coach at Wisconsin-Superior - where he earned his bachelor's. At both stops, Nauman worked with the sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers.

Between St. Scholastica and St. Mary's, Nauman has coached seven all-Americans and 28 NCAA Div. III championship meet participants. Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, Nauman has guided St. Scholastica to 13 conference titles.

Thompson has been the head men's and women's coach of Div. III SUNY Oswego since January of 2012 and before that, was the head men's and women's coach at the University of Dubuque, a Div. III school in Iowa, from 2008-11. He got his first head coaching gig from 2006-08 at Ashford University, an NAIA school in Iowa.

In Oswego, Thompson coached a pair of conference champions in the hurdles and pole vault last season while working with all the athletes in the field events, sprints and hurdles.

In Dubuque, his most notable accomplishment was coaching the 2011 Div. III men's indoor national champion in the 55 meters. His 2010 men's team finished the indoor season ranked No. 12.

Hicks brings over a decade of experience as an assistant at the NCAA Div. I level at Portland State, Syracuse and Miami coaching throwers.

With the Hurricanes, Hicks coached athletes to the NCAA championships four times with an all-American and Olympic trials qualifier in 2008.

At Syracuse, she coached an NCAA outdoor all-American in the hammer throw and a 2004 Olympic trials qualifier in the shot put.

Hicks herself was a 2000 Olympic qualifier in the shot put and discus earning NCAA all-American status at Syracuse and California State University, Northridge.

From 2008-10, Hicks coached Paralympic athletes and was a USA Junior National Team coach in 2010.

Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252.



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