E-mail: [email protected]Pam Mertz got the Indiana University East cross country program moving in a hurry.
Brad Pitcher, a former Richmond High School cross country head coach,
was named assistant coach for the Indiana University East men's and
women's cross country teams in the summer of 2011.
"I've known Pam (Mertz, IU East's head coach) for a while and she brought it up a couple of times, and this seemed like a good year to do it," Pitcher said.
"I'm interested in doing something a bit new and ready for a new challenge."
Pitcher served on the cross country and track and field coaching staffs for Richmond Community Schools for 16 years.
He coached seven Indiana state champions (five outdoor and two indoor), four state runners-up and 13 all-state performers in cross country and track and field.
"Brad only makes our cross country coaching staff stronger," said IU East athletic director Mark Hester.
"He is very knowledgeable about running in general and running in this area in particular, so he will be a valuable asset for our cross country programs."
Pitcher ran cross country and track and field for four years for Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. His 5K personal best in high school was 16:03.
Pitcher then ran cross country and track and field for Earlham College. He graduated from Earlham in 1992.
His best career 5-mile/8K time was 26:51. He ran a 10K in 33:52.
He is an active runner who has competed in marathons, half-marathons and countless 5K races.
He won his age group in the Wayne County Challenge local running series in 2010.
"We are lucky to get him," Mertz said. "He has lots of coaching experience, and he also is a runner, which is something that helps in recruiting.
"The program is expanding and we were needing another coach, someone who could just pick things up and go. He will really help us."
Pitcher promises prospective Red Wolves "you will get better."
"I can't promise you the world, but you will get better," Pitcher said. "We offer a lot of opportunities.
"We are going to build a team. You will be part of a team atmosphere and improve together, individually and as a team."