After spending the last five seasons as an assistant at Wright State, Rick Williamson has been named head coach for the track and field and cross-country programs.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing to develop the program,” said Williamson, who had served as interim head coach since October when former coach Fabien Corbillon took a job at Texas State.
“One of our goals was to have all the kids on the same page in terms of athletics and academics to where we had a motivated group of kids and we didn’t have to chase them down to get them to class or study tables,” Williamson added. “So I feel like we’ve got a good group of kids that are on the same page this year. That’s what I’m really looking forward to, is a really positive environment with kids trying to get better and kids pushing each other. And because of that, we’ll have a chance to win a cross-country league title on the women’s side after taking third last year.”
The men still have a ways to go after finishing last in 2015, but Williamson said he sees plenty of potential for improvement this fall.
WSU only has a women’s team in track, and while Williamson said the numbers are low he thinks there is enough talent on the squad for a few of the athletes to make a run at qualifying for the NCAA regionals.
“We moved to where we’re focusing on fewer areas and not trying to have every event covered, or at least not be very deep,” he said. “We’ll put more of our focus on the distance side of things, and it seems like our high jumpers and pole vaulters are doing very well.”
Williamson, who previously coach at Notre Dame College in northeast Ohio and Northwood (Mich.) University after starring as a distance runner at the University of Akron, will be assisted by Palngji Doshit.
The cross-country season begins Sept. 3 with the Queen City Invitational in West Chester.
Lovelady honored: Baseball coach Greg Lovelady last week was named the Mideast Regional coach of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association of America.
Lovelady led the Raiders to a school-record 46 wins and their second consecutive appearance in the regional finals, where WSU fell to host Louisville, the nation’s No. 2-ranked team, 3-1.
Of the eight regional coaches of the year, four led their teams to the College World Series. All eight will be honored during the ABCA/Diamond Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the 73rd annual ABCA Convention held January 5-8 in Anaheim, Calif.
Women’s staff finalized: First-year coach Katrina Merriweather recently completed her staff with the addition of Ashley Barlow, who comes to WSU after three years at Evansville.
The Barlow hire came on the heels of Merriweather adding former University of Tennessee standout and two-time All-American Semeka Randall in addition to retaining Keith Freeman and Jenni Dant, both of whom worked alongside Merriweather under former coach Mike Bradbury.
Freeman has been promoted to associate head coach, while Dant will serve as director of operations.