Brian Simpson is in his first season as the new Head Track & Field Coach at Eastern Mennonite.
With the recent promotion of Isaac Bryan to Director of Cross Country and Track & Field/Head Cross Country Coach, Simpson completes the second half of a new era for EMU. He will function fully as the head coach for the track & field program, assistant Bryan with cross country and also work under Bryan's overall leadership. Bryan will focus on the distance runners in track & field.
"I'm excited about becoming the head coach for EMU's track & field program," explained Simpson, "because it gives me the opportunity to focus on building a championship program by further developing the team's existing talent and recruiting more talented young men and women who love track and field. I'm really looking forward to working with Isaac because of his positive outlook. We both share the same drive to move the program forward."
Bryan echoed those sentiments.
"I believe Brian will add the leadership and expertise our program needs for the track & field side," said Bryan. "He brings a wealth of knowledge to all the events, and his work in the community of Wilson shows his level of investment to track & field as well as students. Brian's experience in strength and conditioning will have an immediate impact for our athletes."
Simpson has been the head coach/speed coach for the Wilson (N.C.) Track Club since 2008, working with student-athletes throughout the year in both their athletic and academic pursuits. He has also been an assistant at D-II Barton College, and worked as a strength and conditioning coach for the Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts & Education, both in Wilson, N.C.
Simpson was track & field athlete at Oral Roberts University before finishing his undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University. He also holds a masters of education (educational leadership) from Concordia (Ore.) University.
EMU Director of Athletics Dave King said the Royals were fortunate to find someone like Simpson to lead the continued growth of the track & field program.
"He will be a great compliment to Isaac as they build a program that competes for conference championships and continues EMU's representation at the national level," King said. "Brian's experiences as a Division I athlete, his work with individuals in the club programs, and his background in strength and conditioning make him well prepared for EMU."
Simpson takes over a program which has sent three athletes on a total of seven trips to the NCAA National Championships over the past two seasons. Recent graduates Jeremy Heizer(Staunton, Va./Riverheads) and five-time All-American Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) represented the Royals on the big stage this year, while Kat Lehman (Dover, Ohio/Dover) joined Chappell-Dick when she made two trips as a freshman in 2015 before an illness derailed her efforts as a sophomore.
Eastern Mennonite track & field athletes have also claimed 14 ODAC individual or relay titles over the past two indoor and outdoor seasons.
Simpson said that caught his attention.
"EMU has made great strides in its track & field program over the past few years," he said. "My vision is to build on that foundation in a way that produces conference and national championship level success."