Recent EMU standout Hannah Chappell-Dick has been hired as the interim cross country coach.
One year removed from winning the final of her five All-American medals at Eastern Mennonite, Chappell-Dick was excited for a chance to give back to her alma mater.
"It is an honor for me to serve as the interim cross country coach for a team and a university that nurtured me throughout my college years," she said. "I am incredibly grateful to have had the chance to run for Coach Isaac Bryan and consider him a friend. He, along with coaches Jason Lewkowicz and Britten Olinger, were formative mentors for me here at EMU."
Given her personal caliber as well as existing connection to the school, King was happy to find Chappell-Dick to fill the interim role.
"I am excited to welcome Hannah back to campus and give her an opportunity to give back to her alma mater," he said. "Having experienced coaching transitions while a collegiate athlete, I am confident that she will be able to bring a sense of stability to what could be a time of uncertainty for athletes. This past year of serving others through running programs as well as running professionally are experiences that will serve her well in this role."
Chappell-Dick was a five-time All-American for the Royals, earning her awards in cross country (once), indoor mile (twice) and outdoor 1500m (twice). She left EMU as one of the school's most-decorated athletes, also earning the Marjorie Berkley award as the ODAC's top female scholar-athlete as well as being named an NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 Honoree.
Since graduating in 2016, Chappell-Dick has run semi-professionally with Atlanta Track Club Elite while volunteering with "Back on my Feet" in Atlanta's inner city.
She has also experienced coaching changes over her career and brings a heart for working through the resulting transition time.
"I know firsthand how nerve-wracking it can be to switch coaches partway through one's collegiate career," she explained, "so it is my goal to build a solid foundation of trust and communication within the team. It is my hope that each athlete feels enriched and challenged by this experience, as I did."
Chappell-Dick also brings a rare knowledge of professional club coaching.
"For the last year, I have trained with Atlanta Track Club Elite under coaches Andrew Begley and Amy Yoder-Begley, a 2008 10,000m Olympian, and will continue to do so as I prepare for the 2018 track season. I have grown as an athlete and a competitor under their leadership, and I look forward to passing on the wisdom I have gleaned from them."
Director of Athletics Dave King will serve as the director of cross country and track & field until a replacement is hired.