U combines cross country, track & field programs

September 10, 2018
A number of track & field hurdles

Gopher Athletics is combining its men's and women's track & field and cross country programs under a single coaching and support staff. The change, which brings Minnesota's organizational structure in line with a staggering majority of Power 5 conference programs, is effective immediately. 

"As we looked at ways we could more effectively support our track & field and cross country programs and the student-athletes that compete for those teams, we realized our current structure of having the two programs operate separately was outdated and inefficient," said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. "This combined operational structure will bring us in line with our peers, help us better allocate resources in support of our student-athletes, and create a stronger connection throughout all aspects of the program to help us provide an outstanding student-athlete experience."

Matt Bingle, who has served as the director of women's track & field and cross country for the past eight years and has led the women's track & field program for the last 11, will oversee the combined program going forward. 

Steve Plasencia, who has been the director of men's track & field and cross country since 2008, will stay on staff to oversee men's cross country and distance runners for the track & field program.