MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West and athletic director Mike Turk officially announced the hiring of Dan August on Tuesday to lead the Hawks' men's and women's cross country programs.
Huntingdon, which last competed in cross country in 2012, will resume competition in the fall of 2017.
"I am pleased to welcome Coach August to Huntingdon College," stated President West. "The return of the men's and women's cross country teams is a great complement to our existing intercollegiate athletic programs and variety of extracurricular and leadership opportunities on campus. Some of our most outstanding young alumni were products of our previous cross country teams. We look forward to watching these newest student-athletes follow in the footsteps of our cross country alumni and grow in faith, wisdom, and service on our campus."
August comes to Huntingdon from Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he worked as a graduate assistant with the cross country and track and field programs. August earned his master's degree in leadership and innovation in December.
"In searching for the right person to lead the cross country program, Coach August stood out," Turk said. "We believe his knowledge of the sport and his coaching philosophy will be what we need to rebuild a competitive program. We look forward to having him lead and develop our program in the right direction and we're excited for him to get started."
August is scheduled to arrive on campus in January.
"I want to thank President West and Coach Turk for this opportunity," August said. "I have competed and coached at the collegiate level and I love the dynamic of Division III athletics. Huntingdon College gives me the opportunity to work in an environment I love, as well as coach a sport that I have been a part of for many years.
"I am a huge advocate of balancing athletics and academics evenly, and I am truly excited to help my student-athletes realize their athletic and academic potentials."
Huntingdon competed in cross country from 2008-2012. As members of the Great South Athletic Conference, the men's and women's programs combined to win five conference titles in the first four seasons.
The men's program won conference titles in 2008, 2010 and 2011, finished as the conference runner-up in 2009 and qualified for the South/Southeast Regional twice. The men also produced the conference Runner of the Year and Coach of the Year three times, as well as nine all-conference runners and two all-freshman team selections.
On the women's side, Huntingdon captured conference championships in 2009 and 2010, was the conference runner-up in 2008 and 2011 and qualified for the NCAA South/Southeast Regional three times. The women's program produced a three-time conference Runner of the Year, an all-region runner, two-time Coach of the Year, 15 all-conference selections and seven all-freshman runners.
"It's exciting to restart a program that has had success in the past. Although starting from scratch is a challenging task, it is exciting to be able to build a team that I believe will fit a successful running culture," August said. "My goal is to create a fun and hardworking running environment for my student-athletes. Training for the sport of cross country is a yearly task that offers very few breaks. Creating a team culture that calls upon runners to be dedicated to the sport will be a huge goal for me.
"In terms of on-the-course success, my goals are to be successful within our conference as well as gather national attention. Cross country is a wonderful sport, and a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. I am glad to be a part of history, as Huntingdon looks to build and be successful in the sport."
During his three seasons with the Wisconsin Lutheran cross country program, the men's team qualified for the Midwest Regional all three seasons, placed third in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference twice, produced one individual conference champion and five all-conference runners.
The women's team also qualified for three straight Midwest Regionals, placed third in the NACC once and produced three all-conference runners. The men's and women's teams were both named Academic All-American teams in 2015.
In two seasons with the track and field program, August coached conference champions in the 3000 meters, 5000 meters and 8000 meters.
August was a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track and field at Carthage College, where he was a team captain in both sports and an all-conference performer in cross country. Carthage's track and field team finished eighth in the NCAA Indoor Championship Meet in 2014. He earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training in 2014.
A native of Mokena, Ill., August was a three-sport athlete in cross country, track & field, and basketball at Lincoln-Way East High School. He was a two-time Southwest Suburban Conference champion in the two-mile run and earned all-conference and all-region honors in cross country as a junior.