In late May the University of Wyoming announced they would not retain head track coach Don Yentes are 15 years with the program. The school has made some big investments in the War Memorial Fieldhouse and the Louis S. Madrid Complex are looking to take the program to the next level.
On Monday Tom Burman formally announced that they found the have their new leader. Brian Berryhill was formally introduced as the new head Track and Field/CC coach for the Cowboys and Cowgirls.
"It is a great indication of the potential of this program for us to be able to attract a coach of Bryan Berryhill's caliber," Burman said. "His proven success as a collegiate and professional athlete, as well as being a head cross country coach and an assistant track coach, has been impressive. We look forward to seeing our track and field and cross country programs grow under his direction."
This hire certainly seems like a slam dunk to me. Another solid hire by Tom Burman here. Berryhill comes to Wyoming after spending six years as the head cross country and assistant track coach at his alma mater Colorado State. During his collegiate career Berryhill was a 10 time All-American and national champ in the indoor mile and outdoor in the 1500 in 2001. He then went on to run professionally for several years afterwards.
As head coach the CC program the women finished second or better in four out of those six years. Berryhill was named Regional and Mountain West Coach of the year in 2007 after guiding the women to team titles in both races.
I ran in cross country and track in high school and college and then for a racing team for a couple years after college. Bryan Berryhill was one of the powerhouses of US long distance running during that time and I have tremendous respect for him. His obvious strength is with the distance events and he wants to form the core of team around the harriers.
He obviously knows the area and the conference. He also has plenty of recruiting connections already established.
"I was blown away by the support the track and field program receives. Everybody is behind making the program successful."
Berryhill believes he can make UW's distance runners a cornerstone of the program.
"From a distance-running standpoint, with all the running trails and the altitude, that should be a phenomenal advantage," he said. "That was really attractive to me, as well."
That is a very solid strategy to help rebuild the program. Building a strong distance program will ensure a better cross country team and then those athletes can in turn help the track program as well. There are so many strong distance program along the Front Range: CU, Adams State and Western State to name a few. I look forward to the day that Wyoming is listed in that same company.