This summer, ACU welcomed two new highly decorated coaches to the Wildcat family, as of May 2013 Head Coach Keith Barnier and as of July 2013 Assistant Coach Drew Graham.
Barnier comes from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), where he recently led the Dragons to a sixth place national computer ranking during the indoor season, highest in MSUM history.
The men’s team finished second in the NSIC Indoor Championships and qualified seven individuals for the indoor nationals. In the outdoor meet, a dozen athletes from Barnier’s team qualified for nationals. Overall from both meets, eight athletes earned an All-American honor.
Barnier has coached seven NCAA national champions, seven Olympic qualifiers and 109 student-athletes that have earned a NCAA All-American certificate.
Barnier has coached sprinters who have won titles including South Eastern Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), North Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSC), NCAA, USA, Jamaican, Canadian and World Championship and even an Olympic gold medal.
Before coaching, Assistant Coach Drew Graham won many awards during his cross country career.
Originally from Newcastle, England, Graham ran for the Gosforth Harriers Club team in Gosforth, England, where he claimed the North of England 800-meter title in 2007.
He then ran for Adams State University (ASU) in Colorado. Graham is one of the the most successful runners in ASU history. He earned more than 15 All- American titles, three Division II national championships and was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association Division II Indoor Track Male Athlete of the Year during his 2012 season.
This is Graham’s first year of coaching.
Also new to the cross country team is top recruit freshman Madeline Jordan.
Coming from Abilene High School, Jordan earned six letters in cross country. She was named the Top Female Athlete of the Year and received the Bev Ball Award.
Jordan said she is looking forward to ACU’s transition to DI.
“I think it is awesome that ACU has grown enough to reach that level,” Jordan said. “It’s an honor to be a part of it as everything begins.”
Jordan isn’t the only one ready for the new challenges that await the Wildcats this season. Graham said he is eager for what Division I and the Southland Conference will bring.
“It’s intimidating moving up, but it is exciting and it encourages us to pick up our game,” Graham said. “We are going to be going against some of the best teams in the world.”