Press Release: Pacific University
FOREST GROVE – Brent Ericksen, who has experienced significant success at nearly every level of the sport, has been selected as Pacific University's next head cross country and track and field coach.
Ericksen was hired after a national search and replaces Tim Boyce, who left in May after seven years with the program. Ericksen comes to Pacific after three seasons leading the cross country and track programs at Division I Morehead State in Morehead, Kentucky.
"I am excited to welcome Brent to our Boxer family," said Pacific Director of Athletics Ken Schumann. "His track record of developing championship cross country and track programs is a perfect fit for our vision of where we are headed with our program at Pacific."
Ericksen said he is excited to return to the west coast and to the NCAA Division III level where he both competed and coached at. "I am very excited and honored to be the next head coach at Pacific," Ericksen said. "I am grateful to Ken Schumann, Lauren Esbensen and the search committee for the opportunity to lead the Boxers' programs. We have some building to do to bring the Pacific program up to the level that we would like it at, but I am excited to be part of that process."
In his three seasons at Morehead State, Ericksen was successful in turning the Eagles' program around, leading both the men's and women's cross country programs to their best regional finishes in school history. Athletes on Ericksen's track and field teams broke 15 school records and produced 52 personal bests during the 2014 season.
In 2014, Morehead State was recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference as the Sportsmanship Team of the Year. Placing an emphasis on academics, Ericksen's men's track team raised it's grade point average from 2.42 to 3.50 while the women's track team compiled the fifth highest team GPA in Division I. Efforts to build the Morehead State program earned Ericksen selection as the 2012 Kentucky Men's College Cross Country Coach of the Year by the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Prior to Morehead State, Ericksen spent three seasons as the head cross country and track and field coach at Southern Oregon University. Ericksen built the Raiders from an unranked program into a team that finished in the top-four nationally all three years. A four-time Cascade Conference Coach of the Year, his 2010 men's cross country team won the NAIA national championship while the women placed seventh. In all, Ericksen coached 15 NAIA All-Americans, including the school's first female All-American.
Ericksen hopes that he can the same success at Pacific that he realized at Morehead State and Southern Oregon. "There is work to do, but I have been there and look forward to building again," he said. "The great facilities, the high academic standards and the campus will help to draw quality student-athletes to our program."
Before moving to Ashland, Ericksen spent one season as the head men's track and field coach at Wisconsin-La Crosse. The 2007 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year, Midwest Region Coach of the Year and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Coach of the Year, Ericksen led the Eagles to the 2007 NCAA Division III outdoor national title, setting a record for largest margin of victory at the national meet (65 pts.). The Eagles placed second finish at the indoor national meet. In all, Ericksen coached 36 All-Americans and four individual champions at La Crosse.
Prior to his arrival in Wisconsin, Ericksen spent six seasons leading the cross country and track and field coach at Texas A&M Kingsville. A three-time Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year, Ericksen coached 77 Javelinas' athletes to NCAA Division II All-American honors along with two Academic All-Americans. His men's track teams finished in the national top-10 four times and the women's track squad finished sixth at the Division II Indoor Championships in 2004.
Ericksen's other collegiate coaching experience includes assistant coaching stints at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Cal State Stanislaus, South Dakota State, Marquette, Mount Marty College and Cal Poly.
In addition to his collegiate coaching Ericksen was named to the coaching staff for the Estonia national team in 2004 where coached Tarmo Jallai to a national record in the 110-meter hurdles and a spot at the Olympic Games in Athens. He has also coached athletes that have qualified for the Pan-American Games, the European Championships and the USATF Outdoor Championships. In all, Ericksen has coached 141 All-Americans and 14 national champions.
A Division III athlete, Ericksen competed collegiately at Cal State Stanislaus prior to their transition to Division II and earned All-American honors.
A native of Apple Valley, Calif., Ericksen graduated from Cal State Stanislaus in 1989 with a degree in physical education and earned a master's degree in human movement from Cal Poly in 1992.