St. Thomas Men's Track and Field's Steve Mathre was named Central Region Men's Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association. It was the fifth such honor indoors or outdoors over the last dozen years including the indoor award last March.
The Tommies have three men's athletes qualified in four events for this week's NCAA Division III Championship meet in Geneva, Ohio.
In his 24 seasons here, Mathre has guided St. Thomas to 43 of a possible 48 league team titles indoors and outdoors. He's also guided the Tommies to 19 MIAC outdoor championships since he was named head coach here in 1996.
St. Thomas scored in 21 of 22 events and claimed the program's eighth consecutive team crown May 10-11 at the MIAC Outdoor Championships. St. Thomas finished with 212.5 points, 81.5 points ahead of runner-up St. John's. Mathre's team received top-eight places from 32 different athletes, including 11 freshmen. St. Thomas had 17 season-best times and marks over the two-day competition.
Mathre also was named MIAC Coach of the Year indoors. In the last 12 years alone he has coached several dozen All-Americans and had six NCAA champion relays or individual competitors.
Last March, St. Thomas had six victories among 16 top-three placings and cruised to a 79.5-point team win at the Feb. 21-22 conference meet. The Tommies received points from 29 different athletes and had more than two dozen season-best performances. They scored in 20 of 21 events -- 185 points in all -- only missing in the 4x200, where it initially had a top-four finish but was disqualified.
Mathre's team made it 35 team titles out of a possible 35 since the first MIAC indoor meet was contested in 1985.