June 18, 2012
Columbia, MO - University of Missouri Head Track & Field Coach Brett Halter has announced Joe Lynn has been promoted to Women's Head Cross Country Coach following the resignation of Rebecca Wilmes. Lynn will serve as head coach for both the men's and women's cross country teams and assistant track & field coach overseeing the men's and women's mid-distance and distance event groups for the Tigers.
"Joe will assume responsibly of the women's cross country program," said Halter. "He is one of the finest young distance coaches in the country. I know Joe will work hard to continue grow the program and build on the legacy left behind by Coach Wilmes."
Wilmes resigned effective the conclusion of the 2012 outdoor track & field season to spend more time with her family at home. She leaves Missouri after serving on staff for 13 years coaching the women's cross country and mid-distance/distance programs. Wilmes career was nothing short of spectacular, leading the Tiger women to four top-16 NCAA finishes and two NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in cross country. For her efforts, Wilmes was named NCAA Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year twice in 2002 and 2004. In all, Wilmes coached 19 conference champions, 20 NCAA All-Americans, and 4 NCAA Champions. She coached her Distance Medley Relay team to the NCAA Indoor National Championship in 2001, running a world leading mark that season.
Prior to her time as coach, Wilmes competed for the Tigers and was the 1996 Midwest Regional Cross Country Champion. She ended her athletic career as a two-time NCAA All-American in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters and qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 1500.
"Rebecca has long been an integral part of both our track & field and cross country programs. Her contributions both as an athlete and as a coach will never go unnoticed within our program," commented Halter. "Rebecca's decision was a very difficult decision for her - as it is for any mother. I admire her desire to be present in the lives of her kids and I respect her decision to find a position that demands less of her time. Rebecca will be missed!"
"I have been so blessed to be part of the Mizzou Track Family for so many years. The experience to work with fantastic student-athletes and make great friendships has been incredible. I am truly grateful for the opportunity," said Wilmes. "As I look forward to more time with my kids and family, I wish Mizzou Track & Cross Country all my best. Coach Halter, his staff, and this team have exciting things ahead and I will continue to be a big fan."
In his first season as men's head coach, Lynn led the men to a seventh place finish in the NCAA Midwest Regional, which was the largest improvement in the NCAA from the year prior. This past track season, Lynn had 3 student-athletes break Missouri Track & Field school records as Dan Quigley (St. Louis, MO) broke the 5,000 meter mark both indoors and outdoors, and Max Storms (Kansas City, MO) broke the 10,000 meter record outdoors. His men's cross country team also posted a 3.51 team GPA, earning USTFCCCA All-Academic team honors.
Before joining the Missouri staff in August 2011, Lynn served as Associate Head Coach for men's and women's cross country at Grand Valley State University (MI). There he helped lead the women to the first and only women's NCAA Triple Crown in history, winning NCAA Division 2 Championships in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field during the 2010-2011 academic year. In that season, Lynn had a hand in coaching 20 GVSU women to NCAA All-American honors.
"I'm thrilled to continue the tradition Rebecca has created here at Mizzou with our women's distance program," said Lynn. "We have an exciting group of girls returning and I look forward to getting to work with them. With the move to the Southeastern Conference this fall, there are a lot of exciting changes ahead."
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