New head coach looks to continue building on success

By on September 22, 2008

By Brandon Davis

For University of Louisville assistant cross country coach Brice Allen, a promotion to head coach couldn’t happen without a great deal of determination. 
After years of hard work, the determination has paid off, as he was recently named the new men and women’s cross country coach.
Allen has served for the last four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for U of L’s cross country and track and field squads under Ron Mann for the last four seasons.
Since joining the staff in 2004, the Cardinal’s cross country program has seen a significant improvement with the success of the team in national competition.  In 2007, under the direction of Mann and Allen, the men’s team won the school’s first ever Big East conference title. The team went on to finish ninth at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. 
“There’s always been a great deal of pressure to succeed here at the University of Louisville,” Allen said. “And that’s a good feeling.”
Already, Allen has found success with the Cards. Both the men and the women’s squads won their season openers, at the Mid-American Opener in Evansville, Ind. The team will host the Greater Louisville Classic on Nov. 4 at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park, the only time the team will run in Louisville this season.
Allen credits much of the  team’s success to U of L’s athletic director Tom Jurich and the rest of the administration.
“It was an unbelievable opportunity in 2004 when I was hired as an assistant, and it continues to be unbelievable,” Allen said. “It’s a complete support staff here at Louisville.”
Before coming to U of L, Allen worked for Mann as an assistant at Northern Arizona University where he helped guide their men’s cross country team to a third place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships. 
“Brice is a terrific coach, who has played an integral role in the rise of the Louisville cross country and track and field programs over the last four years and he’s very deserving of this opportunity,” Mann told UofLsports.com.
Mann continued in his commendation of Allen, stating “He’s been preparing for this type of coaching opportunity for a long time. I knew this was the perfect timing for this transition.”
Allen competed in cross-country and track at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., where he was an individual qualifier for the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
With a strong supporting cast of administrators and with the help of former coach Mann, who will stay on as the head coach of U of L’s track and field team, Allen intends to build on the recent success of the cross country team.
“Our goal is to be a conference contender year in and year out,” Allen said. “To be a regional power and consistent ,strong national representative.”

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