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|Knox College Names Zierfuss Cross Country, Track & Field Coach
|A Knox College track and field coach will have some additional duties for the upcoming season.
The college on Monday named Dan Zierfuss the head cross country and head track and field coach. Zierfuss has served as the Prairie Fire co-head track and field coach for the past three seasons alongside Patrick Irwin. Zierfuss also served as an assistant coach for the Prairie Fire football team for three seasons.
Zierfuss will take over the cross country and the track and field programs and Jason Haynes will serve as his main assistant for both teams. Haynes was the assistant cross country coach in 2009 and the assistant sprints and high jump coach for the track team for the 2009-2010 season.
Athletic Director Chad Eisele believes Zierfuss will do well in his dual role. "I am excited to have Dan taking over both programs and I am confident that he will be able to build on the successes each program has seen over the past few years," Eisele said. "As an integral part of our track and field programs for the past three seasons, (Ziierfus) will be able to continue to provide stability and leadership for our athletes while taking them to the next level."
Zierfuss has seen a good deal of success since his start in 2007. He has led his track and field athletes to 13 school records, 12 All-Midwest Conference performances and he's coached three MWC champions (Indoor: men's 35lb weight throw, Outdoor: men's 800m and women's long jump).
Zierfuss has had 21 athletes named to the Winter Academic All-Midwest Conference team and 18 athletes named to the Spring Academic All-Midwest Conference team.
"I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to take charge of both programs and to help lead and guide them to continued success," Zierfuss said. "Both programs have a lot of potential and if the student-athletes keep working hard, we can continue to achieve even greater results. I look forward to working with all event groups in both sports and am extremely excited for the upcoming seasons."
Prior to coming to Knox, Zierfuss was the graduate assistant coach for the track and field teams at Carroll University from 2006-2007. He coached the school-record holders in both the men's and women's hammer throw at Carroll. He also served as an assistant football and assistant track and field coach at his alma mater, Beloit College, from 2005-2006.
As an undergraduate at Beloit, Zierfuss was a four-year letter winner in football and track. As a captain for both teams he earned his degree in Psychology in 2005. He was named to the Academic All-Midwest Conference team from 2002-2005. In 2009, Zierfuss completed his masters degree in Sports Management at Western Illinois University. He also holds USATF Level I and USATF Level II certification in track.
Haynes is a native to the area. He graduated from Monmouth High School in 2005, where he was a three-year cross country and four-year track and field letterman. He went on to compete at Illinois College, where he excelled in sprints and the high jump.
While at Illinois College, Haynes earned nine letters - three in cross country, three in indoor track and field and three in outdoor track and field. He graduated in May of 2009 with a degree in Political Science. He joined the Prairie Fire staff in 2009 as the assistant cross country coach and assistant track coach specializing in sprints and high jump. Haynes is currently pursuing a masters degree in Sport Management from Western Illinois University. He is a level I USATF certified coach.
Irwin, meanwhile, has accepted a job as a personal trainer in California. "Patrick's consistency and competitive spirit will be missed here at Knox. However, I am sure that he will be a success in his new job," Eisele said.
In his time at Knox, Irwin served as the assistant cross country and track coach for one year before being named the head cross country coach and co-head track and field coach. In his three years as head cross country coach he had 16 athletes named to the Academic All-Midwest Conference team. He shared Zierfuss' track and field accomplishments with a highlight of three MWC Champions.