Cross country coach offers sudden resignation

by Bryan GeelanStaff Writer

Todd Deely will no longer hold the position of head coach for men’s and women’s cross country at Simpson College. Deely resigned from the position effective Dec. 15, 2006. Deely’s former assistant, Brad Hofer, will be the interim head coach until a replacement is found.

Deely leaves the Simpson program after three years at the helm. In that time, Deely saw moderate success and led what many would consider an over-achieving team in 2006.

Under Deely, Jen Wendt, whom has since graduated, won the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title for the women in 2005, and freshman Jess Christensen earned All-Region honors in 2006. As a team, the women finished fifth at the IIAC championships, while the men came in sixth this past season.

With the unexpected success Deely’s teams had in 2006, his sudden resignation may have come as a surprise to some. Deely was not available for comment.

“I was surprised as was the majority of the team,” senior Danielle Farrell said.”All of us were caught off-guard because we had a pretty tremendous season.”

Junior Emily Salberg has been coached by Deely since her freshman year and will have to adjust to a new coach for her final season.

“It’s always going to be hard to lose a coach that you’ve had for three years,” Salberg said. “But you have to roll with it and make what you can out of the time you have left.”

Deely is also leaving behind a strong recruiting class, as the 2006 squads were dominated by freshmen-the men’s team had eight, while the women’s team had 12.

“He was dedicated to building a program, and we saw a lot of growth as athletes over the three years he was here,” Farrell said.

While the search for a new head coach is underway, it is business as usual for the runners. Under the tutelage of Hofer, the athletes haven’t missed a step.

“The transition was pretty smooth as far as workouts and conditioning go,” Salberg said. “He knows what we’re used to and how to train; he made sure there was no de-conditioning.”

Hofer has been the assistant cross country coach for three years and is entering his fifth season as an assistant for track and field. In the search for a new head coach, Hofer is a serious candidate for the job along with other candidates outside the program.

“Brad knows all the athletes and has worked with them; he knows what their capabilities are,” said Ron Peterson, assistant athletic director and head wrestling coach. “Each year is a growing process and he would be more aware (than someone outside the program) of where they are at in that process.”

The process of finding a new head coach is already being narrowed down by the administration. Simpson hopes to have a clear view of the final candidates for the job by Jan. 26.

“Ideally, if we could hire somebody tomorrow and they could start the next day, that would be good for us,” Peterson said. “We would like to be able to name a person as soon as possible so we can get rid of that uncertainty and start moving forward.”