LIFE U ATHLETICS TO RESTORE MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY AND MEN’S TRACK IN 2021-22
Marietta, Georgia, July 15, 2020 – The Life University Athletic Department has officially announced the addition of Men’s Cross Country and Men’s Track and Field teams for the 2021-22 academic year.
The Running Eagles currently offer women’s cross country and women’s track and field, and they’re looking to build upon the historic success from the combined programs. “It’s exciting any time we can add a sport and provide additional opportunities for young men and women to get a Life University degree,” Director of Athletics Jayme Pendergast stated. “But additionally, it’s extra exciting to bring back a program with such history. With our new track surface and plans to make our upper field area a first-class facility for our women’s cross country/track student-athletes, this is the perfect time to add the men’s team. I’m looking forward to building both of our track programs up to national prominence.”
In the early stages when both programs competed in the NAIA, the men’s cross country program won four consecutive national titles from 1998-2001. Mike Spino, honored in the inaugural class of the Life U Athletics Hall of Fame, was also named the NAIA Coach of the Year with the program in 1995. The team also totaled 30 NAIA All-Americans with four individual national champions. Silah Misoi, who was also inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class, won three titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
On the track, the men’s program found equal amounts of success. The indoor program won two NAIA titles in 1997 and 2000, with the outdoor program capturing four consecutive titles from 1997-2000. For his efforts, Spino was also named the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1997 for indoor and captured both indoor and outdoor accolades in 2000. The indoor program recorded 41 NAIA All-Americans, with the outdoor program garnering 55 All-American honors. The record-breaking program was highlighted by 13 individual indoor NAIA National Champions and 22 outdoor individual titles.
Historically, the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs hold more NAIA All-Americans, NAIA National Championships and individual NAIA Champions than any program combined at Life University.
Interested student-athletes are encouraged to fill out the Prospective Student-Athlete Form, as inquiries will be fielded by the Athletic Director in the interim. The search for a coach is expected to begin in the coming months. Any questions can be directed to Director of Athletics Jayme Pendergast via email at Jayme.Pendergast@LIFE.edu.