UMD names cross country, track coaches

By KBJR News 1

UMD names cross country, track coaches

August 6, 2010 Updated Aug 5, 2010 at 10:46 AM CDT

The University of Minnesota Duluth cross country and track programs will welcome a pair of new head coaches in 2010-11 as the school
announced the hiring of both Paul Nisius and Joanna Warmington on Tuesday.

The pair replaces John Fulkrod, who retired from UMD his past spring as the head coach of all four sports.

Nisius, who has spent the past seven years serving as the head coach for men's and women's cross country and men's and women's track at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, will handle the head coaching role for the Bulldog men in both sports while Warmington, a Bulldog assistant women's and men's cross country and track coach since 2008, will do likewise on the women's side.

Nisius, 42, is no stranger to Bulldog athletics having been selected the
co-recipient of UMD's Outstanding Male Athlete Award in 1989-90 after a stellar four-year track and cross country career. During his tenure at
Wisconsin-Superior, he helped produce a pair of NCAA Division III track
All-Americans in Samantha Miller (outdoor high jump in 2005) and Matt
Kramer (800-meter outdoors in 2006, 2007 and 2008 800-meter indoors in 2008). Nisius's Yellowjackets also set some 42 school indoor records and another 34 outdoor standards while 18 runners attained NCAA Division III national qualifying marks. In addition, UWS was represented by at least one individual at 12 NCAA III national meets, including each of the last six indoor events.

Prior to his appointment at UWS, Nisius taught and coached for a 10
years in the Grand Rapids (Minn.) School District. From 2000-02, he was employed as the boy's and girl's assistant cross country at Grand Rapids High School and helped lead the Thunderhawks girls to three straight Minnesota State High School State Meet appearances (including a championship conquest in 2000 and a runnerup finish one year later.)
Nisius also did a 10-year track and field coaching stint at Bigfork High
School where he accompanied at least one of his Husky athletes to the
state meet in each of his final eight seasons.

Nisius, a native of Duluth and a 1986 graduate of Central High School,
captained the UMD cross country and track teams as a senior in 1989-90 and was a 1988 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference cross country performer and five-time conference track champion (1,500-meter indoors and outdoors in 1988 and 1989 and 1,000-meter indoors in 1988). He earned a B.S. degree in business administration (1990) and B.A. degree in teaching social studies (1992) from UMD.

"I'm thrilled to be coming back to the Bulldogs," said Nisius. "UMD has
been a big part of my life and I'm looking forward to upholding the
strong tradition the Bulldogs have established in cross country and
track and field."

Warmington, 38, recently completed her second full season of assistant
coaching duty with the Bulldogs. Since her arrival, the UMD women have qualfied for two NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, placing eighth in 2008 and a program-best seventh last fall and one NSIC outdoor crown (2009). On an individual front, the Bulldogs have secured All-American status on 11 occasions over the past two seasons, including five times by junior-to-be long distance runner Morgan Place.

The Monticello, Minn., native was a four-year cross country and track
letter winner at Drake University, an NCAA I institution, and captained
both of those teams as a junior and senior. She captured the Missouri
Valley Conference 1,000-meter indoor title in 1993 and was a member of the MVC 4x800 meter indoor (1993) and outdoor (1994) champions as well.

Warmington, who also has run numerous marathons and road races since her college running days, graduated from Drake in 1994 with a B.A. degree in graphic arts design.

"I'm extremely excited to about to head the Bulldog women's track and
cross country teams," said Warmington. "It is my vision to see this
program become a consistent DII power. Coach Fulkrod set the wheels in motion, so to speak, and created a strong program here and I feel I can take it forward and reach even greater heights."

"Paul and Joanna will provide our cross country and track programs with great leadership," said UMD Director of Athletics Bob Nielson. "They both have strong connections to the Duluth running community and are very passionate about coaching."

Courtesy UMD Athletics