May 7th, 2010 @ 8:28 am | Author:
Valley City State University (VCSU) announced that Galen Morton has been named the head coach for the men's and women's cross country and track & field teams. Morton, who is currently an assistant cross country and track & field coach and sports information director at Dickinson State University, will assume his new responsibilities at VCSU on August 16, 2010.
Dr. Steven Shirley, president at VCSU, said, "Filling this important role is one of the last and most critical steps in the process of reinstating cross country and track & field at VCSU, a process we undertook as part of a larger strategy to increase offerings for our students. These sports have a long and rich tradition at VCSU dating back over 80 years. I am very pleased that we have been able to take the steps necessary to bring back these athletic programs, and am so excited to have someone of Galen's caliber and exceptional qualifications to lead the programs."
Morton has been with Dickinson State for four years, during which time he has coached 25 national qualifiers and seven All-Americans. Previously, he was an assistant coach at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA, and coached in the Los Angeles public school system for 12 years and taught biology for 15 years. Morton has a Master of Arts degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Occidental College. Morton said, "I am thrilled to offer my experience to Valley City State University. The sense of community and competitive spirit has been obvious to me from the beginning of the application process and I fully expect that the shared enthusiasm will continue for many seasons. Taking the lead role in reviving track and field and cross-country at VCSU is a unique opportunity; I am grateful as a professional but it is also a special opportunity for the student-athlete."
VCSU had active cross country and track & field programs until the 2002-2003 academic year when the programs were discontinued. In 2008, VCSU announced the intention to resume the sports contingent on the successful conclusion of a fundraising campaign to cover start-up costs. The campaign reached its goal of $160,000.
Dave Bass, assistant professor at VCSU and former cross country and track & field head coach, has been serving as coordinator for the program and recruiting student athletes in preparation for the programs' inaugural season. Bass said, "We are really excited about Galen's addition to Viking athletics. Galen brings the coaching expertise, the recruiting experience, and a philosophy that matches VCSU values for development of student-athletes. He will be a quality addition to our athletic staff."
Bass expects rosters of at least 18 women and 18 men for the 2010-11 track and field season. "We are still actively recruiting and I look forward to working with Galen to conclude what has already been a very successful recruiting year. We have set high goals for the program and expect to field very competitive teams, even during the inaugural season."
A national search is underway for an assistant coach for the teams. This position is expected to be filled by the end of May.