NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Two cross country, track coaches lend names to best-program awards

Nov 26, 2008 9:06:00 AM

The NCAA News

Division III’s best “all-around” cross country/track and field programs will be recognized with new awards named for two of the sports’ most successful coaches.

Men’s programs will receive the Al Carius Program of the Year Award, named for the 43-year head coach at North Central (Illinois), and women’s programs will receive the Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award, named for the 27-year head coach at Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

The awards will be presented at the end of each academic year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The winning institutions will be decided based on their finish in the Division III cross country championships in the fall, indoor track and field championships in the winter, and outdoor track and field championships in the spring.

Carius has coached a record 12 North Central cross country teams to Division III titles and also mentored five teams (four outdoor) to track and field titles. Vercauteren is the only women’s head coach in the division who has led cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams to national titles – for a total of 18 trophies.

Both coaches were 2006 inductees into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.

To be eligible for an award, programs must qualify for the Division III championships. The award will be presented to the program that records the lowest total score based on the three championships through the year.

For example, as a result of last weekend’s Division III cross country championships, the programs at team winners Cortland State and Middlebury each lead this year’s rankings so far with one point each.

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