November 08, 2007
BLOOMSBURG -Bloomsburg University cross country coach Karen Brandt has been named the United States Track, Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coach of the Year in the Eastern Region of Division II. She led the women's team to both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) cross country championship and the NCAA Division II Cross Country East Regional title this season. Both were firsts in school history.
Brandt, in her ninth season guiding both the cross country and track programs, is a recipient of the Regional Coach of the Year award for the first time in her career. One thing that she realizes is that this season would not have been successful without some very important components. The first is her assistant coach and husband, Jim Brandt.
"The old adage is that behind every man there is a successful woman", said Brandt. "In this case, the reverse is true. This award should really be given to Jim and Karen Brandt, the co-coaches of the Bloomsburg University men's and women's cross country team."
"I might have the title of head coach and he the assistant coach," Brandt continued. "But, in the way we operate and interact with the team, we are on equal footing as co-coaches. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses that complement each other so that together we are a much better coach than either of us would be individually. "
The second component was her team.
"There was a team effort from May through November that brought us to this point of being conference and regional champions," said Brandt. "Without the 14 women who came together as a team this season with one goal in mind, I would never have received this award."
Brandt will receive the Regional Coach of the Year award on November 16th in Joplin, MO, just a day before her team competes at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships at Missouri Southern University.
"At each national championship I have attended, I have watched the regional coaches of the year step forward and receive their award and be recognized by the coaches association," said Brandt. "I have heard their records read off and marveled at their success. To know that I will be among these select group of coaches is a bit overwhelming, but I'm sure I will proudly enjoy it with Jim and the girls looking on during the awards presentation."