University of Louisville men's and women's track and field head coach Ron Mann has announced the promotion of assistant Brice Allen to the Cards' men's and women's cross country head coach on July 31, 2008.
After serving the previous four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cards' cross country and track and field programs, Allen will lead the UofL cross country team throughout the 2008 season, while Mann will maintain his role as the Cards' track and field head coach.
"Brice is a terrific coach, who has played an integral role in the rise of the Louisville cross country and track and field programs over the last four years and he's very deserving of this opportunity," Mann said. "He's been preparing for this type of coaching opportunity for a long time, so with my responsibilities to Team USA and the Olympic Games running throughout the month of August, I knew this was the perfect timing for this transition."
Under the guidance of Mann and Allen, the Cardinal distance and mid-distance runners have reached a new level, highlighted by the men's cross country team's ninth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships and the program's first ever conference title at the 2007 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships.
"I'm very excited and honored by this opportunity and feel prepared for the challenges that lay ahead," Allen said. "I would like to personally thank Coach Mann for his mentorship and patience, and our administrators Tom Jurich (Athletic Director) and Julie Hermann (Associate AD) for this chance."
The Cards' move among the nation's elite in cross country started in 2006 with the 15th-place finish by the men at the NCAA Championships. The men's cross country team earned its first ever national ranking in 2006, the program's best ever finish at an NCAA regional meet (second) in 2007 and had a total of nine All-Region performers over the two-year period. And in 2007, the Cards had their first ever cross country All-Americans as Wesley Korir and Cory Thorne led the way for UofL.
Prior to joining the Cards' coaching staff in 2004, Allen served two seasons as an assistant coach to Mann at Northern Arizona University. While at NAU, Allen had a hand in guiding the Lumberjacks' men's cross country team to third place at the 2003 NCAA Championships and fourth place at the 2001 NCAA Championships, as well as leading the women's cross country team to a ninth-place finish in 2001 and 15th in 2003. Allen also worked with 2004 NCAA women's steeplechase champion Ida Nilsson.
A native of Sugar Grove, Pa., Allen competed in cross country and track at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., where he was an individual qualifier for the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Allen earned his bachelor's degree from Allegheny in 2001 and went on to earn his master's degree from NAU in 2004.