July 1, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville cross country and track and field's Dale Cowper has taken the next step in his successful coaching career. After serving the past seven seasons as an assistant or associate head coach on the Louisville coaching staff, Cowper assumed his new role as head coach on Monday.
"I'm excited for the opportunity and grateful for the support from not only Ron Mann, but also the belief in our program from the administration, especially Tom Jurich and Christine Krellwitz, moving forward," Cowper said. "I'm real excited about the future, and I believe greatly in our staff. We're covering all the bases very well and I'm looking forward to building upon the tradition coach Mann has begun to establish and see where we can take the program in the future."
Cowper takes over for Mann, who spent the last nine seasons as director of cross country and track and field.
Cowper has been a member of four BIG EAST Women's Coaching Staff of the Year awards and, in 2011, was selected the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year. That summer, he was named associate head coach.
His throws group arguably has compiled the most success over the last seven seasons, which included Louisville's first repeat national champion D'Ana McCarty, who captured the weight throw title in 2009 and 2010. With this year's total included, his throwers have achieved 22 All-America distinctions. In 2009, Thrower's Page, a track and field website that ranks collegiate programs based on throwing success, Louisville as the No. 1 throws group in the country.
At the conference championships, under Cowper's watch, Louisville has captured 41 event titles in the throwing events. Of that total, 28 came on the women's side and ultimately played a major part in the Cardinals' women's team securing six team titles, including an unprecedented five-straight outdoor crowns.
Individually, throwers have peaked under Cowper's tutelage. Members of the group have been named BIG EAST Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet, signifying the best field athlete at the conference championships, a combined seven times. Most recently, Sam Bombaugh
garnered the accolade at the conference's indoor championships after becoming the first athlete in the conference's 30-plus-year history to win both shot put and weight throw crowns at the same meet.
On the international stage, his group has continued success. Chinwe Okoro, one of the school's top throwers, won the Nigerian national title in the shot put in 2011. In her first year as a Cardinal, Okoro became one of the first female athletes in school history to win a national title at the USA Junior Championships. Jere' Summers advanced to the 2006 World Junior Championships in the shot put and discus after second-place finishes in both events at the USA Junior Nationals.
Cowper came to Louisville in 2006 after spending three seasons at Cal State Northridge, where his throws group earned five NCAA Championships bids, three Big West Conference titles and one All-America distinction. He also helped lead the men's and women's teams to two conference titles apiece.
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