CLINTON, Iowa – The Ashford University Athletic Department announced that Chris Adams will assume the role of Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach in addition to his Head Track and Field coaching duties. Adams accepted the position upon the resignation of former Cross Country Coach Tyson Graham on Tuesday.
Adams, who has been with Ashford University since 2008, will step directly into his new role, as the cross country team members have arrived on campus for pre-season practices.
"I'm honored to move into this new role, and just as excited to work with our athletes," said Adams. "This will be a year of changes for everyone, as we also gear up for a new conference, but we have great core of returners that are focused on improving on their individuals and team success from last year."
Ashford University Director of Athletics Meg Schebler expects an easy transition for Adams and the cross country squads.
"Coach Adams is a natural fit to assume the duties of Head Coach for our cross country teams," said Schebler. "He is already familiar with the student-athletes who participate, as most of them are also members of the track teams. Chris will do a great job in this new role and I look forward to watching him continue building successful programs in both cross country and track and field."
Graham, who also served as an Assistant Track and Field Coach, concludes his four-year stint at AU with four NAIA National Championship qualifiers to his credit in cross country while coaching four All-Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) runners and three more Honorable Mention All-MCC award winners. Graham is stepping down to pursue other opportunities outside of coaching.
Specializing in distance and racewalk events, Graham also notched three NAIA Track and Field All-Americans in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter racewalk competitions while helping eight other student-athletes qualify for NAIA Track and Field National Championship meets. Additionally, he guided Ashford racers to 12 MCC Indoor Track and Field Championships while gaining nine more individual titles in MCC Outdoor Track and Field events.
"I have had a great time at Ashford over the past 4 seasons and I thank everyone for the opportunities, friendships, and support," said Graham. "I've been blessed with three All-Americans, numerous all-conference awards, national qualifiers, and records, but most of all a cross country/track family that is wonderful. I will definitely miss everyone and I look forward to seeing the AU student-athletes progress as I root from behind the scenes in Florida."
Both men's and women's cross country and both track and field teams earned the NAIA Scholar-Team award this past season and combined to place four Ashford student-athletes on NAIA Scholar-Athlete award lists.