‘Cross-country dad’ Dan Graber is named women’s cross-country coach of decade


Coach Dan Graber has worked at Webster for only seven years but still has been named cross-country Coach of the Decade after receiving the most “Coach of the Year” awards.

Webster’s women’s cross-country head coach Dan Graber has been described as a cross-country dad. He takes care of his athletes during and away from practice. He would drop anything to help an athlete. When any of his athletes need to miss practice time, he has been known to run with them, so they do not have to run alone.

Graber was named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Coach of the Decade. This was awarded to whoever won the coach of the year award the most over the last decade.

“There are a lot of great coaches in our conference, so it felt nice to be recognized. I try to be willing to learn and to modify our approach when needed as a team and with individual runners,” Graber said.

Graber has been a coach at Webster for the past seven years. In his time at Webster, he has coached his team to winning three consecutive SLIAC titles and led more than three teams to the National College Athletic Association Regionals. No other Gorlok coach has achieved this.

Dan Graber (third from left) keeps track of his runners’ times during their first day of course running around Eden Seminary 8 a.m. workout in 2013. Graber was named cross-country coach of the decade this month. Photo by Sam Masterson.

“He has and will continue to go beyond the expectations of a coach. I could not have asked for a better college cross-country coach than Dan Graber. He deserves this award and any other recognition he may receive in the future,” cross-country athlete Kalleigh Linthicum said.

Without his runners, Graber said he could not have achieved this honor.

“An award like this is really an indication that the runners in the Webster program have achieved at a high level, so I really have them to thank,” Graber said.

Prior to Webster, Graber was an assistant cross-country and track coach for six years at Centre College in Kentucky. He was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association South/Southeast Regional Men’s Assistant Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2011.

With COVID-19, it has been difficult for the team to celebrate Coach Graber’s success, but the team has taken pride in their Coach’s achievement.

In addition to Graber being named Coach of the Decade, six runners were also placed on the SLIAC All-Decade Team. Linthicum was one of the runners honored.

“I 100% believe Coach Graber helped me achieve the All-Decade Team. If I did not have a coach such as Graber to push me to do the very best I can every day, I can honestly say I would not be where I currently am today,” Linthicum said.

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Kelly Bowen
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I am a journalism major. I play on the women’s soccer team at Webster. I enjoy coffee, Mexican food and watching The Real Housewives of Orange County with my sister.