Webster University’s cross country and track and field team has had three different head coaches in less than one year. The newest coach, Nick Homan, hopes to stay for the long run.
Webster University has numerous coaches that have been here for a long time – some over 20 years.
This has not been the case for cross country and track and field.
In less than a year, the team has had three different head coaches. Nick Homan, who was recently named the new cross country and track and field coach, plans to make two main changes to the program: make it a positive environment and to be the coach that stays.
Prior to Webster, Homan was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Champion in pole vaulting, a three-time All-American, six-time Conference Champion, competed on the Elite Track Circuit and was ranked top 50 in Pole Vaulting.
However, due to an autoimmune disease called Sarcoidosis, he had to hang up his spikes. This led him to coaching full time.
The cross country and track and field players have had a chaotic season with coaches coming in and out, but Homan plans to do more than just be their coach.
“My job is just to make them feel comfortable and make track a positive experience for them in college, so I’m just going to be there whenever they need me,” Homan said. “I want to show them that I’m always going to be there for them, my door’s always open and they can come talk to me.”
Homan wants to bring these athletes’ spirits up, but also finish in the top two in conference.
“I’m not going to treat someone who’s going to compete as a national champion any different than a guy who is just doing it for fun. I want to make everyone better,” Homan said. “If anybody [achieves a personal record], whether it’s by a foot, in the gym or if it’s a half a second sprint, it’s just as big to me.”
Freshman track and field athlete, Caleb Fletcher, did not imagine his first year would be this chaotic. However, he believes more good came out of the situation than bad now that Homan is the coach.
“It felt like my old coaches gave up on me and their reasoning behind leaving was not very valid,” Fletcher said. “With Homan as the coach now, I feel more secure, and I don’t have this tension and stress that I had beforehand.”
Chris Sandefur and Josh Stewart announced to the team two weeks after the season started they were leaving for a business opportunity. However, Fletcher is confident that Homan will be the coach that stays for the long run so he no longer has any worry about this head coach leaving.
“You can tell [Homan] cares about all of the kids, and he is not just here for a paycheck, but actually wants to be here,” Fletcher said. “He engages in our conversations, wants to build relationships with us and understands us.”
Homan will immediately be brought into the head coaching position.