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Brandeis Women’s XC and T&F go through coaching turnover

At the end of last season, Brandeis women’s track and field lost their assistant distance coach, Andrew Merdith, who informed the team that he would be quitting after his first year with the team. Calli Morvay ’26, a member of both the women’s cross country and track and field teams, added that a few weeks later the team was told that the only other assistant coach would “also be quitting and moving to coach at Suffolk University this coming year. It was also [that coach’s] first year at Brandeis. She was [the team’s] sprints and field event coach.”

 

Then, Morvay added, head coach Sinead Evans announced in late June that she would be moving to “Boston College as a middle distance coach this coming year. [Evans] had coached here for 10 years after her husband John Evans coached here. She coached several athletes to be national competitors and champions and shaped the program into what it is today.”

When she stepped down, Evans said that she was “really grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have worked with and coached so many wonderful student-athletes, and to be a part of their college journey.” Director of Athletics Lauren Haynie added that “Our student-athletes, staff, and the department as a whole are incredibly grateful for her time here, and we wish her the best both personally and professionally.”

 

Then, in early August, the University’s Department of Athletics named Michael Schmidt as its new head coach of men’s and women’s cross country. Schmidt said that he feels “honored” to be working with the cross country team, adding that he “can’t wait to get started to mentor the Judges and work alongside them.”

 

Prior to joining Brandeis, Schmidt coached at Tufts University for 11 years. He became “head distance coach in 2013. Since then, he served as interim head coach of men’s cross country and track and field in 2015 and director of men’s cross country from 2017 to 2021.” Schmidt was also honored as the “United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) New England Division III Assistant Coach of the Year three times and was part of the NESCAC Coaching Staff of the Year five times, including in 2022-23.” At Tufts, Schmidt also “oached the Tufts men’s cross country team to one NESCAC title and seven NCAA championship berths. His teams also won five NESCAC track and field championships, including back-to-back titles in 2022 and 2023, plus two New England titles in 2017 and 2018. His teams have been named All-Academic teams 23 times and produced USTFCCCA 161 All-Academic individuals.” Several of his athletes won NCAA Division III titles, All-American Honors and set school records.

 

Now, Schmidt will be the “distance coach for the men’s and women’s track and field programs.” and the university will begin a search for a new head coach for men’s and women’s track and field.

 

Editor’s Note: Sports Editor Calli Morvay did not participate in the writing or editing of this article.

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