June 18, 2004|
Darryl Frerker, who earned Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors three times this past season for indoor and outdoor track and field, will step down as the head coach of the cross country and track and field programs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Frerker will teach and be involved in the track and field program at Collinsville High School. Frerker said the change allows him to spend more time with his family. He has been SIUE's head coach since the beginning of the 1995 season.
SIUE Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt said that with the exit of Frerker from the program, the Cougars will hire a new cross country coach for the 2004 season who will work with the distance runners during the track season. He hopes to promote from within for track and field.
"This program (at SIUE) has grown tremendously. I feel I have taken it as far as I can," said Frerker. "I'm happy with where I'm leaving everything."
The Cougars won both the men's and women's indoor track and field Great Lakes Valley Conference titles as well as the men's outdoor track and field title. For each of those wins, Frerker was honored with Coach of the Year certificates. Jamie Thomas (Blue Island) and Breanne Steffens (Moline) earned All-American honors for the Cougars this past season in track and field and cross country.
"What a grand way to close out your collegiate coaching career," said Hewitt. "Darryl has done an outstanding job of moving the program to the next level with the hiring of his assistant coaches and the excellent recruiting and coaching job that all three have done."
Frerker was an outstanding student-athlete at Illinois State as an All-American. He earned a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's in physical education at SIUE. In 1991, he won the 1,500-meter run at the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival and was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the indoor mile.
In 1994, Frerker was one of the first athletes to compete on SIUE's Olympic Festival Stadium (later renamed Ralph Korte Stadium) as a 1,500-meter participant. Under Frerker's tenure, SIUE held several national and international events at Korte Stadium, including four NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in seven years beginning in 1997.