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Track and field director moves on to Stanford

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, September 28, 2012

Michelle Eisenreich, director of track and field and cross country, is leaving the Bears for a position as associate head track and field and cross country coach at Stanford University starting next week. Her departure follows that of Marc Mangiacotti, former associate director of track and field, who left Brown over the summer for an assistant coaching position at Harvard.
Eisenreich, a throws coach who has been at Brown since 2000, said she has appreciated her time with Bruno but that coaching at Stanford is a great career opportunity.
“I’ve been here 12 years, and it’s provided a lot of opportunity for success that I wouldn’t necessarily get at other places,” Eisenreich said. “Stanford is in one of the most competitive track and field conferences in the country, so it’s just a terrific opportunity to progress my career and work with really great athletes in a really great setting.”
Neal Rooney ’13, a javelin thrower, said that while team members were surprised at Eisenreich’s departure, they are happy for her.
“It was a little bit shocking, I think,” Rooney said. “Because we have a coach that’s there for that long, you kind of just expect them to be out there every year. … We understand that it’s a good career move for her because she works really hard.”
“I guess we’re a little selfish in that we wish that she’d stay, but we understand,” he added.
During her tenure at Brown, Eisenreich has coached over 50 All-Ivy throwers, six NCAA championship qualifiers and Craig Kinsley ’11, who was the top American thrower at the 2012 London Olympics.
Eisenreich’s departure forces the squad to search for a new throws head coach. In the interim, it is left with a throws coach in Volunteer Assistant Bryan Powlen ’10 and a javelin coach in Volunteer Coach Nicholas Lam.
Eisenreich said that Lam, who only arrived this season, will be valuable to the team because of his experiences working with multiple coaches during his career at Montana State, which has helped him understand “differences in coaching philosophy and what works and doesn’t work.” She added the squad can benefit from his fresh perspective.
“Often, having that kind of outsider’s perspective is helpful,” Eisenreich said. “And now that I’m leaving, his role is even more important.”
The absence of Mangiacotti, who coached sprints and hurdles, has also left the squad without a designated coach for those events. Assistant Coach Reuben Jones has temporarily taken over Mangiacotti’s coaching duties in addition to his own jumps and multi-event duties until the University hires a replacement for Mangiacotti. Eisenreich said the squad already has a candidate in mind, and is only waiting for approval from Human Resources.
Tim Springfield, who has been named Interim Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, said that taking on more athletes and events is a “big challenge” but added that Jones has taken it in stride.
“(Jones has) been terrific,” Springfield said. “One of the great things about Reuben is that he has boundless energy. He needs all that energy right now to coach those athletes in different events. But he’s over at the track running four, five, six practices a day. And he has enough energy that the sixth practice is just as dynamic as the first one. So I can’t say enough about how well he’s been handling all that.”
Nathan Elder ’13, one of the squad’s captains, also attested to Jones’s coaching performance.
“I have noticed no drop-off from our fall training from last year under (Coach Mangiacotti) to this year under Coach Jones,” Elder said.
Though the coaching changes provide a challenge for the squad, Elder said it is also a testament to the program’s success under Eisenreich’s tenure.
“If anything, it’s a testament to where this program has been and where it’s going, because people are seeing that the work that (Eisenreich and Mangiacotti) put in was so great,” Elder said.
Springfield also said he feels that Eisenreich has built a strong program at Brown that has a promising future.
“We wish (Eisenreich) all the best as she moves forward,” Springfield said. “I think the important thing is that we’re committed to maintaining what she’s built and improving on it. We don’t want to stand still. We want to move forward.”


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