McPherson, KS - May 22, 2012 - Central Christian College Athletic Director Melvin Sanders is pleased to announce the hiring of Jen Haydt as the head men's and women's cross country coach at CCC next fall. Haydt, a native of Palm Coast, Florida ran track and cross county at Embry Riddle University in Florida. She earned her bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering in 2009 and then returned to earn a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership. During her undergrad work at Embry Riddle, Haydt was a seven time All-Conference performer and, in 2008, she earned distinction as an NAIA All-American in the 4x800m relay.
The last three years, Coach Haydt has served as the men's and women's track and cross country coach at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. During her tenure at Shorter, both the men's and women's teams earned multiple championship titles in cross country and track, including the 2011 NAIA Men's Indoor and Outdoor National Championships. Individually, Haydt has worked with several National Champions and All-Americans including 5-time National Champion Justyna Mudy. Coach Haydt currently holds certification in track and field from the USATF. She also continues to train and compete for team GoGoRunning Elite based in Georgia.
Central Christian Athletic Director Melvin Sanders likes the passion that Coach Haydt has in regards to the sport of cross country and for mentoring student athletes. He commented on the hiring saying, "We are extremely excited to bring Coach Haydt to campus; she has a passion for this sport and wants to grow it into a conference contender. Being an All-American at NAIA track and cross country power, Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida, gives Coach Haydt a true understanding of what will be necessary to move our program in a positive direction.She also has diversity in her skill set, being a standout in the classroom while receiving an Engineering Degree at ERAU; she places a high emphasis on the academic experience of being a student athlete."
Coach Haydt's passion can be seen in her vision for the CCC program. She summed up her philosophy of coaching this way, "Longsuffering is a biblical term for patience, a fruit of the spirit that is developed as God works in and through us. It is also a term that describes the essence of distance running. Colossians 1:11says that we are strengthened by His glorious power to find joyful longsuffering. Something I try to impart on my athletes is that a large component of training is developing an unshakeable joy in the daily struggles. Our goal is to master our fear, doubt, and pain in practice so that when it really matters we are able to race victoriously with the freedom and power of Christ." She added, "I believe that any athlete willing to put in consistent time and effort can be successful in cross country at the NAIA level, regardless of background. My vision for CCC is to develop an environment where athletes of all abilities are welcome. We're going to work very hard, serve God and each other, love what we do, and see great results on both the conference and national level."
Of the opportunity of rebuilding the Tiger cross country program, Coach Haydt said, I'm thrilled to take over the cross country program at CCC. I truly believe in what we're doing and the direction the athletic department is headed. This is a place I can look recruits in the eye and say, ‘This is the real deal. You don't want to miss this.'"
Coach Haydt is expected to be moving to McPherson in June.