Distance Coach Returns After Two Years At Oklahoma
Utah State track and field head coach Gregg Gensel announced on July 11, 2013 that Michael Spence has returned to the Aggies' coaching staff.
Spence was an assistant coach from 2010-11, before coaching at the University of Oklahoma for the last two seasons. At USU, Spence will work with the Aggies' distance and steeplechase runners, as well as helping coach the cross country team.
"I'm excited to have Michael back with our distance runners, specifically the steeplechase runners," Gensel said. "He brings key running expertise to both our track and cross country runners. He is a tremendous addition of experience and knowledge to our already highly talented coaching staff."
During his previous tenure at USU, Spence helped coach nine NCAA West region qualifiers, 10 Western Athletic Conference individual champions, 86 individual all-WAC honorees and was part of five WAC championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
"It's great to be coaching at Utah State again, and I appreciate Scott Barnes and Gregg Gensel welcoming me back to the athletic department where I began my coaching career. My wife and I have always loved Logan, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the Utah State family and the Cache Valley community. The athletic department is joining a prestigious and competitive new conference this fall, and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Aggie. After years of conference championships and successes in the WAC, Coach Gensel and his staff have the track and field and cross country programs poised make a significant impact in the Mountain West, and I'm excited to help these teams build upon a great tradition," Spence said.
As the assistant distance coach at Oklahoma, Spence was part of a coaching staff whose men's teams finished sixth and eighth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2011 and 2012. He also helped coach more than a dozen men's and women's NCAA qualifiers and All-Americans on the track, including five sub-4:00 men's milers, an All-American men's distance medley relay and an NCAA semifinalist in the women's 800m (2:05.68).
As a runner, Spence was team captain for Team USA at the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya. Spence also earned a silver medal in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Spence is a five-time USATF national team member and is a six-time top 10 finisher in USATF championship events. Spence finished sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. A native of East Stroudsburg, Pa., Spence earned his bachelor's degree at Princeton University, where he also earned All-American honors and captained the Tigers' cross country team in 1999.
Spence and his wife, Kristi, just had their first child, Aidan Michael, born on July 1.