Shenandoah graduate Kyle Hiser is the new track and field and cross country head coach at Kansas Wesleyan University.
KWU is in Salina, Kansas and the Coyotes play in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference as part of the NAIA. KWU announced the hiring of Hiser, Friday, July 26.
Hiser takes over the men’s and women’s programs just ahead of the cross country season with the first meet five weeks away.
“I interviewed and was offered the position all within a week’s span,” said Hiser. “With the season getting started soon they wanted me on campus and the position filled pretty quickly.”
Hiser comes to Kansas Wesleyan from Grand View University in Des Moines where he graduated earlier this year with a Master of Science degree in sport management.
He also assisted the Grand View running programs and said his two years there were huge in getting him ready to take over his own program.
“Coach (Jerry) Monner and Coach (Seth) Roberson really allowed me to grow as a coach,” said Hiser, “and truly understand what it’s like to be a coach at the collegiate level.”
In Hiser’s two seasons at Grand View the programs broke 15 school records and had six All-American performances, including in the 800 meter run.
Hiser ran collegiately at Morningside in Sioux City and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from there in 2017. He said he’ll take some principles he learned from Coach (David) Nash there to his program.
“Nash really taught me how to act and behave as a coach,” said Hiser, “along with showing me what some of the core values are that a team needs to be successful. He really emphasized the athlete-coach relationship and that is something I want to implement at KWU.”
Kansas Wesleyan Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike Hermann said in the official release on Hiser’s hiring that the committee was impressed.
“It was easy to see why he’s a rising star in the track coaching profession,” Hermann said, “and I am confident he’ll lead the KWU program to new heights in a short time frame.”
Hiser has some returning talent to work with as the cross country program returns two individual qualifiers from last year’s national meet. The track and field programs had two qualify for the national meet in the marathon and another in the 100 meter dash. All of the women’s distance medley team returns as well after winning a conference title last year.
“We have a really solid returning core of individuals and I want to build off those returners,” said Hiser. “The biggest thing is just creating that family atmosphere that makes everyone love to show up to practice and be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Hiser had a busy first week on campus and is very excited for the upcoming season.
“The athletic department in general has had a lot of recent success,” said Hiser, “so that is a very promising sign for years to come.”
The KWU cross country program starts the season, Saturday, September 7 at the JK Gold Open in Augusta, Kansas.