Athletic Director Roger Burkman announced Bradley Sowder as the new head coach of the Spalding University men's and women's cross country and track and field program. Coach Sowder served as the interim head coach since March of this year, and served as an assistant coach since August of 2014. During the time of his interim, the team found great success as they obtained 14 new school records and the third individual All-American honors in program history with Kyle Jenkins 5th place performance in men's discus at the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships. While holding the assistant position in the fall he worked under the leadership of then head coach Kevin Alessandro. This past fall they saw the men's team win conference for the second time in school history and tie their best place at the regional level. The women's program placed runner-up at the conference meet, also a team best.
"We are proud to announce Bradley Sowder as the new cross country/track and field head coach," Burkman said. "We understand and see the vision he has for the program moving forward, and we are excited to support the growth and expectations he plans to create", stated Burkman.
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead and guide this program into a new era of success," Sowder said. "I am certain that with the support of the administration and the desire I have seen from the athletes, and those who support the program, we can accomplish great things."
Prior to working at Spalding, Sowder had stops at the University of Louisville, Eastern High School and Lexington Christian Academy.
At the University of Louisville Sowder held a volunteer assistant position for the 2010-11 cross country and track season under Hall of Fame Coach Ron Mann. While at Louisville, Sowder assisted Mann with day-to-day operations specializing in middle distance and distance athletes and events. The coaching staff was awarded both the Indoor and Outdoor 2011 Big East Conference Women's Coaching Staff of the Year.
During his time at Eastern, he was the head boys cross country coach and assistant boys track coach, working with middle and long distance athletes. While there he helped assist athletes to two regional team titles, including the first in school history, and a top three showing at the high school state meet. Under Coach Sowder's guidance, the Eastern High School men produced the most regional and state meet points per middle distance and long distance events in program history, and coached Holden Wells to a state runner-up finish in the boys 800 meters in 2013, the highest school finish in the past 15 years.
Sowder's coaching career began at Lexington Christian Academy where he spent four seasons as the head coach where he developed the cross country and track and field programs with much success generating the school's first ever regional cross country and track titles, as well as the programs first state champion. Over the course of four years the program earned three individual state champions and numerous individual state runner-ups.
Sowder attended the University of the Cumberlands and the University of Kentucky where he graduated with a double major in Kinesiology and Health Promotions.
He lives in Simpsonville, Ky. with his wife Misty, and their two children, Makenzie and Elliot.
STORY COURTESY OF SPALDING UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE