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DSU names Schillinger, Shroyer interim head coaches

After months of searching, Dickinson State University has landed two interim coaches for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams.

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DSU didn’t have to look far, as it hired associate head football coach and assistant track coach Jace Schillinger and Biesiot Activities Center event and conference coordinator Ben Shroyer for cross country.

The hirings come after former cross country and track and field head coach Mike Nekua stepped down at the end of the season for family reasons.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity and also being able to continue to work with really good student athletes who are exceptional human beings,” Schillinger said in a press release. “We have a tremendous group of assistant coaches that will make this process seamless. After being a part of the program for a few years I fully understand the pride and tradition that was set in place and hope to continue that going forward.”

Schillinger worked with the track and field team the 2013-14 season as an assistant. Last season, the Blue Hawks brought home four all-America finished from the NAIA outdoor track and field championships.

On the cross country side, Shroyer is no stranger to cross country. While in college, the Cedarville University (Ohio) graduate competed in cross country and track and field. Since making running a hobby, Shroyer has completed four marathons including the 2009 Boston Marathon where he finished in the top 3.5 percent of the race.

Last season, the Blue Hawks had two runners, Dante Carter and Denis Patrick, qualify for the NAIA national championships. Carter finished in 132nd place and Patrick at 145.

With cross country season just around the corner, Shroyer is more than thrilled to get started and get the Blue Hawks in competing shape in its new conference, the North Star Athletic Association.

“Our goal is to win the North Star Athletic Association championship each year and compete at the national level,” Shroyer said. “I have a passion for endurance running and hope that I can give back a little bit to the sport that has given so much to me throughout the past 10 years.”