MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Athletic Director Forrest Karr announced today the restructuring of the coaching staffs for the NMU cross country and track and field programs. As a part of that announcement, Karr named Jenny Ryan head coach for the combined cross country and track and field program at NMU.
Ryan, who has been at Northern Michigan for the past 14 years, has served as the head cross country coach for the last seven years and an assistant track and field coach. Ryan also spent 11 seasons as an assistant Nordic skiing coach under Sten Fjeldheim.
"Jenny is an exceptional role model for student-athletes and she is well liked throughout the community," said Karr. "Jenny is compassionate, and her student-athletes know that she cares about them. Jenny never waivers from her standards and she has already shown the ability to define expectations and create a culture of accountability while building a successful cross country program."
"I am very honored and excited to be named the head women's cross country/track and field coach here at NMU. I would like to thank Athletic Director Forrest Karr for the opportunity to lead these teams," said Ryan. "I look forward to continuing the successful path of the cross country program and also to now guide and build a strong, competitive and successful track and field program. With the great support from our administration, staff and the incredible facilities here at NMU we have the ability to be very successful."
She came to NMU as a graduate assistant coach for Fjeldheim before being hired on a full time basis in 2002. She is a 2010 graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy and a Level I track and field coach.
Ryan is a native of Burnsville, Minn. She attended Montana State University where she earned her bachelor's degree in math education with a minor in physical education and health. Ryan skied for the Bobcats for four years and garnered All-American and Academic All-American honors, placing fourth at the 1988 College Nationals.
Ryan continued her skiing career after college, gaining national recognition in cross-country skiing (1992, 1994) and biathlon (1998), competing in nine National Championships and three Olympic Trials. She was a member of the United States Olympic Education Center ski program at NMU from 1990-93. Ryan also competed in the 1999 World Master's Championships in Grindelwald, Switzerland, winning one gold and two silver medals. Ryan became a Master's National Champion, winning two gold medals at the 2004 Masters National Championships.
Ryan received her master's degree in exercise science from NMU in 2002 and was named Outstanding Graduating Graduate Student.
Karr also announced that Alex Carradine, who served as a part time assistant coach for the NMU track and field program last season would be elevated to a full time assistant coach.
"I'm excited to become a full-time assistant and to be working under the direction of Coach Ryan," said Carradine. "I believe that with our shared vision for the future of this track and field program the team will continue to grow and be successful."
NMU will begin a national search to find another full time assistant track and field coach and will also hire a part-time assistant coach giving the Wildcat student-athletes the specialized attention they need to achieve their goals of winning a GLIAC track and field championship.
Carradine spent the 2012-13 season at Texas A&M University. He was the Strength & Conditioning Volunteer Coach, primarily working with the distance athletes. He was also the Triathlon Team Volunteer Coach. Carradine earned his Master of Science in Kinesiology from A&M in Aug. 2013.
The native of Raleigh, N.C. earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in May 2011. Carradine was a multi-event athlete for the Seahawks with a focus on the sprints and jumps. He was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association championship teams in 2008 and 2009.
Carradine is a USA Track & Field level I certified coach. He received numerous CAA Commissioner Awards for academic achievement as a student-athlete. He was also named a UNCW School of Health and Applied Human Sciences outstanding graduate and was the first-ever exercise science achievement award recipient.