Inside look at the last track and field meet by head coach Kirk Elias
Nevada turns in penalty-free academic performance for eighth straight year.
Inside look at the last meet by Coach Kirk Elias
Kirk Elias brings more than 35 years of experience as he enters his eighth season as the head cross country coach and his ninth season as the assistant track coach for Nevada. Under his direction, the Wolf Pack cross country team has been a yearly contender for the Western Athletic Conference Championship, and the track team's distance squad has emerged as a potent force.
Elias' Division-I coaching experience is extensive, and includes stints at Minnesota, Texas Tech, Arkansas-Little Rock and Nevada. Since arriving at Nevada, Elias has coached 13 All-WAC cross country selections, including eight first-team selections, and two WAC Cross Country Freshman of the Year honorees. The Wolf Pack cross country team has posted four consecutive top-three finishes at the WAC Cross Country Championships under Elias' direction, and the track team's distance corps has routinely turned in impressive performances at the WAC Championships. The 2008-09 squad recorded first place finishes in the 1,500-meter, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races at the outdoor championships.
Elias entered the Division-I coaching scene in 1985 as an assistant at Minnesota, where he coached All-America and All-Big 10 selection, Gretchen Otto. In eight seasons with the Golden Gophers, Elias coached sprints, hurdles, jumps and multi-events. He also founded a club team for post-collegiate distance runners, where he coached Leslie Seymour who went on to make five World Championships for the USA.
As an assistant at Texas Tech, Elias coached the cross country team to its then-highest finish ever at the NCAA District Championships. He is credited with recruiting and coaching two individual national qualifiers in the 1996-97 season, the university's first women to reach nationals since 1984 in cross country and 1985 in track. Elias' student-athletes set 12 school records during his four seasons with the Red Raiders.
At Arkansas-Little Rock, Elias led the Trojans to four conference cross country titles in 2001 and 2002 - two women's and two men's - the first in the school's history. He also earned four Sunbelt Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year awards during his tenure. Elias' track athletes at UALR were equally accomplished. He coached All-America selections from the men's and women's teams, and saw his 2002-03 and 2003-04 squads earn national All-Academic honors.
Elias is one of just a handful of coaches to lead a team at the high school, NAIA, Division-III, Division-II, Division-I and international levels. Equally important is his wide-range of experience coaching across the sprint, hurdle, jump, multi-events, middle and long distance events.
Elias earned a Bachelors of Science in secondary education with an emphasis in speech and a minor in English from the University of Minnesota in 1978.