Walter Curry - Head Women's Track Coach
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Walter Curry begins his 15th season as the head coach of men's and women's track & field for the Cardinals in 2015-16. Before becoming head coach at Wesleyan, Curry was an assistant track coach for eight years at Boston College.
Curry had a successful stint at B.C., coaching three Division I All-Americans and numerous Big East All-Conference and All-New England performers during his time with the Eagles. In his 15-year tenure at Wesleyan, Curry has had similar success, coaching 35 NCAA qualifiers (20 indoors and 15 outdoors) and 19 All-Americans (13 indoor, six outdoor) two of whom were crowned National Champion (Indoor 55m dash in 2003, Indoor 5,000m run in 2007). At the conference level, Curry guided the men’s team to a fourth-place finish in the 2008 NESCAC Championships, which was the highest conference finish in Wesleyan history.
A graduate of Iowa State University where he was an outstanding hurdler and sprinter for the Cyclones as a member of their indoor and outdoor Big Eight conference championship squads of the mid 80s, Curry had several individual top-three conference finishes, a place on the Iowa State 55m hurdles and 110m hurdles top-10 list, and a trip to the NCAA Division I Championships in 1986 to his credit.
Curry began coaching while a student at Iowa State, working with the Cyclones' summer camp in 1985 and 1986. More recently, Curry has been a clinician for the hurdles events at the Brown University Track & Field camp from 1995 to 2002, and was a guest clinician at the 2000 and 2001 New England High School Track & Field Coaches Clinic. For the past two years, Curry, along with Wesleyan Track, has been the co-sponsors of the Connecticut H.S. Coaches Association Track & Field Clinic. The event is hosted by Wesleyan Track & Field in the Bacon Field House each November.
Curry is also a U.S.A.T.F. level II certified coach in sprints/hurdles, along with his certification in the jumps and throws. Curry had the good fortune to be involved in the teaching of the "hurdle event" as the writer, co-producer and clinician for an instructional video on hurdling which was first distributed nationally by Championship Books and Video Productions in 1998, and is still in circulation today, teaching high school athletes and coaches the principals of the hurdle event.
Curry resides in Torrington, Conn. with his wife Judy and their three children - Olivia, Dante and Austin.
John Crooke - Assistant Coach (distance)
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John Crooke is in his 16th season as head men’s and women’s cross country coach, and assistant track coach at Wesleyan University in 2015-16. Under his guidance both the men’s and women’s team have been elevated in regional and national rankings, and are consistently ranked among the top-10 in New England. The 2002 women’s team qualified for the NCAA championships for the first time in school history. That feat was accomplished again in 2004 and in 2009 with the squad placing 14th each time. The men's team qualified for its first national championship in 2005, also coming in 14th, then qualified a second time in 2006 with a 15th-place showing. Crooke was named the men’s NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year and the men’s New England Division III Coach of the Year following the 2005 campaign.
Crooke also serves as an assistant coach for both men's and women's indoor and outdoor track, working with the distance runners. Crooke was acting head coach for both teams during the outdoor season in 2000-01, and guided the women’s team to a third-place finish in the NESCAC Championships, which was the highest conference finish in school history.
Prior to his appointment at Wesleyan, Crooke served as head men's and women's cross-country and track & field coach at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He was associate head cross-country and track & field coach at Widener University in Chester, Pa. (1996-98) where he directed the women's programs, and head boy’s and girl’s cross country and track & field coach at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa. (1988-95).
Graduating from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1983, Crooke went on to earn his master's degree with a concentration in sport and athletic administration from West Chester University in 1996. He is a member of his alma mater's track & field Hall of Fame.
Laura Pierce - Assistant Coach (distance)
After a solid cross-country and track career at Oberlin College before graduating in 2003, Pierce will give the Cardinals coaching support for a seventh time during the 2015-16 season. She assisted in both cross country and track at Wesleyan for the first time in 2010-11 and cross country again from 2011-13 while helping again with track in 2012. Pierce also has coaching experience at both Swarthmore College, where she served as an assistant in both cross country and track for two years (2003-05), and most recently Millikin University. There she was head coach of the cross country squads in 2009 after serving as an assistant in 2008. She also assisted in track from 2008-10, between her stints at Swarthmore and Millikin. Pierce received a M.S. in kinesiology from the University of Illinois.
At Oberlin, Pierce was a three-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) performer in cross country while earning a trip to the NCAA Division III Championship as an individual qualifier in 2001. She was a four-time NCAC champion in track, twice making the grade indoors (3k & 5k) and twice outdoors (5k & 10k). She was twice named a USTFCCCA Academic All-American in cross country and equaled that effort in track.
Joining the coaching staff for the 2013 cross-country season, Lindsay Holmes, a 2002 Quinnipiac University graduate, will be helping out with Cardinal track as well for a third season. Lindsay completed her master's of physical therapy degree at Quinnipiac in 2004, her doctorate of physical therapy from Temple University, and is in the dissertation phase of her doctorate of education. In high school, she was an All-New England, All-State, and All-Conference cross-country and track athlete, and while at Quinnipiac, she was a two-time All-Northeast Conference (NEC) cross-country athlete. Since college, her running has focused on longer distance events, particularly the marathon, having completed 13 thus far, and she recently completed her first ironman triathlon.
Holmes was the head coach of the girl's outdoor track and field team at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn. from 2006-2009, and also assisted on the girl's cross country and indoor track teams during those years. She remains very active in the running community with her involvement in timing and organizing road races, triathlons, cross-country races, and track events throughout the state of Connecticut.