John Crooke - Head Women's Cross Country Coach
John Crooke is in his 16th season as head men’s and women’s cross country coach at Wesleyan University heading into the 2015 campaign. Under his guidance both the men’s and women’s teams have established themselves in regional and national rankings and consistently ranked among the top-15 in New England. Wesleyan's women have qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship as a team three times under John's tutelage (2002, 2004 and 2009) with its most recent visit in 2009 resulting in a 14th-place finish. 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. Wesleyan has had 17 individual NCAA qualifiers between the men's and women's teams, the most recent being All-American Bryan Marsh '13 in 2012. Marsh is one of nine All-Americans for Wesleyan since 2000. John was named NESCAC men's co-Coach of the Year and New England Division III men's Coach of the Year following the 2005 campaign.
John also serves as an assistant coach for both men's and women's indoor and outdoor track, working with the distance runners. John 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. On the track, John has directed five All-Americans including 2007 5k National Champion Ellen Davis '07 during the indoor season, with 19 NCAA qualifiers.
With more than 100 all-New England honorees between cross country and track under his wing, John has also coached seven NESCAC track champions, 48 all-NESCAC runners and 64 academic All-Americans. His cross country teams have been recognized as academic All-America squads each of his 15 seasons.
Prior to his appointment at Wesleyan, John 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 boys and girls 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, John 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 the St. Joseph's track & field Hall of Fame.
Laura Pierce - Assistant Coach
After a solid cross-country and track career at Oberlin College before graduating in 2003, Laura Pierce will give the Cardinals coaching support for a sixth time during the 2015 season. She assisted in both indoor and outdoor track at Wesleyan the last five seasons as well. Laura 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, Laura received a M.S. in kinesiology from the University of Illinios.
At Oberlin, Laura 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). Laura was twice named a USTFCCCA academic All-American in cross country and equaled that effort in track.
Joining as a new member of the coaching staff for the 2013 season, Lindsay Holmes, a 2002 Quinnipiac University graduate, is in her third year in 2015. 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, Lindsay 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.
Lindsay 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 Conn.
Lindsay also assists with the distance runners during the indoor and outdoor track seasons at Wesleyan.