BANNER ELK, N.C. --- We want you to get to know our staff better Bobcat Nation! With many new faces on staff this year, Lees-McRae College Director of Athletics Craig McPhail continues our Meet the Coaches series by sitting down with Michael Wilson, first-year assistant coach with the men's and women's track and field programs. The Bobcats' Meet the Coaches series aims to help you, Bobcat Nation, learn more about the people behind the scenes and on the sidelines guiding our student-athletes through their experience in collegiate athletics.
Wilson has been an immediate impact in his first full season with the Bobcats, working primarily with the throwers and jumpers. His tutelage has paid off for junior Evan Webb (Salisbury, N.C.) in particular, as Webb recently broke the school record in the pole vault with a mark of 5.05 meters and rose to ninth on the national leader's list, virtually ensuring himself a place in the field at the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships on March 8 in Birmingham, Ala.
Craig McPhail (Mac): How did you get started in college athletics?
Michael Wilson (MW): I got started in college athletics right out of high school. I was recruited by Appalachian State University to pole vault and high jump. Lees-McRae was my first coaching job out of college; I started as a volunteer coaching mainly the pole vault and high jump.
Mac: What are your direct responsibilities with regards to the cross country and track and field programs?
MW: My responsibilities are to coach all the field events for the track and field program, which includes all the throwing events, horizontal, and vertical jumps. I also design and implement preseason conditioning and weights for the entire track team, as well as recruit for all the field events.
Mac: What does an average day consist of for you?
MW: On an average day I check my email to see if the there is anything I need to do immediately. Then I meet with Coach Fletcher to discuss our practice plans for that day, and go over our plans for the week. I try to work out everyday around lunch time. I usually look at the national and conference rankings to see how our team is doing, and what other teams in the conference are doing. I then finalize my practice plans for each event group before going to practice in the afternoon. In the evenings, I contact recruits and go through high school track results from the area to find any other potential recruits.
Mac: What is your most memorable moment in college athletics?
MW: My most memorable moment as an athlete was probably winning back-to-back triple crowns my junior and senior year at Appalachian State. The triple crown is when you win the team conference championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. It was the first time in over twenty years that a team from the Southern Conference had accomplished that, and we did it two years in a row.
Mac: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
MW: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the results of the hard work my athletes put in every day. Whether it's in the weight room or on the track, seeing the effort put in correlating to jumping higher or throwing further really reaffirms that I am doing my job and helping our athletes get better.
Mac: What makes Lees-McRae so special for you?
MW: Lees-McRae is special to me because it will always be my first full time coaching position. I have learned so much in the first two years I have been coaching, and knowing that those memories and things I've learned will always be association with Lees-McRae definitely makes it special.
Mac: Who is your mentor or guide in this profession?
MW: My mentor or guide would have to be my pole vault coach from college, Coach Ward. He is someone I can call anytime with a question or just to catch up and talk. I still talk to Coach Ward on almost a weekly basis. I learned a lot of my coaching strategy and style from him, and he has been a huge help in starting my coaching career.
Mac: What do you hope to leave as a lasting impression for this position?
MW: I would hope to leave an impression on my athletes that by working hard and being accountable as a team member, and as an individual, you can achieve your goals.
Mac: What are your goals for the future?
MW: Right now my future goals are to either coach pole vault at a major division 1 school or possibly go into coaching strength and conditioning at the collegiate level. Or if the opportunity arises possibly get my graduate degree in exercise science.
Mac: What is your favorite hobby other than sports?
MW: Sports are also most of my hobbies. I like playing all sports including basketball, golf, and tennis. I enjoy building things and working on my house on the weekends. Also, when it's warm enough, I like hiking, going to swimming holes, and fly fishing.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Michael Wilson. Stay tuned for our next installment in the near future.
- LMC -