Thu, Aug 09, 2012 - [Cross Country]
Wichita, Kan. - Friends University Athletic Director Joe Zimmerman announces the hiring of Damian Smithhisler as the new cross country and men's track and field coach. "We are excited to have Damian on board as he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the programs" stated Zimmerman. "His work in building quality programs and guiding student athletes will allow our cross country and track programs to achieve great results."
Smithhisler has experienced a great deal of success as the head cross country (2001-2009) and track coach (2002-2011) at Kapaun Mount Carmel Catholic High School and assistant cross country coach (2011) at Derby High School. During his time at Kapaun, Smithhisler was named 5A girls state cross country coach of the year in 2003, 5A girls state track coach of the year in 2005 and 5A boys state cross country coach of the year in 2006. He led the girls cross country program to league championships in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008 and the boys cross country program to a league championship in 2008. His girls cross country team took the state title in 2003 as well. Smithhisler has also seen success on the track taking the league championship for girls track and field in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. The 2005 girls track team claimed a state title as well. As an assistant at Derby, Smithhisler helped lead the girls cross country program to league runner-up and a 6th place finish at state in 2011.
Having competed at Bethany College, Smithhisler is quite familiar with the KCAC. "I'm humbled and excited to have the opportunity to lead the cross country & men's track programs at Friends University" said Smithhisler. "Last year's teams set a pretty high bar, so I'm looking forward to the challenge of trying to maintain that success. I have some great memories of competing in cross country & track in the KCAC with Bethany College, and I hope to help our student athletes to some great achievements and experiences as well."
Smithhisler received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with an emphasis in mathematics from Wichita State University in 2000. He and his wife, Katie, have two children, Colton and Braven.