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Syverson named Lipscomb assistant coach

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bill Taylor, Lipscomb head cross country and track & field coach, has announced the hiring of Luke Syverson as the new assistant coach for the programs.

Syverson will be moving to Nashville from Tacoma, Wash., where he has been the head boys and girls cross country and track & field coach, the dean of Students and athletic director at Mount Rainier Lutheran High School.

At Mount Rainier Lutheran Syverson created the first cross country and track & field programs in school history. His boys successfully defended their Class B track & field state championship this year, while his girls team also won their first state championship this year. It was the first time one school has won both the boys and girls titles in the same year at the Washington State B meet.

His track & field teams also compiled three league and eight district championships to go along with the three state championships. In cross country Luke’s Mount Rainier Lutheran boys and girls teams earned three League Championships, two District Championships, and three top eight finishes at State Championships (8th, 6th, and 4th). He was named Sea-Tac League Coach of the Year in Track and Cross-Country six times.

History of excellence

Syverson competed in the long jump and triple jump for Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Wash. In college he competed in the PAC-10 for Washington State University. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at Eastern Washington University.

Syverson started his coaching career at Pullman High School, while serving as the horizontal jumps coach at the WSU Track & Field Camp from 1995-2002 and from 2008-2010.

From 1996 to 2002 Syverson served as the assistant coach for Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., where he coached horizontal and vertical jumps, worked with recruiting, meet management, travel and logistics as well as conditioning and mentoring.

Syverson also worked for the national outdoor sporting goods chain, REI, from 1996 through 2006.

After being transferred by REI to Tacoma to help open a new store from 2002 to 2006, Luke was recruited by the newly opened Mount Rainier Lutheran High School to serve as their first ever athletic director and to create the boys and girls cross country and track & field programs.

As athletic director at Mount Rainier Lutheran he has hired and mentored coaches for every sport and managed every aspect of the athletic department. As dean of students he has been responsible for the welfare and discipline of the student body. In building the boys and girls track & field teams to state championship level, Luke has coached every event area, while managing several volunteer coaches.

Syverson has earned his USATF Level I Coaching certification and will attend a USATF Level II school next summer. He and his wife Sarah have three children.

Hiring was unanimous decision

“Luke moved to the top of our list very early on,” Taylor said. “His resume stood out with Pac-10 competition experience, collegiate coaching experience at a top DIII school, an incredibly successful high school coaching career in a strong Christian environment, plus 10 years of experience working in the retail management world as an assistant store manager for REI.

“More than his resume though, Luke has the enthusiasm we were looking for, combined with an incredible understanding of what Lipscomb is about and what our goals are athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. His philosophy of total person development is exactly what we are about. And his personality and desire to serve others is a perfect fit for the culture and unique environment at Lipscomb.”

Taylor pointed out that throughout the interview process there was always unanimous agreement that Luke was the best candidate for the job.

“He is going to relate incredibly to our athletes and he will be a terrific recruiter, not just in communicating what Lipscomb is about, but also in recruiting athletes who will fit with our program and Lipscomb University as a whole,” Taylor said.

Syverson will assist with both the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams at Lipscomb.

Syverson has earned his USATF Level I Coaching certification and will attend a USATF Level II school next summer. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children. He is excited about the challenges ahead.

“I am truly excited and feel blessed to be given this opportunity,” Syverson said. “Lipscomb is an incredible university with a great reputation of developing the ‘whole person’. I look forward to working with coach Taylor and supporting his vision of creating a championship program at the conference and national level.

“During interviews and the campus visit, the coaches, student-athletes, administration – the whole campus community were so welcoming. They all communicated the same vision of where Lipscomb is going and it was a great testament to the values and mission of the university. I truly felt at home and can’t wait to get started. It is a great time to be a Bison and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”

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