NASHVILLE - Lipscomb University Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson announced Thursday morning that Nick Polk has been named the new Director of Cross Country & Track and Field.
Polk comes to Lipscomb after a two-year stint as a Sports Science and Medicine Manager for USA Track and Field.
“I’m really excited to get started and to be able to do my part to continue the tradition of success at Lipscomb,” Polk said.
“There’s a long success story at Lipscomb, a lot of ASUN titles, and I know that we can keep pushing for more conference titles as well as some NCAA appearances as well. The sky is the limit for our team.”
In his role with USA Track and Field, Polk worked as part of the High Performance team administering sports science and medicine programs, including the Talent Protection Program.
“I was able to be around some of the best coaches and athletes in the world the last two years,” Polk said. “I was able to see how the sport is run and coached at the highest level. So, there’s no doubt that I’ll be able to take that experience with me and pour that into the program at Lipscomb and into the athletes.”
Prior to his time with USA Track and Field, Polk spent eight years on collegiate cross country and track and field staffs across the country.
“Coach Polk has been a part of this sport on so many levels already, and I couldn’t be happier that he is bringing that experience to us,” Hutcheson said. “He has worked with a number of athletes who we will be watching internationally over the coming years and even in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“He has led teams to championships at another high-level, high-academics school in Elon. He has coached at a recognized cross country and track and field national powerhouse in Grand Valley State, and he has been a record-setting student athlete who managed to earn both athletic and academic honors.”
During his three seasons at the helm of Elon's cross country program, Polk guided the Phoenix to 12 all-conference accolades, three consecutive men’s Colonial Athletic Association individual champions, and the program’s first ever All-American in Luis Vargas.
“It’s cool where God puts you and at what time,” Polk said. “I think I’ve been able to work in the sport from almost every single angle - at the professional level and in Division I and Division II.
“I think this is the alignment of the perfect situation for me, where you have a small community, a small private christian school, but you also have Division I athletics. That’s what I was looking for - a family atmosphere, but also where you can compete at the highest level, and I think Lipscomb delivered on all those levels.”
As an assistant with the track and field squad, Polk helped the team to a pair of indoor league championships.
Polk also spent three seasons as an assistant track and field coach at Division II Grand Valley State and one season as a graduate assistant track and field coach at Division III John Carroll University.
“Beyond his resume, however, what I am most excited about is that he was attracted to the opportunity here because he wanted to be a part of a place that, as we say, ‘competes at the Highest Level with a Higher Calling in mind,'” Hutcheson said.
“From our first conversation, I could tell that he was eager to be a part of the Lipscomb community and that he embraced the opportunity to coach, teach and influence our student athletes in a way that will make a lifelong difference in them. I hope all will join me in welcoming Nick, his wife Tauri, and their daughter Mairin, to the Lipscomb community.”
Polk was also a decorated runner during his time at as a student-athlete Grant Valley State. He was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American and ran the lead off leg for the National Champion distance medley relay team in 2008
The Indianapolis native has coached a combined 43 All-Americans at the DI and DII levels, holds USATF Level I, II, and III coaching certifications, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
“I really thought Lipscomb would be a good fit for me in terms of success at the DI level, a spiritual focus to the team and the university, which is very important to me, and I think it’s a great location for me as well, not too far from home," Polk said. "It really checked all the boxes for me as a place I could plant some roots and be successful long term."