Schochler Handed Reins of Golden Eagle Cross Country Programs

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (June 3, 2013) — Former Oklahoma Baptist runner and current Diboll High School (Texas) head cross country coach Scott Schochler has been selected as the new head men's and women's cross country coach at John Brown University, director of athletics Robyn Daugherty announced Monday.

"We are very thankful that Scott and his family were led to the Northwest Arkansas area," Daugherty said. "Coach Schochler is a great addition to the coaching staff at John Brown University and his prior experiences as a coach and a student-athlete will be invaluable as he transitions into this role. Our student-athletes are very excited to have him as a coach this fall."

Schochler marks the second coach the Golden Eagles have appointed since the revival of the cross country programs in the fall of 2010. Previously, Matt Pearson, the Golden Eages' only NAIA All-American runner, had been at the helm for all three seasons.

"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to coach and work at an institution such as JBU," said Schochler. "The emphasis on educating the whole person and integrating our faith in Christ into all aspects of life is an idea that I try to instill in the people I work with. The opportunity to work at a university and alongside others who have the same vision is very appealing. I look forward to being a part of the strong athletic history and people of great faith that JBU possesses. I hope to contribute to the continuation of such a tradition."

No stranger to the Sooner Athletic Conference, Schochler participated on the Bison's cross country team in addition to landing a fifth-place finish at the 1991 SAC Tournament Meet as a member of the OBU track and field team. He would later compete at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Stephenville, Texas, landing a No. 29 finish in the marathon. While Schochler's sophomore season was marred with injury, he later transferred to Hardin-Simmons (Texas) for his final two collegiate years where he organized a cross country club, which he coached in addition to serving as a participant.

For the last three years, Schochler has served as the head coach at Diboll High School, leading both cross country programs in addition to the girl's track and field team. During his time with the Jacks, Schochler coached three state qualifiers and 38 regional qualifiers while earning one district team championship and guiding 21 individuals to district championships.

Prior to his stop in Texas, Schochler served as the head boy's and girl's track and field coach at Orofino High School, located on the outskirts of Lewiston, Idaho. In almost a decade on the coaching staff of the Maniacs, Schochler coached 15 individual state champions while his athletes set two Idaho state records.

Alongside a strong coaching track record in his arsenal, Schochler understands the challenges of taking over a program still in its infancy, realizing that the broader mission of John Brown University and the athletics program is a whole-person approach.

"I hope to continue to mature the cross country program," Schochler added. "There is a solid group of student athletes currently in the program and there is a good group of runners on the way. I hope that the performances of the athletes continue to improve and we become more cohesive and competitive as a team.

"I emphasize two things as a coach - consistent effort leads to greater achievement and having goals and a determination to achieve those goals will lead to success. I also hope to keep things in perspective, for myself and the athletes. Athletics is simply a tool we can use to help with education, to learn about life, and a platform that can allow us to share our faith in Christ with others."

Schochler, a USATF Level I certified coach, graduated in 1995 from Hardin-Simmons, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. He and his wife, Dr. Amy Schochler, will make the transition to Siloam Springs in mid-July, along with their two children, Vivian and Leahla.

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