(Photo MSUB Athletics)

Evan O’Kelly, MSUB Athletics

BILLINGS – After two seasons as an assistant coach, Jonathan Woehl has been named the head coach of the Montana State University Billings men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs announced the athletic department Tuesday.

Woehl, a native of Ankeny, Iowa, has occupied the top assistant position for the Yellowjackets since 2015, and will replace Dave Coppock, who announced his retirement after 28 years at the helm of the programs.

“We are extremely excited that Coach Woehl has accepted our offer to become the next head coach of our cross country and track programs,” said Yellowjacket athletic director Krista Montague. “Coach Woehl possesses the characteristics we want in a head coach. He is a person of high character who understands what it takes to be successful on and off the field of competition.”

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Woehl will assume head coach responsibilities effective immediately. “I am excited and proud to lead the Yellowjacket cross country and track and field programs,” Woehl said. “Having worked with Coach Coppock over the last two seasons, I know how far the programs have come under his guidance.”

Most recently, Woehl helped coach MSUB’s first-ever male NCAA outdoor All-American, Sam Zook, to the NCAA Championships this spring, after the sprinter won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles in the 60-meters (indoor), 100-meters (outdoor), and 200-meters (outdoor). The ‘Jackets also had their highest-ever finish on the men’s side at the GNAC Outdoor Championships this spring, as Woehl assisted coaching a team that claimed seventh place with 58 points.

Under Woehl’s assistance in 2015-16, MSUB’s student-athletes broke numerous track and field school records, particularly in the areas of jumps and hurdles. “Jon has developed strong relationships with the student-athletes he has coached, and we fully believe our cross country and track programs are on an upward trajectory,” Montague said. “We strongly believe Coach Woehl is poised to continue the positive momentum, and take our programs to even greater heights.”

Woehl joined the MSUB staff after spending a year as the Southwest Minnesota State University assistant cross country and track and field coach. Prior to that, Woehl was the program’s graduate assistant for two years while earning his master’s degree in business administration and marketing.

“I look forward to the challenge of continuing to grow and improve each of our student-athletes,” Woehl said. “We have a young, motivated, and competitive team, so the future is bright.”

Woehl attended Northwest College in Orange City, Iowa, where he was a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country. He is the school record holder in the half marathon for the Red Raiders, completing his undergraduate degree in 2008 with a double major in mathematics and art.

Woehl was a national qualifier in the NAIA marathon in 2008, and was a leader on the team as the designated captain his senior season.

During his time as a graduate assistant, Woehl oversaw the recruiting efforts of the coaching staff. During his stint at SMSU, Woehl coached the distance runners and horizontal jumpers.

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