The athletics department promoted Matt Aguero to the men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field head coaching position.
Aguero has been the teams’ assistant coach for the past two years. He worked under former head coach Conor Holt, who left OCU to take a head coaching position at Northwood University in Michigan.
Before coming to OCU, Aguero had head coaching positions for nine years: six and a half years at Cameron University and two and a half at St. Gregory’s University.
Junior Taylor Harrill thinks Aguero will do a good job as head coach.
“Coach Aguero wil be a great head coach continuing to lead the men and women’s team to great accomplishments,” she said. “He has had some great accomplishments himself so his experience will help us to better as runners.“
Aguero chose David Crynes as his assistant coach. The pair met seven years ago at a clinic. Crynes has coached cross country and track at a high school for more than 20 years.
“I hired him, and I’m really excited to have him on staff,” Aguero said. “He’s worked on the counseling side, helping kids get into college. He knows how that works, so he’ll be a great recruiter.”
The coaching team has individual meetings with each runner to set up a practice routine that works best for them. Their jobs overlap some because they both recruit and work one-on-one with the team members, but Crynes works more on the academic side, while Aguero handles administrative work like travel and budgeting.
“They both have the ability to mentor us as a team and believe that we are capable of excellent achievements this year,“ Harrill said.
The OCU men’s cross country team has won the past three NAIA championships, as well as two Sooner Athletic Conference crowns. The women’s team won the 2015 SAC women’s cross country title as well and finished sixth in the nation last year.
“We’ve been successful,” Aguero said. “I had a coach who said to always strive to be at the top, so we hope to continue that tradition.”
The team of runners compete year round, starting with cross country in the fall, then indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring. The men’s team lost several seniors last year, leaving two of the seven championship runners. Most of the women’s team will return this year.
“Five out of seven is the biggest loss we’ve had in the last couple years,” Aguero said. “However, the two returning men are both All-Americans, and we’ve done a good job recruiting. I don’t think it will necessarily be a rebuilding year.”
Outside of coaching, Aguero said he enjoys running for himself and outdoor activities like hunting and fishing.
“I’m a country boy living in the big city now. I’ve enjoyed my time here so far, so let’s keep the ball rolling.”