Women’s cross country coach David Harmer to leave after season

Dec. 08, 2014

Brandon Applehans
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David Harmer, head coach for the women’s cross country team, is coaching his last season at UCCS.

Harmer will be leaving after the national meet due to the expiration of his working visa in the United States. The university will not pursue the option of a green card for Harmer.

After nationals, Harmer will be moving on to oversee and work with the top British middle and long distance runners based at the U.K. high performance center at Loughborough University. His first assignment will be to travel to Kenya where the British athletes will be in high performance altitude training.

“I will be moving on after [nationals]. It will be my last meet,” said Harmer.

Since becoming head coach in 2012, Harmer has led the team to three consecutive national championship appearances.

“When I was appointed, the athletic director asked me to write out goals and expectations for the year,” he said. “I told him that my plan was to have the women qualify for nationals in three years and be within the top 10 in the country within five years. We ended up doing both of those in the first year.”

In 2012, his first season, the team finished tenth at nationals.

“The women hadn’ t been to nationals in six years,” he said. “I knew the women’s team could be good here just because of the academics and the environment. I had a blank canvas to work with.”

“I expected to qualify for nationals.”

Harmer and men’s cross country head coach Mark Misch have seen the progress of the program in their years at UCCS.

“Mark and I, the way we started, we didn’t have an office. We had a phone that wasn’t connected. We were in a shed down in Eagle Rock. We shared the office with three other coaches,” Harmer said.

“To go from that, to having a men’s and women’s team going to the national meet, both nationally ranked, that’s the greatest thing is to see the progression and how they’ve blossomed.”

“He is the only person that could have started with me, with where things were, and done what we’ve done,” said Misch. “He understood the situation. He is one of the best coaches I have ever known.”

Harmer only wants one thing when he looks back at his time coaching here.

“Hopefully, I’ll look back in two years, three years time and see them go on to new heights and keep that progression going. The overall greatest thing I will take away is being a part of, and starting, the dynasty. I want to see them go [to nationals] every year,” he said.