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Westminster cross-country: Dan Quinn named new cross-country and track coach

By Joshua Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Aug. 27 2012 10:49 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – Dan Quinn was named as the new cross-country and track coach at Westminster College, Director of Athletics Shay Wyatt announced Monday. Quinn becomes the second coach in the track team's history and the fourth to lead the cross-country program at Westminster.

"I am pleased to announce Dan Quinn as our next men's and women's cross-country and track coach at Westminster College," Wyatt said. "Quinn brings outstanding experience to the position both as a coach and administrator. His knowledge, experience, success and desire to positively teach students are impressive. Quinn is a good fit for Westminster College and is very enthusiastic about this opportunity. He shares the vision we have for our athletics program along with the drive and commitment to reach the goals we have set forth for our cross-country and track program."

Quinn comes to Westminster after a career at Judge Memorial Catholic School in Salt Lake City. He worked at Judge for 21 years as a teacher, coach, dean of students and his most current role as the athletic director. In 18 years as the head coach of the track and cross-country program, Judge won four cross-country and eight track state championships. His teams also combined for 14 runner-up finishes and 40 region championships.

"I am excited about the opportunity I have been given here at Westminster College," Quinn said. "I am ready to move the program forward and make us more competitive within the Frontier Conference and the NAIA. I feel Westminster College is a great fit for me, because of their commitment to excellence and their desire to build champions in the classroom and in their athletic programs. I look forward to working with the talented team and administration."

Quinn has been named the UHSAA Track Coach of the Year on six occasions, while winning the cross-country honor five times. He coached the 2008 indoor national champion in the 2-mile along with six All-Americans and hundreds of All-State recipients. He played football at the University of Idaho before transferring to the University of Utah to compete in the decathlon. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Utah, Quinn received his Masters of Science-Sports Medicine at the United State Sports Academy.

Joining Quinn's staff are Patrick Smyth and Taylor Penrod. Smyth will serve as assistant coach for the men's program with Penrod holding the same role on the women's side. Smyth ran under Quinn while at Judge before his collegiate career at Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, Smyth was a 7-time All-American and made nine NCAA Championship appearances. He currently runs professionally under contract with Nike and recently won the Deseret News 10K for the second-straight year.

"I was thrilled when Pat accepted the position," Quinn said. "He brings with him a library of knowledge in distance training and a reputation of being a winner."

Penrod joins the staff after recently moving to Utah. She holds a master's in Kinesiology from Indiana University and earned her bachelor's degree in Communications from DePauw University. Penrod was a member of the cross-country and track programs at DePauw where she qualified for the NCAA III Indoor National Championships. She also reached the Cross Country National Champions four times and was named All-Region and All-Conference while also being a 3-time Academic All-American.

"It is always exciting to have a positive female role model and coach. We have that with Taylor," Quinn stated. "Taylor represents what Westminster College is all about, student academics first and round off their education with extracurricular activities."

The 2012 cross-country season begins on Sept. 8 with the teams competing at the Roger Curran Invitational in Nampa, Idaho. The Griffins will also compete at the Idaho State Invitational in late September and the Eastern Oregon Invite in October.

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