Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations
Utah State nine-time All-American Dillon Maggard poses for a photo. He signed a professional running contract with Brooks.

Former Utah State distance runner Dillon Maggard has signed a professional running contract with Brooks and will compete for the Brooks Beasts Track Club.

“I had a few options to choose from, which was good, and I narrowed them down,” Maggard said. “I tried to write out the pros and cons for each option that I had and found that Brooks offered me the best financial stability and security for an extended period of time. I was kind of bouncing back and forth between trying to stay in Logan and trying to go to Seattle, but those were, honestly, my two options.

“There was just a little uncertainty about whether I would be able to stay in Logan for a long, extended period of time. So, this was the most comfortable decision where if I had to move, I was going back to Seattle where I grew up and it would be an easier transition.”

Maggard signed a 3 1/2 year deal with Brooks.

The native of Kirkland, Washington, recently competed at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he placed 13th in the finals of the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13 minutes, 55.06 seconds.

Maggard concluded his stellar Aggie career as a nine-time All-American. He matched the school record previously set by James Parker, who represented the United States in the hammer at the 2004 Olympic Summer Games and 2005 World Championships.

“It’s a great step forward for our program,” said USU head cross-country coach Artie Gulden, referring to Maggard signing a professional running contract. “Dillon has been wonderful in showing the way, improving and becoming an All-American, but now also is showing that making a living as a runner is a possibility. It is very challenging to get a pro contract as a runner, but I believe we have others on the team looking to follow him over the next few years to do what he’s done.”

Maggard earned five first-team All-American honors alone during his senior season with Utah State — two each during the indoor and outdoor seasons and one during cross-country. Maggard guided the cross-country program to its first appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, where he placed sixth overall while the team finished 27th.

Utah State then tied for 28th, along with five other schools, by scoring eight points at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Overall, it was the best team finish since 1977, when the Aggies tied for 21st.

The Aggies earned four points from the senior-laden, fifth-place distance medley relay team made up of Maggard, Jordan Beutler, Brady Martin and Clay Lambourne. That quartet set a school record with a time of 9:32.31. The following day, Maggard earned four more points after his fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:06.69.

The Aggies wrapped up the season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. USU scored 15 points and tied for 18th, along with Penn State.

Maggard accounted for nine of those points as he placed third in the 10,000 meters with a school-record time of 28:38.36. Just two days later, he finished sixth in the finals of the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:57.40.

“It’s very tough leaving some of the relationships that I have here, especially coach Gulden, but I know we will still have a very good relationship,” Maggard said. “It is something that I valued with my new coach, Danny Mackey, after talking with him. He expressed to me that he values having a good relationship with his athletes’ college coaches, so that meant a lot to me.

“I still think coach Gulden is going to be very fruitful to my development. He is going to be coaching me throughout the summer before I transition to Brooks. The first day of practice with the Brooks Beasts is at the beginning of October.”

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Between now and then, Maggard is planning to run in three road races, beginning with the TD Beach to Beacon 10K on Aug. 4, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The event attracts almost 6,500 runners, making it the largest road race in the Pine Tree State.

Two weeks after the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, Maggard will be competing in the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, a seven-miler set for Aug. 19. And finally, Maggard said he will cap his summer at the Murphy Mile in Tennessee.

“Ever since I came to Utah, one of my biggest goals was trying to run professionally,” Maggard said. “The past four years of sacrifices, miles, hard work and training every day is definitely rewarding.”