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NU Hires New Cross Country and Track & Field Coach

Mark Mandi has been hired as the new cross country and track and field coach at Northwest University. The announcement was made by Gary McIntosh, Northwest’s athletic director.

Mandi is a 2006 graduate of the University of Washington, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He is from Everett, Washington, and ran track and cross country for Mariner High School. At the University of Washington, Mandi finished 4th and 6th in the PAC 10 Cross Country Championships in 2004 and 2005. He also won the individual championship in the 2004 Sundodger Invitational and the 2005 Charles Bowles Invitational. He helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA National Championships in 2003 and 2005 and was a co-captain of the team in 2004 and 2005. Mandi was also a member of the Husky track team.

During the 2006-07 cross country and track and field season, Coach Mandi worked as an assistant coach for Preston Brashers at NU, and in 2008 he worked as a volunteer cross country coach for Andy Slatt at O'Dea High School in Seattle.

“I am excited about taking over the coaching position vacated by Preston Brashers and hope to build upon the success that he has had here at NU. He’s a great friend and will be missed at the university. My primary goal is to glorify God through all the things that we do as a team. I want us to steward our talents, time, resources, etc., and show our gratitude towards God.” Mandi continued, “My plan is to build our men and women’s teams into top tier programs that are in the hunt to win conference and national championships. For my athletes, I'm asking them to own the vision that I have and strive towards it. For myself, I expect to improve in my coaching and recruiting abilities, and make the best use of the resources I have. I have high expectations for myself and my athletes. I know that it is an uphill battle and that there is a lot of work to be done, but going through challenges like this is a way for God to build our character.”

Coach Mandi succeeds Preston Brashers, who will enter the Doctoral Program in Economics at the University of Kentucky in Lexington in the fall.

“Mark is a friend of mine, and it puts my mind at ease knowing he will be in charge of the program when I leave,” commented Coach Brashers. “I know Mark's passion for the sport, his knowledge of it, his heart for God, and I believe that he is a great fit for the school and the athletes.”

Athletic Director Gary McIntosh stated, “"We are sorry to see Preston leave NU, but we are excited for him as he continues his education. Preston has done a tremendous job here and has grown the cross country and track programs. Preston is a coach who was always in the office recruiting and trying to make the running programs here at NU the best they could be. He has been a dedicated employee to the University and to the athletic programs. As I started the search for a new coach I immediately turned to Preston to see if he knew anyone who could be the next coach here at NU and he recommended Mark Mandi."

Mandi has performed at the highest levels of running in the U.S. and is regarded as one of the top runners in the Seattle area. “I believe Mark is the coach to take the NU running programs to the next level of competition,” McIntosh concluded. Coach Mandi has started recruiting athletes and officially began his new position on June 1.

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009