Former Central Connecticut cross country standouts Alasia Griebel and Sam Alexander will be returning to the Blue Devils as assistant coaches for the 2012 season.
Both Griebel, the 2011 Northeast Conference Individual Women's Champion, and Alexander, 2011 NEC Individual Men's Champion, will be pursuing master's degrees from CCSU and have decided to continue their careers in cross country as well, this time as coaches.
"Everything about our athletics department is improving every year and I wanted to continue to be a part of it," Alexander said, a sentiment Alexander shared with his coach, Eric Blake. "I knew Sam wanted to continue as a runner so I approached him about coaching and he has been 100 percent on board. I think he will be a very good coach," Blake said.
Griebel, an education major, expressed interest in wanting to continue to run, but also in learning how to teach. "I really liked working with Coach Blake as an athlete last year and I wanted to gain experience in coaching," she said. "I feel like Coach Blake is one of the best to do that under."
The well-respected duo plan to run in post-collegiate races as well as run team practices. Other assistant coaching duties will include timing groups during workouts, providing sound coaching advice, traveling with the team and conveying their experiences as collegiate runners to their former teammates and incoming freshmen. "Sam and Alasia are both hard workers and their former teammates look up to them," Blake said.
Entering the 2012 fall season, Blake feels certain about his coaching staff choices. "The great thing about Sam and Alasia is that we are all on the same page. They understand what I want to do. I feel very confident in any training advice they give to the student-athletes."
Both the men and women's cross country teams will kick off their season at the Bryant Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Smithfield, RI.