Legendary Leaders: Chris Daymont

Chris Daymont

A pioneer of women in sport for both the MIAC and college athletics as a whole, Chris Daymont served as the head women's cross country coach at St. Olaf College for 37 years, leading the Oles to nine conference championships during her tenure. Daymont's teams finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships 11 times with 32 different student-athletes earning a total of 81 All-America honors under guidance. A three-time NCAA Division III Central Region Coach of the Year, two-time MIAC Coach of the Year, and 2014 inductee into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame, Daymont also served as the Oles' head women's track and field coach through the 2010 season. Her track and field student-athletes combined for a total of 70 All-America honors and a pair of individual national championships.

Daymont's impact has reached far beyond athletic success, however. Not only did she grow the Oles' cross country program from three competitors in 1976 to 30 just two years later, but she also mentored more than 1,200 female student-athletes and served as a trailblazer for female coaches throughout collegiate athletics. Her role also afforded her the opportunity to coach her children, all three of whom were MIAC student-athletes. Daymont was inducted into St. Olaf's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 alongside her daughter, Megan Daymont Thomas. Her impact on the MIAC and Division III athletics has been significant, from serving as meet director for both Conference and National Championships to sharing her insight and expertise in order to continue to enhance the student-athlete experience and facilitate more opportunities for women in sport. She was recognized with the MIAC's Distinguished Service Award upon her retirement from coaching in 2018.

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