Dale Bahr has been named the new head coach of both the men's and women's track and field programs and the men's and women's cross country programs at Gustavus Adolphus College. Bahr, a 1995 graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, is replacing Tom Thorkelson, as the men's and women's track and field coach, and Jed Friedrich as the men's and women's cross country coach. Thorkelson retired in May after serving as the track and field coach for the past ten years, while Friedrich, who has been the head cross country coach as well as the head nordic skiing coach for the past five years, will now concentrate his full energies on further enhancing the nationally recognized men's and women's nordic ski programs.
Bahr, a native of New Ulm, Minnesota, has been intimately involved in the track and field and cross country programs at Gustavus for the past nine years. He has helped coach seven cross country runners that have competed in the NCAA Championships including Hailey Harren, who won the 2005 NCAA Championship. In track and field, where he worked exclusively with the mid-distance and distance runners, Bahr has coached 15 conference champions and over 40 all-conference performers.
Prior to coming to Gustavus, Bahr was an assistant track and field coach at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, Le Center-Cleveland, and Nicollet High Schools. He was also the head cross country coach at Nicollet in 1998 and 1999.
Set to begin his head coaching duties in August, Bahr is thrilled to begin what he called his dream job. Bahr stated, "It has been very rewarding for me to work with my mentor Tom Thorkelson at Gustavus for the past nine years and now I get the privilege of taking over the program he built and continue the long tradition of success." He added, "I am also excited to be able to add the head coaching responsibilities in cross country as it will help with the consistency of coaching and training for the distance runners who compete in cross country in the fall and track and field in the spring." Bahr hopes to begin recruiting immediately as well as reaching out to the alumni to ask for their help and involvement in the program.
A standout in track and field at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bahr was a four-time All-American in the middle distances including winning the national championship in the 800 meters in 1992. He graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education, adapted physical education, and coaching. He later received his master's degree in sports administration from MSU, Mankato in 2005.
Gustavus Athletics Director Al Molde is excited to announce Dale Bahr as the new head coach for the track and field and cross country programs. Molde stated, "It gives me a great deal of pleasure to promote Dale Bahr to the head coaching positions of our track and field and cross country programs. Dale has been a well-liked and very respected assistant in the program for the past nine years. A former standout track and field and cross country performer at Minnesota State, Mankato, Dale brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to his new positions. " He added, "I have every confidence that Dale will be able to attract top level student athletes to Gustavus and help both programs compete at the top of the MIAC as well as nationally."
Bahr becomes the sixth individual to be named head coach of the combined men's and women's track and field teams and the seventh person to be named head coach of the combined men's and women's cross country teams.