Macalester's Gehring, Emerson announce retirements

Gehring and Emerson will retire from coaching in June. (Photo: Christopher Mitchell)
Gehring and Emerson will retire from coaching in June. (Photo: Christopher Mitchell)

Macalester College Sports Information Department

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Macalester College track and field coach Margaret Gehring and women's cross country coach Betsy Emerson have announced that they will retire from coaching in June. Gehring has been the Scots' men's and women's track coach since 2014, while Emerson has guided the women's cross country team since 2010.

"Our student-athletes and department have been tremendously enriched by Margaret and Betsy's leadership," Macalester Director of Athletics Donnie Brooks said. "With over 50 years of collegiate coaching experience combined, Margaret and Betsy have impacted the lives of countless student-athletes who join us in thanking them for their unwavering commitment through the years."

Gerhing's athletes at Macalester have broken 24 school records, turned in 43 All-MIAC performances and qualified for the NCAA Championships eight times. Her guidance has greatly impacted the development of Macalester All-American Phoebe Aguiar '19, who won the 800 meters at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in March. Gehring also coached Logan Hovie '16 to four MIAC championships, four NCAA appearances and three All-American finishes in the high jump from 2015 to 2016. At the 2017 MIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Gehring's women's team scored 90.25 points to take fourth place in the team standings, the program's highest conference finish in 30 years. Prior to coaching at Macalester, Gehring coached at Ohio Wesleyan and Saint Benedict. 

"I have been grateful for this opportunity to work at Macalester with such passionate, intelligent and caring students," Gehring said. "Coaching at Macalester has been a most fitting way to end a fulfilling career. I am grateful to Macalester for affording me the opportunity to continue to work in a sport that has given me so much joy in my life. I never considered it work - just a way to earn a living off a passion. Betsy and I look forward to the next chapter in our lives and will always be Scots at heart."

Emerson coached the Scots' women's cross country team to five top-six finishes at the MIAC Championships and five top-10 performances at the NCAA regional meet over the past six years. In 2013 the Scots finished fourth in the MIAC, the program's highest finish since 1999. Under Emerson's guidance, Kimber Meyer '17 achieved All-America status in cross country as a first year, sophomore and junior, while winning the MIAC Cross Country title in 2015. During her nine years at the helm, the cross country team has had great success in the classroom, posting the top team grade point average among women's teams at Mac eight times. The team consistently has earned an overall GPA of 3.5 or better. 

Emerson's athletes also excelled on the track, earning 10 All-Region honors while qualifying for four national meets. Meyer also was a two-time All-American in track and the 5000-meter MIAC Championships record holder. Sarah Jonathan '16 and Tara McCoy '11 both posted top 10 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase and the 800 meters, respectively. 

Before arriving at Macalester, Emerson was the head women's cross country and women's track and field coach at Luther College in Iowa for 17 years. At Luther, she received Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Coach of the Year honors six times in cross country and three times in track and field. Her track and field team placed fourth outdoors in 1997 and the 2000 cross country team finished third at the national meet. Overall, Emerson has coached two NCAA Division III cross country individual champions, seven cross country All-Americans, a five-time national champion on the track, and the distance medley relay national champion in 2001. Her track and field athletes have won 50 conference championships and 49 All-America honors.

"My heart is full of gratitude and love for Macalester College," Emerson said. "It has truly been a blessing to have the opportunity to work with such amazing student-athletes who have given so much of their time and energy and love to our cross country and track and field programs. I am grateful for the chance to work with so many wonderful colleagues who want only the best for our student-athletes and who work tirelessly to ensure a great experience for each of them. I have been blessed to work the final five years of my coaching career with Margaret and realize how fortunate we are to have been given this unique opportunity. When I was given this job at Mac nine years ago, I knew my life would be enriched. I have been surrounded by so many empowered and strong women who thrive in the classroom and on the track and cross country course. Closing out my coaching career at Macalester has been a gift and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity."

A national search for a track and field coach and head women's cross country coach has begun.

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