The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Track and field coach receives top WIAC honor

    The WIAC recently named coach Chip Schneider of the men’s and women’s track and field teams Coach of the Year for indoor track.he other nine conference coaches determine the award.

    Sophomore Dan Koenig said Schneider deserves the award for turning around the track program and leading the team to its recent successes.

    “It shows by his men’s team, which has been steadily looking better in the conference, and a women’s team that looks to send another very solid team to nationals this year after their excellent showing at conference,” Koenig said.

    Schneider’s success with the women’s team is the main basis of this award. Last year the team took third place at the WIAC Indoor Championships and this year the women’s team took second. The Blugolds won three events, tying UW-La Crosse for the most events won by a team in the championship.

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    “I think Chip really deserves this award,” senior Bridget Wolfe said. “He makes track his life; he is so knowledgeable about all of the events.”

    Wolfe said she attributes the women’s team’s success to its work with Schneider, as well as her personal success. Schneider helped her find her niche in multi-event competing, Wolfe said.

    Schneider is “finally getting some recognition that he deserves,” said senior Benjamin Brossard, adding that the coach’s “drive and understanding” have contributed to the teams’ success. Brossard said that he was a mediocre runner before working with Schneider, but is now a conference relay champion.

    Schneider’s deep knowledge of the sport was a recurring theme when athletes talked about their coach deserving this award.

    Freshman Justin Ellingstad calls Schneider a “cesspool” of knowledge, adding that “he is not just a coach, but a friend.” Schneider also helps them grow both on and off the track, Ellingstad said.

    “He knows that we all have ability and instills that belief in us,” Brossard agreed. “He truly gets more out of us than many of us think we have.”

    A personal interest in each Blugold athlete also surfaced as a contributing factor to Schneider’s award.

    “He takes the time to help you personally improve,” Wolfe said, adding that “he also knows how to make the sport fun.”

    Koenig said Schneider “knows how to make us get to work” yet still has fun in practice and tells stories about his past track experiences. Koenig added that since Schneider competed in hurdles in college – Koenig’s same event – he’s taught him a lot about improving his form and making him better.

    “(Chip’s) love for track and field shows when he coaches and he makes each individual want to do their best, while still keeping a ‘do it for the team’ attitude,” Koenig said.

    Senior Claudia Borlee said that Schneider always emphasizes his desire to succeed.

    “He has the ability to relate to each athlete on their own individual level and push them to get better,” she said.

    Schneider could not be reached for comment.

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    Track and field coach receives top WIAC honor