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A.D. McAloose Introduces FGCU's First Cross-Country Coach
10/17/2001

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Director Carl McAloose has put the finishing touches on the athletic department staff with the hiring of Chris Highfield as the new Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country Coach. Highfield’s responsibilities will be added to the position he currently holds as assistant men’s basketball coach. FGCU’s inaugural cross-country season will take place in fall 2002.

Highfield, 25, hails from Ann Arbor, Mich. He is a year 2000 graduate of the University of Michigan, with a degree in sports management and communications. This past year, Highfield was an assistant basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. In September 2000, Highfield attended the Olympics in Australia, where he assisted his father, Mike Highfield, who is the president of USA Triathlon, the governing body for the sport of triathlon in the United States.

At FGCU, Highfield will be responsible for recruitment of both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams. He will also be contacting other colleges and setting up the first year’s schedule. On the basketball side, Highfield was brought in one month ago to be the recruiting coordinator and will spend countless hours contacting and recruiting players for next year’s inaugural basketball season as well. Other duties include on-floor coaching and post-player skill development.

Head men’s basketball coach Dave Balza is excited about the opportunity to add one of his former assistants to the FGCU family. “He’s an energetic person,” said Balza. “His effectiveness as a recruiter will serve him well in both of these capacities. His experience in working with world-class athletes will pay big dividends for both sports.”

McAloose agreed, “I feel that Chris has the ideal personality and charisma to get our cross-country team up and running.”

In his free time, Coach Highfield can often be spotted running the streets of Estero and around campus, as he plots the route for FGCU’s own cross-country course.

The addition of men’s and women’s cross-country brings the number of varsity sports at FGCU to 10, which is the minimum number necessary to be admitted into the NCAA. Cross-country joins men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball, all of which will begin play in 2002-2003. Men’s and women’s golf as well as men’s and women’s tennis are currently in their second year of varsity action.

Highfield, whose salary is paid entirely by student generated athletic fees, becomes the ninth head coach at the university. He joins Jim Suttie (M golf), Holly Vaughn (W golf), J. Webb Horton (M tennis), Fred Drilling (W tennis), Dave Balza (M basketball), Karl Smesko (W basketball), Dave Tollett (baseball), and Dave Deiros (softball).

To reach Coach Highfield in regards to potential athletes, call (941) 590-7032.

For more information about FGCU athletics, contact McAloose at (941) 590-7007 or cmcaloos@fgcu.edu.

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