COACHING STAFF

Ryan Baily | Head Assistant Coach - Multis & Jumps

Ryan Baily enters his sixth season as the head assistant coach for Colorado State track & field in 2019-20.

In his role, Baily works with combined events athletes as well as the horizontal and vertical jumpers. In four years with CSU, Baily has guided multiple athletes to a combined 10 school records, 16 Mountain West individual titles, three All-America honors and two Honorable Mention All-America honors.

The 2018-19 campaign brought a flurry of accolades. Hunter Powell won indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon in the Mountain West Conference, totaling five in six seasons. He also qualified for the NCAA Championships in the decathlon. MaryBeth Sant broke school records in both the 60m and 100m, while finishing fifth in the 60m at the Milrose Games among professional athletes. She also led off CSU's first-ever 4x100m All-American Relay. Nick Kravec capped his career off with a runner-up to Powell at the MWC Championships. The Ram's decathlon squad finished the year as the top-ranked decathlon team in the NCAA.

Among the highlights for Baily’s athletes in 2017-18 was the performance of high jumper Autumn Gardner, who cleared 6-0.5 (1.84m) to break CSU’s previous program record at the NoCo Challenge (April 14). That performance ranks Gardner sixth in Mountain West history in the event, and distinguishes her as one of five high jumpers in the conference to leap higher than six feet this decade. In addition, Gardner finished as the NCAA’s No. 8-ranked performer in the event in 2018.

Under Baily’s guidance, the Rams have experienced one of the most successful stretches in the combined events in program history. During the 2016-17 indoor season, Hunter Price shattered the Mountain West and CSU records in the heptathlon, scoring 5,906 at the CSM Alumni Classic & Multis. Price broke his own records again at the NCAA Indoor Championships, piling up 5,996 points to place fourth and earn First-Team All-America status. No other heptathlete in MW history has finished as high as Price at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

The 2016-17 season continued with more success from Baily’s combined events athletes, as Josh Cogdill earned Second-Team All-America honors and Price earned Honorable Mention honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Cogdill placed 16th at the national meet, marking the highest finish for a CSU decathlete since 1982 (John Harrell – 10th). During the outdoor season, Price broke the CSU record and set the No. 2 all-time mark in conference history with a score of 7,801 in the elite invitational section of the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Combined Events.

Among Baily’s top multi-event athletes at CSU was Jessica Green, who placed 22nd in the heptathlon (5,032 points) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. With her performance, Green became the first CSU athlete to earn any level of All-America honors in the women’s heptathlon since 2008. Baily also coached an All-American in his first season at CSU, guiding Justin Green to Second-Team honors (11th place – 5,348 points) in 2015.

Prior to his time at Colorado State University, Baily was the head track & field and cross country coach at Chadron State. In his five years at Chadron State, Baily’s men’s team placed as high as ninth nationally in indoor track & field and 16th nationally in outdoor track & field. Baily’s Chadron State teams broke 18 men’s and 22 women’s school records, and featured 22 All-Americans and a Division II national champion. His teams were also honored for their work in the classroom, as his men’s team earned the USTFCCCA’s Scholar Team of the Year award in 2011.

Baily has been recognized for his teams’ accomplishments several times, and is a seven-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. Baily earned honors as recently as in 2013 (men’s outdoor), and also earned that honor twice in 2011 (women’s indoor, women’s outdoor) as well as in 2010 (men’s indoor).

While the head coach at Western State (2005-09), Baily earned that same honor in 2008 (men’s indoor) and twice in 2007 (women’s outdoor, men’s outdoor). Additionally, Baily was named the USTFCCCA North Central Regional Coach of the Year in 2008. Among the top performances by his Western State squads was its showing at the 2007 RMAC Outdoor Championships, where each of his women’s and men’s teams placed second.

A native of Scottsbluff, Neb., Baily was a conference champion in the decathlon at Chadron State. He was named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year while attaining his bachelor’s degree in education (2003), and added a master’s degree in education in 2005 from the University of the Cumberlands. In addition, Baily holds a USA Track & Field Level I certification. Baily resides in Fort Collins with his wife, Janel, and the couple’s two children, Jayden and Trenton.

 

Lindsey Easton | Director of Operations

Lindsey Easton enters her fourth season as director of operations and assistant coach for the CSU track & field program in 2019-20. She also serves as the program's recruiting coordinator.

Easton’s coaching responsibilities include working with sprinters and hurdlers along with assistant coach JJ Riese.

“It’s great to have one of our former student-athletes in our program,” Colorado State head coach Brian Bedard said. “Lindsey understands what Colorado State and our program are about, especially in regards to our coaching staff and what our goals are. We’re really excited about her because she has fantastic organizational skills and she’s essentially going to be the brains behind the operation. She’ll have a vital role in helping us out in sprints, hurdles and horizontal jumps. We think she’ll be a great addition to our program.”

Easton has previous coaching experience in the high school ranks, serving as the hurdles coach and assistant sprints coach at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colo., for three seasons. During her tenure with the Sabercats, Lindsey coached many athletes to pursue the next level of collegiate athletics, including a current CSU multi-event athlete, Nick Kravec.

Before rejoining the Rams, she served as the administrative assistant for a local church, Iasis Christ Fellowship, and held a position as the event manager for the local Mantooth Marketing Company.

As a CSU student-athlete and hurdler for the Rams, the former Lindsey Keller completed her eligibility and graduated from Colorado State University in 2013 with a degree in hospitality management. Easton still holds the eighth-best 60-meter hurdle time in CSU’s history with a time of 8.57 and the ninth-best 100-meter hurdle time in program history (13.95).

Easton earned the university-wide Pacesetter Award in 2011, recognizing students who have demonstrated an exemplary ability to balance a variety of extra-curricular activities in addition to their academic responsibilities. She was a four-time Green and Gold Scholar, a three-time CSU scholar athlete and was a 2012 Academic All-Mountain West selection.

She is married to Beck Easton, a former CSU and Northern Colorado football player and current Strength & Conditioning Coach and Head Track & Field Coach at Fossil Ridge High School. They have two kids - Samuel (2) and Stella (Born January 2019).

 

J.J. Riese | Sprints, Hurdles & Relays

J.J. Riese enters his second season as a member of the Colorado State track & field coaching staff. Riese was formally introduced in his role as an assistant coach on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Riese is responsible for coaching the Rams in the sprints, hurdles and relays.

In his first season, Riese worked closely with Destinee Rocker in the 100m HH and coached the women's 4x100m Relay to the NCAA Championships. The Rams set new indoor records in the women's 200m and women's 4x400m Relay, while also registering new outdoor records in women's 200m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 4x100m Relay, and 4x400m Relay.

Prior to joining Colorado State track & field, Riese served as an assistant coach for six seasons at Brown. While at Brown, Riese mentored Ivy League champions in multiple events, including the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x400-meter relay. Nine school records were set under his watch, as were 62 of Brown's all-time top-10 performances in the sprints and hurdles.

"J.J. is a great fit for our team and our staff," Colorado State track & field head coach Brian Bedard said. "I had my entire staff interview J.J. extensively and we were all impressed with his training plans and coaching philosophy. J.J. is passionate about coaching and recruiting, and presented our staff with a well-conceived vision for the Rams' sprints, hurdles and relays. Academic performance is equally important to J.J. as performance on the track, and he's committed to 'life coaching' our student-athletes, which fits in well with our staff. These reasons and more make J.J. the best fit for the Rams. We welcome J.J., Christina, Logan and Wyatt to the Ram family."

Before his six-year stop at Brown, Riese worked with sprinters, hurdlers and the relays at Syracuse. Among his accomplishments with the Orange was the development of Jarret Eaton, who ran the second-fastest 60-meter hurdles time in NCAA history (7.49) and won SU's first-ever individual NCAA title. Riese also coached Michael LeBlanc, a top-10 finisher in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

Riese holds certifications from the USATF Coaching Association as well as the National Strength and Condition Association, and is experienced in teaching at various camps and clinics. He holds a bachelor's degree in educations and history from SUNY Cortland ('09), where he was a four-year letterwinner in track & field, and added a master's degree in exercise science from the California University of Pennsylvania.

 

Alex Blaho | Volunteer Assistant Coach - Throws

Alex Blaho, a former Mountain West champion thrower at Colorado State, joins the staff as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2018-19 season.

In his role, Blaho will work with CSU student-athletes in various throwing events. In addition to his coaching duties with the Rams, Blaho is also currently an intern with Athletes in Action on campus.

 

 

Chris Helwick | Volunteer Assistant Coach - Pole Vaults & Multis

 

 

Zeb Lang | Volunteer Assistant Coach -Cross Country & Distance

Zeb Lang enters his second season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Rams' cross country and track & field programs in 2018-19.

Lang spent the past five seasons (2012-17) coaching the Cornell Big Red (Ithaca, N.Y.), guiding the men’s cross country team and the track & field team in the middle-distance and long-distance events. Among the team accomplishments in Lang's five years with the Big Red were four Ivy League Heptagonal conference team championships in track & field.

Lang’s athletes at Cornell set eight school records and three freshman records on the track. In cross country, his harriers garnered nine All-Ivy League honors and seven USTFCCCA All-Region honors. He mentored eight conference champions on the track, including Ivy League championship meet MVPs Nick Wade (2013 indoor) and Ben Rainero (2016 outdoor). Overall, Lang coached 14 USTFCCCA All-Academic scholar-athletes and 23 NCAA East Preliminary qualifiers in outdoor track & field from 2012-17. Two of his athletes (Brian Eimstad and Ben Rainero) qualified for the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships, while Cornell's James Gowans qualified for the NCAA Championships three times (2016 indoor - mile; 2016 and 2017 outdoor - 1,500 meters).

The athletes Lang has guided over the years include:

  • 9 1:51 (or faster) runners at 800 meters   
  • 12 3:50 (or faster) runners at 1,500 meters   
  • 6 sub-8:10 runners at 3,000 meters
  • 5 sub-9:00 steeplechasers  
  • 7 sub-14:30 runners at 5,000 meters
  • 10 sub-30:00 runners at 10,000 meters

Alongside CSU coaches Art Siemers and Andrew Epperson, Lang co-coaches the "Siemers Dreamers," a post-collegiate group comprised of CSU team alumni and other elite runners in Fort Collins. He also continues to coach several Cornell alumni, including Brian Eimstad '16 (a new addition to the Siemers Dreamers team), Tyler Eustance '15 (1:07:51 half-marathon and 2:23 marathon in 2017), James Gowans '17 (3:42 for 1500m in 2017 & 8:06 for 3,000m in 2018), David Melly '15 (8:10 for 3,000m and 14:21 for 5,000m in 2018) and George Oliver '16 (2018 Charleston Marathon champion).

Zeb Lang resides in Fort Collins with his wife, Dr. Leah Scolere, an assistant professor in the CSU Design & Merchandising department. They are joined by their energetic black Labrador, Reykja.

 

Art Siemers | Cross Country Coach

Art Siemers, a veteran coach with 19 years of college experience, is in his eighth season as the head coach of Colorado State’s cross country program and the distance coach for the track & field program.

Since arriving in Fort Collins in 2012, Siemers has elevated the Rams’ cross country and distance groups to one of the most successful sustained stretches in any sport in the history of CSU Athletics. Colorado State men's cross country finished ninth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2017, marking the program's highest national finish in nearly 40 years (1978). Colorado State followed that with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2018, making men's cross country the first program in the history of CSU Athletics to finish ninth or higher in consecutive seasons.

Each of the 2017 and 2018 finishes rank as the fifth-highest national finishes all-time by any currently active CSU Athletics program. In addition, Siemers' 2017 and 2018 squads are in a group of 11 in CSU Athletics history to finish in the national top 10, among currently active programs.

Colorado State men’s cross country had upped the ante from its 17th-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2016, which was then the program’s highest national finish since the same final ranking at the end of the 2003 season. The men's team peaked at a No. 14 ranking in week seven in 2016, marking the program’s highest ranking from the USTFCCCA since 2003, before reaching its all-time peak USTFCCCA ranking of No. 8 in weeks six and seven of 2017.

The cross country program has steadily risen under Siemers’ guidance, as the 2016 men’s squad improved upon a 19th-place national finish in 2014 and a 26th-place national finish in 2013. In 2015, Siemers coached Jefferson Abbey and Jerrell Mock to All-America honors in cross country, while Darby Gilfillan had the highest NCAA finish for a CSU women’s cross country runner since 2009. CSU cross country added additional Siemers cross country All-Americans in 2017 and 2018, when Cole Rockhold and Eric Hamer earned recognition after leading those history-making ninth-place squads.

Abbey, Mock and Rockhold are the first CSU All-Americans in cross country since 2004, while Abbey and Mock were the only tandem to earn those accolades in the same season since 1961 (Jerry Glyde and Jerry Schmidt). Abbey’s 13th-place finish was the fourth-best all-time for a CSU cross country athlete, and the highest since 1979 (Jon Sinclair). Mock’s 19th-place finish was the eighth-best individual finish in program history, while Hamer's 18th-place finish ranks seventh-best in CSU history.

Colorado State men's cross country won its first-ever Mountain West title in 2017, and have placed no lower than third at the Mountain West Cross Country Championships under Siemers, finishing runner-up three times (2016, 2015, 2013) and in third place twice (2014, 2012). CSU’s women’s team has finished fourth or higher five times, placing second (2012) and third (2013) once apiece and fourth three times (2016, 2015, 2014). Mock was the individual champion in 2015 and 2017, and finished second overall in 2016. Rockhold was the MW runner-up behind teammate Mock in 2017, while Hamer and Carson Hume finished second and third in 2018.

Siemers coached four athletes to a combined seven All-America honors in track & field in 2016-17, and was named the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the indoor season. Mock and Grant Fischer each earned Second-Team All-America honors in the 10,000 meters and indoor 5,000 meters, while Cole Rockhold was a First-Team All-American in the 3,000 meters and an Honorable Mention All-American in the outdoor 5,000 meters. Janelle Lincks earned Second-Team All-America honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to become CSU’s fourth-ever All-American in the event. Mock and Fischer were the first duo to earn All-America honors in the same distance event in program history – a feat they accomplished twice in 2016-17.

Rockhold and Fischer went on to add more All-America honors to their respective resumes in track & field in 2017-18, including First-Team All-America distinction for Rockhold in the mile. Rockhold also picked up Second-Team All-America honors in the 3,000 meters at that indoor meet, becoming the only athlete in the nation to attempt that double last season. Fischer repeated as a Second-Team All-American in the indoor 5,000 meters, and picked up the same distinction for his performance in the 10,000 at the outdoor meet that year. Rockhold capped off his 2017-18 campaign with Second-Team All-America billing in the outdoor 5,000.

Following their stellar 2015 cross country campaigns, Abbey and Mock also became Siemers’ first track & field All-Americans at CSU in 2016. Abbey placed sixth in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, while Mock placed 14th in the 5,000 meters. Abbey was CSU’s first-ever All-American in the indoor 3,000 meters, while Mock was CSU’s first in the indoor 5,000.

Siemers has coached 45 NCAA West Preliminary qualifiers, and in 2016-17, 11 members of the distance unit were among the program-record 27 CSU qualifiers. Siemers' distance runners matched that number for the 2018 regional meet. In cross country, his men's program has qualified for the NCAA Championships in four of the past five seasons, and four individuals (five total qualifications) have qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships under Siemers’ guidance.

Siemers has mentored numerous standout athletes at the conference level, including a total of 71 All-Mountain West honors and 14 conference champions (including three relays) in his six years at Colorado State. Of those honors, 27 All-Mountain West performers have come in cross country, along with 19 All-Mountain Region performers.

Academics has also been an emphasis for Siemers, and the Rams have been recognized in numerous ways for their scholastic success. In 2016-17, three of his student-athletes – Jefferson Abbey, Alex Hess and Jerrell Mock – were named CoSIDA Academic All-America. Combined with shot putter Mostafa Hassan, the Rams had four Academic All-America honors, the most of any Division I track & field program in the nation in 2016-17. Mock repeated as an Academic All-American in 2017-18, becoming the seventh in the history of CSU Athletics to earn the honor multiple times and the first in any sport since 2006.

Siemers’ women’s and men’s cross country programs have both been recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic in each of the past six seasons (2012-17). Additionally, the men’s team has been recognized as an NCAA APR (Academic Progress Rating) Top Performing Team in 2016 and 2017, while the women's team had a perfect single-year APR for 2016-17. The 2016-17 season was one of the most successful scholastically for Siemers’ runners, who combined for 33 Academic All-Mountain West honors (16 in cross country, 17 in track & field), 32 Mountain West Scholar-Athlete accolades (14 in cross country, 18 in track & field) and 14 USTFCCCA All-Academic individual distinctions (four in cross country, 10 in track & field).

Prior to joining Colorado State cross country and track & field, Siemers coached for 11 years at the Colorado School of Mines. He began coaching cross country in 2002 and later took over the track & field program in 2005.

At CSM, Siemers coached 21 All-Americans in cross country and led his teams to nine NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships berths. The Orediggers finished in the top five on four different occasions, highlighted by a third-place finish with the men’s team in 2009.

After taking over the reins of the track & field program, Siemers added 82 All-Americans and five national champions to his list of athletes coached. Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, his women’s and men’s teams combined for 15 top-25 NCAA team finishes. In 2009, he was voted the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the indoor season on both the men’s and women’s sides. In 2009-10 and 2011-12, the men’s program finished fourth in the final standings for the USTFCCCA’s Program of the Year.

Before he began coaching at the collegiate level, Siemers was the head cross country coach from 2000-01 at Jefferson Academy High School in Broomfield, Colo. In just two years, he initiated the cross country program, recruited the inaugural team and led it to the 2001 Colorado 3A State Championships.

Siemers was a student-athlete at Illinois State in both track & field and cross country. Siemers was a four-year letterwinner in both sports, and counts Missouri Valley Conference titles in 1,500 meters and mile among his accomplishments. He was an all-conference and all-region performer in cross country from 1993-94, and added first-team academic all-conference distinctions each season. Following his collegiate career, Siemers placed eighth at the 1999 USATF Indoor Championships in the mile and was a 2004 Olympic Trials `A’ qualifier in the marathon.

Siemers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in both elementary education and history from Illinois State University in 1995. He added a master’s degree in education from the University of Colorado in 1999.

Siemers grew up the oldest of seven children in Bensenville, Ill., and attended Fenton High School. He and his wife Erica reside in Fort Collins.

 

Andrew Epperson | Assistant Coach - Cross Country & Distance

Andrew Epperson enters his third year as an assistant coach for the Rams' cross country and track & field programs. During his tenure, the Rams have had consecutive top 10 national finishes in men’s cross country and brought home the first conference title in school history on the men’s side (2017). In track, the men’s and women’s teams have won a combined 6 team titles between indoor and outdoor seasons.

Before CSU, Epperson spent three years as an assistant track & field and cross country coach at the Colorado School of Mines. Among his accomplishments at Mines was helping lead the 2015 men’s cross country program to the school’s first-ever NCAA championship in any sport as well as the school's first indoor conference title in men's track and field.

Epperson helped lead the men's cross country team to national finishes of fourth in 2014, first in 2015, and third in 2016. Over that span, the women's team placed 10th, 19th, and 13th nationally. In all, Epperson coached his distance athletes to 46 total All-America honors, including 11 cross country runners and 35 members in track and field.

As an athlete, Epperson was a two-time NCAA Division II All-American in cross country, earning accolades in 2012 and 2013. He was an NCAA qualifier in the indoor 5,000 in 2013, and an NCAA qualifier in the outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 in 2013 and 2014. He remains ranked in Mines’ all-time top 10 in the 3,000 meters and the outdoor 10,000 meters, as well as the program’s top five in the indoor and outdoor 5,000 meters.

He continues to run professionally and qualified for his second U.S. Olympic Marathon trials in October of 2018 (2016, 2020). Epperson will represent the United States in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar and has a personal best of 2:13:11 .

Epperson graduated from Colorado School of Mines in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering; and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a biomechanics focus in 2015.

 

Shane Ryan | Volunteer Assistant Coach

Colorado State University - Track