USD Head Cross Country Coach Takes Lead Role with MMU T&F and Cross Country Squads

YANKTON, SD ( – South Dakota head cross country coach Dan Fitzsimmons has been named the head coach for the track & field and cross country programs at Mt. Marty University in Yankton, South Dakota.

The five-time Summit League women’s cross country coach of the year, Fitzsimmons spent 14 seasons coaching the Coyotes.

Fitzsimmons coached the Coyote women’s cross country program to five consecutive Summit League titles from 2014 to 2018. He’s also been a part of 13 conference championships and 26 runner-up finishes by the track and field program.

“I would like to thank Rob Kinnunen, Dave Gottsleben, Lucky Huber, Joel Nielsen, Jim Abbott, David Herbster and countless others for giving me the opportunity to coach at my alma mater, the University of South Dakota,” said Fitzsimmons. “It has truly been a dream come true.

“I also want to thank all the athletes and coaches that I was blessed to work with over the years. Your love and support made each day a joy to come to work. Last but not least, I want to thank Coyote Nation for always being there cheering us on through the transition and to the top of the Summit League. You make me proud to say, ‘Once a Coyote, always a Coyote!’”

Fitzsimmons coached Amber Eichkorn, who became the first Coyote to qualify for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in 2014 and 2015. She also advanced to the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 10,000 meters. Overall, Fitzsimmons has coached one Summit League Cross Country Runner of the Year, seven Summit League Track Championship MVPs and 50 Summit League champions on the track. His athletes have garnered 56 all-Summit honors in cross country and 129 all-Summit honors in track and field.

“We are truly thankful for Dan’s service at USD,” said South Dakota Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Lucky Huber. “We wish him nothing but the best at Mount Marty.”

Prior to coming to Vermillion, Fitzsimmons built the Yankton High School cross country and track and field programs into state and regional powers. He led five Yankton squads that were ranked in the top-20 of the nation in cross country, captured eight state cross country titles and five state track and field titles. He was named the South Dakota NHSACA Gatorade Circle of Champions Coach of the Year six times.

A South Dakota track and field alumnus, Fitzsimmons was a three-time NCC place winner in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He held the 3,000 steeplechase record of 9:14.1 from 1985 to 2000. He graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and earned a master’s degree from USD in exercise science in 1999.