Athletics
Courtesy: Robert Barclay/CMU
Mark Guthrie has announced that his staff includes (left to right) John Ridgway, Matt Kaczor, Guthrie, Dionne, Henley, Andrew Basler and Bryant Wilson.
Guthrie Introduces Track and Field/Cross Country Staff
MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan director of track and field/cross country Mark Guthrie has hired two assistant coaches to fill out his coaching staff for the 2013-14 season.

Joining the Chippewas' staff as assistant coaches will be Andrew Basler and Bryant Wilson. Basler and Wilson join associate head coach Matt Kaczor and assistant coaches John Ridgway and Dionne Henley who will remain with CMU in their previous roles.

Basler will work with the jumps and women's multi-events. He begins his second stint as an assistant coach at CMU, having previously worked with the women's track and field team's sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and combined-event athletes from 2005-2007. Highlighting his tenure was the performance of Tamera Thomas, who earned All-America honors in the pentathlon at the 2006 NCAA indoor championships and was named Most Valuable Performer at the 2006 Mid-American Conference indoor championships. Basler coached two athletes who qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, three who qualified for the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships, two U.S. Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifiers, six MAC champions, three MAC record holders and 13 school record holders.

"When I accepted the Director’s position at Central Michigan, Andrew was the first name on my short list of staffing considerations," Guthrie said. "He was a national champion as one of my athletes at UW-La Crosse, he has history at CMU serving as a graduate assistant where his athletes still hold school records, and at UC-Riverside, he annually has multiple men and women jumpers at the NCAA First Round and NCAA Finals.  He brings a strong recruiting presence, is technically sound in his event area, has the logistical skills in meet management and travel I was seeking. Most importantly, he participated in and understands the championship culture I want to introduce with the Chippewas."

Since 2007, Basler has been the assistant men's and associate head women's track and field coach at the University of California-Riverside, where he has worked directly with the program's sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers, combined event athletes and javelin throwers. Administratively, Basler has managed the program's travel and equipment budgets while also serving as meet director for each of Riverside's home track and field and cross country meets (including the Big West Conference Championships from 2008-12).

At Riverside, Basler has coached six U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifiers, five junior national championships qualifiers, three indoor national championships qualifiers, five NCAA All-Americans (combined indoor and outdoor), 12 Big West outdoor conference champions and 37 school record holders (combined indoor and outdoor). Two of his athletes earned special recognition in 2011 when Ashley Gatewood was named Big West Conference Female Field Athlete of the Year and Danielle Littleton was tabbed Big West Conference Female Freshman Athlete of the Year.

Under the tutelage of Guthrie at Wisconsin-La Crosse, Basler was the 2002 NCAA Division III indoor national champion in the long jump. He was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American and was the captain of La Crosse's teams that swept the indoor and outdoor NCAA team championships in 2001 and 2002.

Basler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in art from La Crosse in 2002 and is working toward a Master of Arts in sport administration degree from Central Michigan.

Wilson brings an expertise in the pole vault to the Chippewas' coaching staff. A four-time NCAA Division II national champion and two-time U.S. national championships qualifier in the event, Wilson has previously worked with the pole vaulters at Illinois (2010-11) and Saginaw Valley State (2011-12). He will work with pole vaults, men's multi-events and sprints.

"Bryant brings instant credibility as an international caliber athlete and four-time National Champion in the pole vault," Guthrie said. "As a Hale, Michigan product, he possess a knowledge of  Michigan high school track and field. That, when coupled with his energy and enthusiasm, was an exciting dimension that I was looking for.  He also brings a sprint dynamic to CMU as well with his background in strength and conditioning along with years spent at Illinois with Bryan Carrell working with pole vault and three-time Olympian and coach Tanja Buford–Baily."

In his one season at Illinois, Wilson mentored Matt Bane, who won the Big Ten Conference indoor championship as a freshman. Another freshman, Steph Richartz, placed third at the outdoor conference championships and earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals. Five different vaulters achieved lifetime personal bests under Wilson at Illinois.

At Saginaw Valley State, Wilson guided Elizabeth Willford to a 10th place finish at the NCAA indoor championships in 2012. Most recently, Wilson was assisting with on-track training of the middle distance runners at Northwood.

Wilson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Grand Valley State in 2010. He swept the indoor and outdoor pole vault national titles in 2007 and 2008, was an eight-time All-American and is Grand Valley State's school record holder in the indoor and outdoor pole vault.

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