Ben Mourer, ’07, was named the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams on Dec. 18, 2015. He will also be serving as an assistant coach to the Gator track and field team. Beginning his coaching experience in 2009 at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mourer plans to continue to uphold the legacy of the men’s and women’s cross country programs at Allegheny.
“I am a very team-oriented coach who loves a group of athletes grounded in the history and tradition of their team,” Mourer said. “The cross country teams have some of the best history on campus. I want our current generation of athletes to know that they are part of something bigger than the current team. What we do right now can play a part in carrying on that legacy and making the teams even more successful in the future.”
Mourer was a four-year Alden Scholar who graduated from Allegheny with a degree in history. He was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. In cross country, he helped the Gators win the NCAC championship all four seasons. Individually, Mourer was a three-time All-NCAC honoree, earned First Team honors twice and finished as a conference runner-up in the 2007 season.
“We are pleased to welcome Coach Ben Mourer back to the Allegheny athletics family,” said Portia Hoeg, Allegheny College athletic director. “His extensive experience will most certainly help him lead our men’s and women’s cross country teams to continued success as he is not only familiar with Allegheny, but he has been a part of some of the most successful running teams in our program’s history. I expect Gator cross country will continue their strong tradition of excellence under Coach Mourer’s very capable leadership.”
Mourer has high hopes for the program and believes it will go far and improve.
“Allegheny College is an institution that does a great job balancing academics and athletics,” Mourer said. “Everyone here gets a hell of an education, and over the past 10 to 15 years, the cross country and track teams have been among the best in the country. Meadville and all the back roads are a great place for distance runners to train, and I believe the programs have the potential to achieve even more than they already have. It is a bit of a homecoming, but I’m more excited about the future here.”
The Allegheny program finished one of its most successful seasons this past year when both the men’s and women’s teams won the 2015 NCAC championship. Each team earned a spot in the NCAA Division-III National Championship for the first time since 2008 when both teams competed at nationals.
“From the time we’ve had him so far, it seems like Coach Mouer is going to be amazing for both the cross country and track programs,” said Louis McUmber, ’19. “He understands the needs of each individual as some of us are at different levels regarding age, mileage and past injuries. On that note, he is very understanding and is willing to work individually. At the same time, he expects a lot out of us and is not going to hold our hand. He is not hesitant to let know about things we really need to work on.”
Mourer and the student athletes are excited to begin training.