CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina track and field and cross country announces the addition of Mark VanAlstyne, Angela Reckart, Steve Rubin and Nicole Hudson to complete the coaching staff. Director of Track and Field Harlis Meaders completed his staff with the addition of four new coaches in addition to retaining Josh Langley and Andrew Dubs. VanAlstyne will serve as head cross country coach with Reckart working with the distance runners as well. Rubin and Hudson will lead the sprints, hurdles and relays group along with additional coaching roles in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
"I am very excited to have everybody on campus," says Coach Meaders, "I think it is a very talented staff. We have a group of excellent coaches, and we have an even better group of educators. I think we have the right combination to really move the team forward."
VanAlstyne joins Carolina distance after 21 seasons at the University of North Florida where he acted as director of track and field and was an assistant athletic director for the department. VanAlstyne competed at North Florida where his school record in the marathon still stands and is he ranked third all-time in the 10,000 meters. He has coached six national champions, 35 All-Americas in track and 12 All-Americas in cross country.
"Mark was one of my first choices for the program," says Coach Meaders, "He has done everything there is to do in the sport from starting a program from scratch to building a new facility. He served as assistant athletic director and more than that he is a great man, a great individual."
VanAlstyne transitioned the Osprey program from NCAA Division II to Division I in 2005. He coached the women's cross country program to its first Atlantic Sun Conference title in 2010. His resume boasts honors such as the 2002 NCAA South Region Coach of the Year, 2003 Peach Belt Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year, and 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
"I think there were two main things that really attracted me to this position," says VanAlstyne, "First, after speaking with Coach Meaders, it was obvious he has tremendous passion for UNC and his vision for what Carolina track and field can be really excited me. That, coupled with UNC's academic reputation, the administrations renewed commitment to being nationally competitive, and the amount of talent we have returning made me want to be a part of the Tar Heel Track & Field family."
Reckart also comes to Carolina by way of North Florida where she coached on VanAlstyne's staff from 2008-12.
"Mark recommended Angela to me and after speaking with her I agreed with Mark that she is the right person for our program right now," says Coach Meaders, "She is a talented individual and has a lot of success athletically. I think she is going to add a lot of diversity to our staff. She will be a great role model for both our male athletes and our female athletes."
"This is an exceptional opportunity that Coach Meaders and Coach VanAlstyne have offered me and I am honored to be a part of such a prestigious program," says Reckart. "I am very familiar with what Coach Meaders has accomplished at Florida State and believe that under his leadership we can add to the past accomplishments of this university and continue to improve the program to be a competitive threat at the national level. I am very excited to work with such a passionate coaching staff and am expecting great things to come."
Rubin has been the head coach at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland for the past five seasons where he provided tutelage to two national champions and 11 All-Americans during his time there. Prior to heading the Case Western track and field program, Rubin was the head coach at Florida International and was an assistant coach at the University of Miami.
"It is a very exciting opportunity to get to work with Coach Meaders after knowing him for so long, following his career, knowing what he is capable of, and also understanding the passion that he has for this university and its tradition," says Rubin, "To be part of such a large, talented, and energetic staff combined with the tradition, resources, and the outstanding academic atmosphere of a university like this, I just feel like all the pieces are in place to make what just could make for a dream program which just translates into a dream opportunity for us professionally and personally."
"Steve has a great track and field mind, he has coached many disciplines including the jumps, the hurdles and sprints, and on top of that he is a Level II instructor in USA Track and Field," says Coach Meaders, "He is a great person to add to the staff. There were a lot of people that wanted his position, but I think for what we are trying to accomplish right now not only is he the right coach, he is the right person. I am excited he is with us."
Hudson comes to Carolina for the third time in her track and field career, previously as a student-athlete, a graduate student and now as an assistant coach. She is a 1992 graduate of UNC, making her a classmate and teammate of Coach Meaders, and has her masters in sports administration from Carolina. She has coached at the high school level in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. As an athlete for the Tar Heels, Hudson set the school record for the heptathlon, was a three-time ACC champion in the heptathlon, an All-America and was a two-time a U.S. Olympic qualifier. Her school record performance in the heptathlon still stands today.
"To come back as a coach one is a dream come true," says Hudson, "When I was here, we were it. When the track and field team walked, the ground shook and it is time for it to shake again. We were fierce and it is time to return that to the top of the pedestal and that was part of the fun when Harlis offered the position to me."
"[Nicole and I] both know what Carolina is capable of doing, we were both here in the heyday of UNC track and field," says Coach Meaders, "Nicole is very familiar with the youth of today, having coached and taught at the high school level. I think she is going to be an excellent recruiter for us because she understands the role that high school coaches play. And I think she is going to be a tremendous coach. I do not think I could have gotten a better staff."
Current assistant coach Josh Langley will enter his fourth season at UNC as the new multis and javelin coach and will continue his duties as pole vault coach.
"Josh is a vital piece of our puzzle. He gives us consistency at UNC that we have lacked for a number of years," says Coach Meaders, "I think he knows the area, I think he is a very hard working individual and it is a delight that he chose to stay."
"Coach Meaders has been a part of a dominate program in the ACC, so having the opportunity to work with him instead of trying to compete against him is an honor," says Langley, "I loved everyday of working for Coach Craddock the past three years. Coach Meaders knows where we have been, has a great vision for where we are heading, he has a great plan to get us there, it is going to be an exciting time at Carolina."
Andrew Dubs was named director of operations for Tar Heel track and field as he enters his second year with the program. Dubs will manage all aspects of the team including scheduling, team travel, compliance, recruiting, and meet management.
"It truly is an honor for me to be at such a program of this magnitude, not only athletically, but academically as well. Carolina is one of the biggest brands not only in this country but the world. The opportunity to attract young student-athletes to this university and to take us to the next level, be it contending for ACC titles or putting in spots at the national championships is incredible," says Dubs.
"Andrew is an excellent young coach, he is a tremendous recruiter," says Coach Meaders, "It is a delight to have him as part of our staff, he is going to be moving to the position of Director of Operations to be helping with the management of the team as a whole and again he adds some consistency to the family."
"Again it is exciting to have everybody here," adds Coach Meaders, "The next step is to actually stop dreaming and go to work. We are looking for that special kid that wants to be a part of something new and exciting. We are looking for that kid that wants to be a part of tradition. We are looking for the kid that wants to be a Tar Heel, and we're just anxious to get started."