Rick Williamson has been named head coach of the Wright State cross country and track programs, it was announced on Wednesday.
"Rick has been a valuable member of the Raider family for the past five years, and what he has done as the interim head coach speaks volumes for the potential of the program moving forward," said WSU Director of Athletics Bob Grant. "We are very excited for Rick to lead our cross country and track and field programs."
Williamson, who was named interim head coach in October of 2015, served as an assistant coach for the cross country team for five years and the track program for four seasons. During his time as interim head coach, the Raiders showed continued improvement, including a third-place Horizon League finish by the women's cross country team in 2015-16, up from 7th place the season prior. The women’s track and field team finished 5th in the Horizon League in the outdoor season, up from 6th place in 2015.
Under Coach Williamson’s guidance the men's cross country team finished 3rd in 2013-14. That year saw Dan Shafer named as the Wright State Male Athlete of the Year as he finished second at the league meet and won the 10000 meter run at the league outdoor track meet.
Overall, 26 school records in track have been set since Williamson's arrival in the fall of 2011 (16 indoor, 10 outdoor) along with a new 5K record for men's cross country.
Before coming to WSU, Williamson served one year as the head men's and women's cross country and assistant track coach at Notre Dame College of Ohio, where he guided the distance runners to six new school records and five NAIA track qualifiers.
Prior to Notre Dame, Williamson spent four years as the assistant coach at Northwood (MI) University, where he helped establish 16 new school records and led the women's cross country team to its highest finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet and at the NCAA Division II regionals. He also mentored two-time track and field All-American Kylen Cieslak. Williamson started his college coaching career at his alma mater, Akron, from 2003-06.
Williamson competed for the Zips until he graduated in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Education (health education). He continued his education at Akron, obtaining two more degrees in 2001 and 2007. He set a school mark for the outdoor 5000 meter in 1997 and was named to the All-Mid-American Conference Team in 1996 and 1997.