Eastern Mennonite University has announced the hiring of Kyle Dickinson as the Associate Cross Country/Track & Field Coach.
Dickinson will start this summer, upon completion of his third season as assistant coach of the track & field teams at Penn State University – Harrisburg. He has also been an assistant for three seasons at his alma mater, D-II Shippensburg University.
He joins the staff of Bob Hepler, who is in his second year as the Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach/Head Women's Triathlon Coach.
Dickinson said the culture of Eastern Mennonite University drew him in.
"What I find most exciting about EMU and the program is that there is a large amount of potential within each student-athlete," he explained. "Each student and staff that I got to meet treated me as if I was already a part of the EMU family. Everyone was extremely nice and explained how this university and the programs are family-oriented. That truly stuck with me after the interview. EMU has a ton of support from the community and a lot of resources available to make this program become very competitive on the conference and national level. Being able to coach alongside Mr. Hepler was a huge decision into my acceptance as well. His knowledge of the cross country/track & field world will only expand my knowledge even further. I cannot wait to work with him."
At Penn State-Harrisburg, Dickinson coaches the sprints/hurdles, multi-event, and vertical and horizontal jumps. He directly worked with two All-Americans over his first two seasons and was responsible for a combined seven trips to NCAA Championship events. The Lions have broken 20 program records during his time.
Dickinson also coached four All-Americans and four conference champions in jumps and hurdles while at Shippensburg.
Hepler said Dickinson fits in well with the Royals.
"Coach Kyle is an expert in the areas of sprints and jumps," Hepler explained. "He also genuinely cares about each and every athlete in his program. I can't wait to begin working with him as we continue to grow and improve our track & field program at EMU."
Director of Athletics Dave King said Dickinson's personal strengths and impressive resume would help him continue the recent trajectory of Hepler's program at EMU.
"Kyle's passion for track & field, eagerness to learn and technical skills make him the ideal person to continue the growth of the EMU Track & Field program," said King. "He has a lot of potential and I'm pleased to be able to provide him an opportunity and the environment to continue developing his coaching skills."
Dickinson pointed to his strong coaching pedigree as an inspiration to continue in the profession.
He saw his greatest collegiate success as an athlete in the long jump and triple jump at powerhouse Shippensburg before joining the staff of Dave Osanitsch upon graduation. Before the 2017-18 season, Dickinson made his next step by joining Danielle Lynch at Penn State-Harrisburg, growing under her mentorship with leadership from athletic director Rahsaan Carlton.
"Without them, I would not be the coach that I am today," he said. "I would not be where I am today. My coaching style is all about positive energy. Each day, I always want to bring positive energy into practice time. I absolutely love the sport of track & field and I want to instill that same passion into each student-athlete in the program. At EMU, I don't want these student-athletes just to be great athletes; my goal is to make them into great young men and women who will thrive in society. We want them to become the greatest individuals they can possibly become."
Dickinson has a Level 1 USA Track & Field (USATF) coaching certification for Track & Field.
"I can't wait to get started and build the vision of this program to what EMU deserves," he said.