Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
In his 14th season as the head coach of the North Dakota State University women's track & field and cross country programs, Ryun Godfrey has directed the program to nearly unparalleled success.
Under Godfrey's leadership, the Bison have won all 10 indoor and outdoor league titles since joining the Division I Summit League in 2007. The Bison have won a combined 25 conference titles in indoor track, outdoor track and cross country since Godfrey became the head coach in 1999.
In the 2011-12 season, NDSU claimed the 'Triple Crown' in The Summit League, sweeping the league's cross country, indoor and outdoor team championships.
The multiple team successes under Godfrey have not been without several outstanding individual accomplishments. Since 2009, five Bison women have combined to claim 10 total Division I All-America citations, and two of those All-Americans were coached directly by Godfrey in the 800 meters.
Christine Schmaltz and Laura Hermanson both surpassed the Olympic 'B' standard in the 800m during their NDSU careers. Both dipped under 2:01.30, with Schmaltz running a school-record time of 2:01.17 and Hermanson running 2:01.28. Hermanson was an indoor and outdoor All-American in the 800m in 2009, racing to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Schmaltz placed ninth in the 800m at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Beyond the dominance of the collegiate schedule, 10 Bison athletes have competed at the USA Championships, including four that competed at the Olympic Trials during their careers. Kinsey Coles ran the 800 meters and Amanda Thieschafer competed in the triple jump at the 2004 Olympic Trials, while Laura Hermanson advanced to the 800 meter final at the 2008 Olympic Trials.
In 2012, former Bison Amanda (Thieschafer) Smock represented the U.S. at the London Olympic Games in the triple jump, and current Bison Leslie Brost was the highest-placing collegian with a ninth-place finish in the pole vault at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Godfrey has turned the NDSU women's cross country program into a regional power as well, directing the Bison to back-to-back conference titles in 2011 and 2012 and a seventh-place team finish at the 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional. Redshirt freshman Brecca Wahlund was the 2012 Summit League runner-up in cross country and became an all-region performer with a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
In 2012, NDSU became the first school in Summit League history to win both five straight indoor titles and five straight outdoor titles. Godfrey was named the league's Coach of the Year for the ninth and 10th times in his career.
Godfrey directed the 2011 NDSU cross country team to the program's first-ever Summit League title. Heidi Peterson and Jordan Krahn earned first team all-league honors, while freshman Abbi Aspengren was named Newcomer of the Championships. Godfrey earned his first cross country Coach of the Year award.
The 2010-11 Bison won their fourth consecutive Summit League indoor and outdoor championships. Godfrey also claimed his seventh and eighth Summit League Coach of the Year awards. During the indoor season, Whitney Carlson earned second team All-America honors in both the pentathlon and the long jump. Carlson finished her career with a fifth-place finish in the heptathlon at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, claiming first team All-America honors. Senior Christine Schmaltz also earned All-America honors in the outdoor 800 meters.
In 2009, the women's cross country team finished as runners-up at the Summit League Championships, the best-ever finish for the team since joining the league in 2007. The 2009-10 Bison won their third straight league indoor and outdoor titles and Godfrey earned both indoor and outdoor league coach of the year honors. Senior Heather Zander and junior Whitney Carlson claimed All-America honors in the heptathlon and long jump, respectively.
The 2008-09 season was one for the record books. The team captured their second straight Summit League title in indoor track and field while Godfrey earned another league coach of the year honor. In the team's first year of eligibility for the Division I championships, senior Laura Hermanson competed in the 800 meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing seventh and earning NDSU's first-ever Division I All-America honors. Godfrey also led the Bison to their second consecutive league outdoor title and was named coach of the year. The Bison sent 10 athletes to the NCAA Midwest Regional and finished 11th. Hermanson won the regional 800 meter crown to advance to the NCAA Championships, while freshman Leslie Brost, sophomore Brittany Gigstead and sophomore Whitney Carlson also reached the championships with top-five regional performances. At the NCAA Championships, Hermanson finished second in the 800 meters and earned her second USTFCCCA All-America honor.
He led the women's team to their first Summit League titles in indoor and outdoor track in the 2007-08 season - their first season eligible for the championships after the transition to Division I. After leading a young squad to the Summit League indoor title, Godfrey was named the Summit League Coach of the Year. He was also named Summit League Coach of the Year after guiding the Bison to the outdoor league title as well.
In 2003, Godfrey coached the Bison to third-place finishes at the NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor track & field championships. He also led North Dakota State to a pair of North Central Conference titles during the indoor and outdoor seasons. He was named the USTFCCCA North Central Region Indoor Coach of the Year, and the NCC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year.
Godfrey directed NDSU to the 2002 NCAA Division II indoor track & field national title and a runner-up finish at the 2002 outdoor track & field nationals. Godfrey swept up six coaching awards for his efforts, being named the USTCA Division II and North Central Region Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year, and the NCC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year.
Godfrey was also the 2001 USTFCCCA North Central Region Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, 2000 and 2001 NCC Women's Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, and 1999 NCC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Named the 2002 North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association's Female Team Coach of the Year, Godfrey captured his last five indoor and four of the last five outdoor NCC track titles. In his first year with the cross country squad, he led the Bison to the 1999 NCC championship and seventh place finish at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships. His 2001 distance crew was third in the league and 12th in the nation.
Godfrey was a graduate assistant in the NDSU track & field and cross country program during the 1998-99 school year and has been involved in all facets of the program.
An All-NCC performer during his collegiate running career, Godfrey was a member of seven NDSU league champion track & field squads. He graduated in 1996 from North Dakota State with a degree in physical education.
A graduate of Watertown (S.D.) High School, Godfrey was a standout distance runner, swimmer and wrestler at that school. He was all-state in track and cross country on nine occasions, and was a four-time state champ in swimming. Godfrey was a regional champ and state placewinner on two occasions on the mat and performed on several conference champion track & field and wrestling teams.
Ryun is the son of Vic and Ruth Godfrey of Watertown, S.D. Born in Racine, Wis., he grew up in Bahrain, an island off the coast of Saudi Arabia. His father, Vic, was the Olympic coach for the country of Bahrain.