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Olympic Gold Medalist Named New Track Coach at Bethel

Bethel University announced Tuesday that Olympic gold medalist Andrew Rock will be the new head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field program. Rock, a gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games, 2006 USA Track and Field National Championships, and 2005 World Championships, will begin his duties August 1. 

Rock was interviewed on WCCO Radio’s Sports to the Max program about his Olympic experience in 2004 from qualifying for the Games to competing on the world stage and about his new position at Bethel.

Rock, who most recently was the assistant coach for Carleton College’s track and field as well as cross country programs, comes to Bethel as a gold medal winner in the 2006 USA Track and Field National Championships (400m) and 2005 World Championships (4x400m). The Stratford, Wis., native also competed on the 4x400m gold medal relay team during the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, and captured the silver medal in the 2005 World Championships held in Helsinki, Finland (400m). His personal best time of 44.35 in the 400-meter dash ranked him third in the world in 2005 and fourth in 2006.

“I am thrilled to have Andrew as part of our athletics staff, as his passion for coaching is fully evident,” says Athletic Director Bob Bjorklund. “Andrew’s performance credentials are impressive, but even more inspiring is his ambition to build Christ-centered character into the lives of our student athletes. The holistic approach he brings to leadership will produce a first-class experience. I am excited about the future of Bethel track and field under his direction.

Rock also succeeded throughout his four years as a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. While competing for the Eagles, Rock captured nine NCAA Division III individual titles and participated on UW-La Crosse’s eight national championships. Rock finished his collegiate career as a 17-time All-American, with four NCAA Division III national records and nine records at UW-La Crosse. In addition, Rock was also named first-team Academic All-American by CoSIDA (Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America).

"I want to thank Director Bjorklund and the search committee for this exciting opportunity to be a part of the Bethel family,” says Rock. “Bethel offers an incredible opportunity to continue to pass along my passion for track and field as well as mentoring young people in an atmosphere that, in my opinion, is unmatched."