RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- California Baptist University Athletic Director Kevin Steele has announced the hiring of Wade Watkins as the new Cross Country Head Coach at CBU.
Watkins, who begins his duties Monday (Feb. 18), has spent the past eight seasons as the assistant coach for cross country and track and field at NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona. He will be charged with restarting the cross country program, which was dropped in 2003.
“I am excited about the challenge of restarting a program that has a rich history,” said Watkins. “I am going to pound the pavement to bring quality kids to build a quality program that the university can be proud of. The talent pool is deep in the Inland Empire.”
Watkins was a valuable assistant for the Broncos track and field program, working with decathletes, heptathletes, pole vaulters, jumpers as well as distance runners, which he focused on this past season. He also served as the lead assistant for cross country.
Prior to his stint at Cal Poly Pomona, Watkins spent 16 years at Los Altos (Calif.) High, spending 10 of those as the head coach of both the cross country and track and field teams. In his last seven years as head coach, Los Altos was undefeated in cross country and won four league titles in track and field.
In the early 1990s, Watkins competed as a nationally-ranked mountain biker and duathlete (running and cycling). He owns a personal training business and serves as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Top Gun Volleyball Club in Diamond Bar, Calif., developing programs for 12 elite age-group volleyball teams.
For 24 years, Watkins worked full-time in the business world, owning and managing the day-to-day operations for Lube Pit Stop (automotive maintenance) in Industry, Calif. He recently sold the business in order to concentrate on coaching.
"We are excited to bring Wade into the CBU family of coaches," said Steele. "We are excited with the skill set that Wade brings to our great university. His excellent experience and tenacious work habits will enable him to experience great success in the great task ahead."
Watkins graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with his bachelor’s in kinesiology in 2003 and is scheduled to complete in his master’s in sports management from the U.S. Sports Academy in May 2008.
Watkins and his wife, Trish, live in Brea, Calif. He has two children, Sarah, a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Oregon, and Conor (14). He also has two stepchildren, both of whom are in college.