Matt Bingle is in his second season as director of women's track and field and cross country at the University of Minnesota
Then-director of athletics Joel Maturi announced on October 19, 2011 that Bingle had signed a multi-year contract to be the director of women's track and field and cross country after guiding the Gophers to three Big Ten Indoor titles, a Big Ten Outdoor title and supporting two Big Ten cross country titles. Bingle, who has served as the Gophers' head women's track and field coach since the spring of 2007, began overseeing both programs immediately.
"I am pleased to announce Matt Bingle as our director of women's track and field and cross country," Maturi said. "While this is primarily a shift in title, the success of the women's track and field and cross country programs during Matt's tenure here at the University of Minnesota was a huge factor in this change. He embodies the values of Gopher Athletics and has quickly become an important member of the Gopher family.
"Matt, Gary Wilson, Lynne Anderson, Caroline White and Sarah Hesser have done a fantastic job and we are excited to be keeping this coaching staff together. We look forward to many more years of success for our track and field and cross country programs under Matt's leadership."
In his first season holding the director title, Bingle guided Minnesota's 4x100-meter relay to the NCAA Championships again after the relay earned the Gophers' first ever 4x100m NCAA berth the previous year. Following the season, he coached Gopher junior Todea-Kay Willis at the Jamaican Olympic Trials, where she won the long jump competition.
Bingle led Minnesota to Big Ten indoor titles in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He also helped guide the Gophers to a Big Ten Outdoor title as an assistant under Wilson. He has been at Minnesota since 2002.
"Being named director of women's track and field and cross country is a great honor for me and I am extremely blessed to be here at the University of Minnesota," Bingle said. "I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my wife and family. I also have to thank Coach Wilson, because he has been there every step of the transition to head coach and will continue to help guide me and this program, and director of athletics Joel Maturi, for the faith he has shown in me."
Wilson, the Gophers' current women's head cross country coach, agreed that the time was right to secure the leadership of both programs for the future.
"We feel this is the right time to make this next transition as a program," Wilson said. "While I will still retain head coaching responsibilities for cross country, Matt will oversee the entire program. Cross country and track at the college level are so intertwined that it only makes sense to have a director that can maintain the success of both programs far in to the future, while keeping his main coaching focus with the sprints, hurdles, jumps group."
Bingle is the first person to hold the title of women's director of track and field and cross country at the University of Minnesota.
"This is truly an exciting day for our track and field and cross country programs," Bingle said. "What's great for the program is that for years to come there will be stability in the coaching staff. What we have going right now is working. And any time you can have a great staff stay together, the sky is the limit."
Now in his 11th season overall at Minnesota, Bingle spent his first four years with the Gophers serving under Wilson. His influence as the program's recruiting coordinator and his ability to attract some of the nation's top talent has been the primary reason for Minnesota's success both in the Big Ten and on the national scene.
In 2004, Bingle was recognized for his immediate contribution to the Minnesota women's track and field team by being promoted to the position of associate head coach after just one season as an assistant on the coaching staff. His coaching contributions have paid dividends for the Golden Gophers during the past nine-plus seasons as evidenced by the four Big Ten titles and a pair of top-20 NCAA finishes in Track and Field.
The 2006 season contained several memorable performances under Bingle's direction. Minnesota crowned multiple All-Americans and Big Ten champions and the program celebrated its first national champion, Heather Dorniden, in the indoor 800 meters. In addition to Dorniden's prolific rookie season, sophomore Liz Roehrig collected All-America accolades and won Big Ten titles in both the pentathlon indoor and heptathlon outdoor. Christin Kingsley also earned her first trip to the national meet in the long jump.
The 2005 season was a momentum builder for the women's track and field program, as Roehrig burst onto the collegiate scene by winning the Big Ten pentathlon title, earning Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year honors and competing in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Bingle also coached junior Mollie Hupp to the indoor 600-meter dash Big Ten crown and senior Melissa Steele to the Big Ten outdoor title in the 400-meter hurdles.
In 2004, Bingle coached then-freshman Jacenta Spandl to runner-up finishes in the Big Ten pentathlon and heptathlon. Spandl scored 5,000 heptathlon points to qualify for the NCAA Championships and placed third among the school's all-time best heptathletes.
Bingle also helped guide Shani Marks to All-America and NCAA runner-up honors in the indoor and outdoor triple jump in 2003. Marks later took fourth at the 2004 Olympic Trials, just missing a spot on the national team, before winning the USATF national title in 2006. Under Bingle's tutelage, the Gopher 4x400-meter relay team captured the 2003 Big Ten indoor title. The relay title was the first conference relay crown in Minnesota track history.
Before arriving at Minnesota, Bingle spent five years (1997-2002) at Eastern Michigan as an assistant coach of both the Eagles' women's cross country and track and field teams. He was the head recruiting coordinator for both programs and oversaw meet management. During his tenure at Eastern Michigan, the Eagles captured the 2000 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field title, while also finishing as the conference runner-up four times. He coached 16 athletes to conference crowns and had 83 athletes earn all-conference acclaim.
Prior to accepting the position at Eastern Michigan, Bingle spent one season (1997) as an assistant men's and women's coach for cross country and track and field at California-Irvine.
Bingle entered the coaching ranks at Northern Arizona where he served as a graduate assistant coach for Lumberjacks' men's and women's cross country and track teams from 1995-97. During Bingle's first year at NAU, the men's cross country team finished as the runner-up at the 1995 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships. He helped coach 13 Northern Arizona athletes to All-America honors and helped the NAU track programs capture three Big Sky Conference titles. Bingle earned a master's degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona in 1997.
Bingle began his collegiate track career as a walk-on decathlete at Ball State. He eventually earned a scholarship and was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference hurdler during his career. Bingle was named team captain and was also selected as the team's most valuable runner. He graduated from Ball State in 1995. Bingle owns a USATF Level II Certification and served as the assistant technical manager of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships from 1995-97. He is also a veteran of several cross country and track and field camps and clinics, including currently serving as the director of the Minnesota Track/Cross Country Camps.
Bingle and his wife Jennifer live in Blaine. They have three daughters, Taylor (15), Allie (8) and Grace (6).