University of Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi announced today the hiring of Matt Bingle as the head coach of the Golden Gopher Women’s Track and Field program.
"I am pleased to announce Matt Bingle as our new head women's track and field coach," Maturi said. "The recent success of the women's track and field program while Matt was an assistant and then the interim head coach was a huge factor in this hire. In addition, he embodies all of the values that make him such an important member of our Gopher family. Matt, Gary Wilson and Lynne Anderson have done a tremendous job and we are very excited to keep that coaching staff together. We look forward to many more years of success for our track and field program under Matt’s leadership."
Bingle, who had been the interim head coach since November, signed a multi-year contract after guiding the Golden Gophers to their first Big Ten Indoor title in February. Last spring as the associate head coach, Bingle helped guide Minnesota to the Conference outdoor crown.
A testament to his immediate impact with the women’s track and field team, Bingle was named the 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year and Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
“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 didn’t have to do this. He’s like a father-figure to me and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Bingle is just the third head coach in the history of the women’s track and field program, following Wilson, who spent 21 seasons as the head coach, and Mike Lawless. Wilson remains on staff as an assistant coach with the track and field program and recently signed a six-year contract extension to retain his position as the head coach of the women’s cross country team.
“What’s great for the program is that for the next six years there will be stability in the coaching staff,” Bingle said. “What we have going right now is working and any time you can have a good staff together and stay together, the sky is the limit.”
In his fifth season overall at Minnesota, Bingle spent his first four years serving under Wilson. His influence as the program’s recruiting coordinator and ability to attract some of the nation’s top talent has been the primary reason for Minnesota’s rise to the top of 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 four-plus seasons as evidenced by the two Big Ten titles and a pair of top-20 NCAA finishes.
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 Nike Camp in Minnesota.
Bingle and his wife Jennifer live in Columbia Heights. They have three daughters, Taylor (9), Allie (2) and newborn Grace.