Minnesota's newcomers for next season total 15 new student-athletes joining the Maroon & Gold
Four sprinters, six distance runners, three multi-event athletes, one thrower, and one hurdler will join Minnesota
Minnesota is pleased to add 11 more student-athletes to its incoming class
Former Gopher student-athlete Hesser will take over for her mentor.
Fifteen student-athletes have committed to joining the Gophers next season.
The 2017-18 season marks Matt Bingle’s seventh season as director of women's track & field and cross country at the University of Minnesota. He has been with the Gophers since October 2002 and became the first person to hold the title of women's director of track & field and cross country at the University of Minnesota in October 2011.
During Bingle’s first six years overseeing both the women’s track & field and cross country programs, the Gopher track & field team has earned 21 All-America honors, 34 NCAA national championship qualifiers, 37 All-Big Ten honors and 209 academic All-Big Ten awards. In addition, the Gophers’ cross country program has earned 19 all-region honors, nine All-Big Ten accolades and 102 academic All-Big Ten awards since Bingle took over direction of both programs in 2011-12.
"Serving as director of women's track & 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.”
Named the 2016 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year and the 2016 USTFCCCA Midwest Region Head Coach of the Year, Bingle’s coaching contributions have paid dividends for the Gophers during the past 15 seasons as evidenced by five Big Ten titles, including a share of the 2016 Outdoor B1G crown, and a pair of top-12 NCAA finishes in track & field. The cross country team advanced to 11-straight NCAA championships from 2005 to 2015 as well.
The 2016-17 season marked Bingle’s 15th season overall at Minnesota. He spent his first four years with the Gophers serving under former women’s cross country head coach Gary 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 his first 15 years at Minnesota, Bingle’s Gophers have secured 44 indoor and 93 outdoor track & field NCAA Championship qualifications. Fifty different Gophers have competed at the indoor or outdoor track & field national meets under Bingle, including at least one student-athlete every year since his first season at Minnesota in 2002-03. In total, Minnesota has secured 134 All-Big Ten awards on the track during Bingle’s time with the program.
Track & Field Success at Minnesota
Bingle began his Gopher career as an assistant coach on the track in the 2002-03 season, during which he helped guide Shani Marks to All-America and NCAA runner-up honors in the indoor and outdoor triple jump. He coached the Gopher 4x400-meter relay team to the 2003 Big Ten indoor title, marking the first conference relay crown in Minnesota track history.
Bingle was recognized for his immediate contributions to Minnesota track & field by being promoted to the position of associate head coach after just one season as an assistant on the coaching staff.
In 2004, Bingle coached then-freshman Jacenta Spandl to runner-up finishes in the Big Ten pentathlon and heptathlon, and she scored 5,000 heptathlon points to qualify for the NCAA championships. From 2005 to 2008, Liz Roehrig claimed four-straight Big Ten titles in the pentathlon and won three Big Ten heptathlon crowns in 2006, 2008 and 2009 under Bingle’s direction as well.
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 under Bingle’s direction, and Christine Kingsley also earned her first trip to the national meet in the long jump.
After briefly serving as the track & field program’s interim head coach, Bingle became the third head coach of Gopher women’s track & field in March 2007, following Wilson, who spent 21 seasons as the head coach, and Mike Lawless. Bingle guided the Gophers to three Big Ten Indoor Track & Field titles (2007, 2008, 2009) and a Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field title (2006) along with supporting two Big Ten cross country titles (2007, 2008) before taking over as the director of women's track & field and cross country in Oct. 2011.
Bingle coached the Gophers’ 4x400-meter relay team to its first two NCAA Championship appearances in program history in 2013-14 and 2014-15, including Jessica Waldvogel, Titania Markland, Emerald Egwim and Erin Hawkins becoming the first All-American 4x400m relay in program history with a 13th-place finish for second team honors in 2015. Under Bingle’s direction, four-time All-American Jess Lehman (Herauf) earned back-to-back B1G titles in both the pentathlon and heptathlon in 2015 and 2016. The Gophers have recorded top-three team finishes at each of the last three Big Ten Outdoor Championships (2015, 2016, 2017), including sharing the 2016 team title with Michigan, and the program has earned 21 All-American awards in the past four seasons.
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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & field 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 & field 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 & field 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 & Field Championships from 1995-97. He is also a veteran of several cross country and track & field camps and clinics, including currently serving as the director of the Minnesota Track & Field/Cross Country Camps.
Bingle and his wife Jennifer live in Blaine. They have three daughters, Taylor, Allie and Grace.
2016-17 By the Numbers
Take a look back at the 2016-17 Gopher women's track & field and cross country seasons by the numbers.
Grunewald Continues to Inspire
Gophers alumna Gabriele Grunewald has garnered significant media coverage this spring and summer.
Minnesota Announces 2017 Schedule
The Golden Gophers' 2017 schedule includes five home meets at Les Bolstad Course.