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Wade Watkins Named OUAZ Head Coach For Cross Country/Track & Field



Surprise, AZ.
 – OUAZ Director of Athletics, Kevin Steele, is pleased to announce the hiring of Wade Watkins as the head cross country and track & field coach for the OUAZ Spirit at the new residential campus in Surprise, Arizona.
 
“Wade (Watkins) is a man who loves a challenge,” said OUAZ Director of Athletics Kevin Steele. “He must, because this is the third time I have asked him to come with me to build a program. The first two times he has been very successful and I don’t expect anything different here. He has a passion for his student-athletes and his sport. His enthusiasm drives him to get out and run with his distance runners periodically, which tells you much about the man. Wade is rarely sitting down or resting. He has energy and drive that make him the perfect man to lead our Spirit Cross Country and Track & Field programs. I welcome him as my partner and associate for a third time and truly believe God will bless this time together.”
                        
Watkins comes to OUAZ from MidAmerica Nazarene University, where he was the head men and women’s cross country coach and associate head coach for men and women’s track & field. Watkins helped reinstate both the cross country and track teams at MNU after a seven year hiatus. In 2016, the MNU women’s cross country team won the Heart of America Athletic Conference title and the men’s team took second place. Both teams represented The Heart at the NAIA National Championships, where the women placed 23rd and the men placed 28th. Watkins had five athletes named to the All-Conference teams.
 
The MNU men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams both placed second in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, while both the men’s and women’s outdoor track & field teams finished in third place. Watkins was named The Heart’s Assistant Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year in 2016.
 
“I’ve been given the opportunity to create traditions and build a program from the ground up; that is super exciting and such an honor,” said Wade Watkins. “I look forward to having the student athletes on campus and competing in our first meet. My expectation for the first year is to field a team that will compete well at the meets we attend and grow into a team that can represent OUAZ successfully at the national level.”
 
 
Prior to MNU, Watkins was the head cross country and track and field coach at Fullerton College from 2012-2015. Watkins was also the head coach for men & women’s cross country and distance track at Cal Baptist University; where he led the men’s cross country team to a Top 25 national ranking.
 
Watkins obtained his master’s degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Cal Poly Pomona University.
 
For more information about OUAZ athletics, visit http://www.ottawa.edu/ouaz/athletics. Follow OUAZ athletics on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUAZSpiritAthletics/ and on Twitter twitter.com/OUAZSpirit.       
 
 
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About Ottawa University
Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and opening inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving more than 4,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz. (opening Fall 2017), and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and online. For more information, visit www.ottawa.edu