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V-Hawks - Wed, Jun. 7, 2017

LA CROSSE, Wis. – In 2010, John Metelko was hired to build the Viterbo University track and field program and now he will attempt a similar venture in his home state of Indiana. Metelko has announced he has accepted a position as the assistant cross country and track and field coach with his alma mater, University of Evansville. 

"I am grateful to the student-athletes, alumni, and assistant coaches that I have been able to work with at Viterbo University," Metelko said. "Building the cross country program and track and field teams with many past and current student-athletes is certainly something I am proud of. I believe our teams are on the right track."

In 2008, Metelko accepted the challenge to lead the Viterbo men's and women's cross country teams. After two successful seasons, Metelko added the title of men's and women's track and field head coach to his resume and has held both titles ever since.

"I would like to thank Director of Athletics Barry Fried and the administration of Viterbo University for sharing a vision with me since 2008, and for giving me my first head coaching job," Metelko continued, "I am truly grateful and indebted to everyone for believing in me to lead the program."

Since his arrival, Metelko has helped the cross country and track and field programs capture a combined 18 team titles including the women's 2010 Midwest Collegiate Conference Cross Country Championship and the men's 2016 Wisconsin Private College Championships. Thanks to Metelko's leadership, the V-Hawks have hosted at least one race in five of the last six years. He created the unique Viterbo Night Flight, which is now in its fifth season.

"John has been a great mentor to our student-athletes and a highly respected colleague within the athletics department," stated Fried. "I am so grateful for his leadership with our track and field and cross  country programs. He poured his heart and soul into building our programs and has laid a great foundation for the future."

Metelko has coached at least one student-athlete to the NAIA National Championships in eight of nine seasons totaling 38 national qualifiers. The V-Hawks have had success in the North Star Athletic Association under Metelko, as 14 individuals earned conference titles and 12 student-athletes qualified for the NAIA Championships in the last two seasons. In Metelko's tenure, 53 student-athletes were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes and 76 earned all-conference recognition.

"John is very deserving of this new opportunity in Evansville," continued Fried. "This will be a great chance for he and his family to get closer to home and also allow John to coach at his alma mater. I wish he and his wife, Beth, and their family nothing but the best moving forward."

Metelko will join his former coach, Don Walters, as they prepare for the University of Evansville's inaugural track and field season. As a four-year letter winner under Walters, Metelko was chosen as a recipient of the Most Improved Runner Award and the 110% Effort Award. Following his running career, Metelko spent time as a volunteer assistant coach with the Purple Aces supervising morning practices, developing race and training strategies, providing scouting reports for upcoming races, and maintaining race statistics to analyze performance and progressions.

Metelko will officially complete his duties at Viterbo in mid-June. The search for the next head cross country and track and field coach at Viterbo University will begin immediately. 

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