John Metelko, 2010 MCC Women’s Coach of the Year,enters his fourth season as the V-Hawks Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach and his first season as the V-Hawks Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Coach. The 2011-12 school year will be the inaugural Track and Field season for the V-Hawks.
The 2010 cross country season was another step towards building a program with tradition for academic and athletic success. On the women side, the V-Hawks won their first ever Midwest Collegiate Conference championship and finished 22nd at the 31st Annual NAIA National Championships. At the national championships, the V-Hawks had two runners finish in the top 50 individually including Bea Foley who finished 23rd individually and became the programs first ever NAIA All American. The Lady V-Hawks were also honored as the 2010 La Crosse Area Sports Commission College Team of the Year. On the men’s side, Metelko helped lead the V-Hawk harriers to a fifth place finish at the MCC Championships. The V-Hawks finished in the top five of every meet they competed in including winning the programs first meet championship as they won the Martin Luther College Invitational.
In his second season at the helm, the V-Hawks continued to build and compete. On the women’s side, the V-Hawk harriers finished second at the MCC Championships and two runners qualified for the NAIA National Championships. The Lady V-Hawks finished first or second at five of the six meets they ran. On the men’s side, the V-Hawk harriers finished fourth at the MCC Championships and finished in the top four in three of their six meets last year.
During Viterbo’s inaugural season (2008-09), the V-Hawk harriers competed in six meets which included a first place finish at the UW-Platteville Invitational on the women’s side. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished fourth at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships. Individually, the V-Hawks did produce the men’s MCC Champion and Harrier of the Year. The V-Hawks also had five runners earn NAIA Scholar Athlete honors while the women’s team as a whole was named a NAIA Scholar team.
Viterbo is Metelko’s first experience as a head coach but he does have experience of being an assistant coach. Metelko joined the V-Hawks after serving as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I, University of Evansville. At Evansville, Metelko supervised morning practices, helped develop race and training strategies, provided scouting reports for upcoming races, and maintained race statistics to analyze performance and training progressions. During his time at Evansville, he earned his USA Track and Field Level 1 certification and also served as an admissions counselor. Metelko has now earned his USA Track and Field Level 2 certification and is a member of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Prior to his coaching experience at Evansville, Metelko found success as a runner at the University of Evansville. There he was a four-year letterman under the well respected Coach Don Walters. During his time as a student-athlete he was chosen as recipient of the Most Improved Runner Award and the 110% Effort Award for his dedication to training and teammates. His personal records include 26:10 for 8k (at Drake University) and 33:51 for 10k (at Indiana State University) in cross country and 8:54 for 3k (at Tennessee State University) and 15:50 for 5k (at Butler University) in track competition. He also helped lead Evansville to their best ever finishes at the Indiana Intercollegiate Championship, Missouri Valley Conference Championship and the NCAA Great Lakes Region Championships.
Once finishing his athletic career, Metelko graduated from the University of Evansville with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Geography from Northern Illinois University. Metelko and his wife Beth currently reside in La Crosse, Wis. and have a beautiful daughter, Rose.