Art Siemers, the coach who has guided Colorado State’s cross country program to new heights over the past 10 years, is stepping down at the end of the current track and field season in June.
Siemers, 49, is “retiring” from CSU and moving to Tennessee, where his wife, Erica, was recently hired as the University of Chattanooga Foundation’s associate vice chancellor for development. The foundation manages the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s private endowment.
Erica was the director of donor relations at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden before leaving that job in 2012 so Art, who had been coaching at Mines since 2002, could try his hand coaching at the NCAA Division I level.
Erica found a great job in Fort Collins, he said, as the regional executive director of the UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation but wanted to get back into a higher-education setting. And this opportunity was too good for her to turn down.
“Once she went there, met the people and saw the town, she really wanted to do it,” Art said. “My job’s to support her. She did the same for me when I moved her from Mines. She told me, ‘You’ve got to take a chance at Division I; you’ll always wonder if you can be a successful Division I coach.’ ”
Art has been more successful than any cross country and distance-running coach in CSU history. His men’s teams have won two Mountain West titles and qualified for the NCAA Championships five times in 10 seasons, including top-10 finishes in 2017-18. And his women’s team has made it to the NCAA Championships each of the past two seasons, finishing 17th last fall.
He has coached the distance runners on CSU men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams that have combined for 12 MW titles and 21 individual conference championships. He has coached eight of the 10 fastest women and eight of the 10 fastest men ever to run the 5,000 meters at CSU, as well as seven of the school’s top 10 in the women’s indoor 5,000, women’s 3,000 steeplechase and men’s indoor 3,000.
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Art was the 2017 MW Cross Country Coach of the Year and the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season.
He also volunteered his time to work with some former CSU athletes, including U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials participants Jerrell Mock, Grant Fischer and his assistant coach, Andrew Epperson, on his Siemers Dreamers running team that disbanded when road races shut down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t charge them or anything,” Art said. “I just thought it was cool to have some alumni in town who were still training and working hard.”
The consistent success of the CSU distance running program during his tenure is what Art prides himself on most. The …….