Oregon added longtime San Francisco track and cross country coach Helen Lehman-Winters to its coaching staff.
Lehman-Winters was named associate head coach for cross country and track and field to work with the distance runners and cross country team. Last week, UO coach Robert Johnson named Virginia Tech cross country and distance coach Ben Thomas to his staff as associate head coach for the cross country and track programs.
Thomas and Lehman-Winters fill the void left when assistants Andy and Maurica Powell left to coach the track and field and cross country teams at Washington.
Lehman-Winters coached the USF women to a second-place finish at last year’s NCAA cross country championship with two top-five placers. That was the top finish ever at the national meet for the Dons, who were sixth in 2016.
“She is a seasoned, smart, talented and proven coach and a relentless recruiter,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am excited and confident in her ability to take our men’s and women’s distance program to new and exciting heights.”
Lehman-Winters has been named West Coast Conference coach of the year eight times while leading the Dons to six conference titles, including five in a row from 2009-13.
“I have enjoyed my 15 years at the University of San Francisco and I leave an incredible team and staff,” she said in a statement. “But I am thrilled to begin a new journey at Oregon and uphold the exceptional legacy of distance running.”
Lehman-Winters, who ran track and cross country at Santa Barbara before graduating from Cal, was a volunteer coach at UCLA for three seasons before arriving at San Francisco. She began her career at the prep level coaching El Cerrito and Carondelet high schools in California.