Name: Jason Lewkowicz
Current Position: Director of XC/TF at Montreat College
Past Positions: 3 years as a bi-vocational XC coach at UVa-Wise (NAIA)
3 years full time at Hannibal-LaGrange (NAIA)
4 years full-time at Eastern Mennonite (D3), just finished year 3 at Montreat (NAIA)
Education: B.S. Secondary Education (History) – Appalachian State University (2000)
M.A. Higher Education – Administration – Appalachian State University (2002)
Athletic: Academic All-Conference in college (High Jump). In high school, part of the first boys team from his high school to ever qualify for the state cross country championships. They finished 5th!
1. How did you know you wanted to get into coaching?
Honestly, I pretty much fell into it. I was working as a college administrator about to start looking at doctoral programs en route to becoming a college dean or VP. As a stress reliever, I asked to coach the college’s small NAIA cross country program, mainly as a mode of stress relief. I ended up loving it and, two years later, decided that it was a calling and pursued coaching full time. I was hired at another small NAIA school in Missouri as an XC/Track coach and the rest is history!
2. What is it like to be a Director of XC/TF of an NAIA Program?
Being a head coach of an XC/TF at any level is a huge responsibility as you are managing people on a large scale. Leadership, management, and organizational skills are a must! You have to know how to hire the right assistants and trust them to do their jobs. At the small school level, you can’t delegate as much responsibility as the larger schools who have admin assistants and director of opps, so you have to think about and have a direct hand in more mundane things. Delegation is a must, though!
3. What is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring coaches?
To aspiring coaches I would say no job is too small and, if college coaching is something you really want to do, you have to be willing to make sacrifices to hone your craft and earn an opportunity. Going the volunteer or GA route are great door openers! Also, be willing to learn events outside of the one (s) you specialized in…it will make you more marketable. Most importantly, if you want to be the best coach, remember that an athlete centered approach will always be the most fulfilling and beneficial for your athletes. Develop people first and athletes second.