Jeff Lovgren and Heidi Coble have joined the Jets as coaches for the Newman University new triathlon program, which is set to start in the fall of this year.
The decision to start a triathlon program began with the President’s Cabinet. University officials also received interest from the campus community, the city of Wichita and individuals who compete in triathlons.
“A lot of people swim, run and ride bikes, and, with us having a team, it gives something that those people like,” said Vic Trilli, Director of Athletics and Vice President of Student Affairs.
“The announcement of the program has been well received,” Coble said. “We have already been contacted by coaches and students interested in the program.”
Adding Lovgren and Coble as coaches brings experience to the newest club sport at Newman University, both of whom have experience coaching triathlon competitors at the YMCA.
“Both Jeff and I compete in triathlons, from Sprint to Ironman distance races,” Coble said. “Over the past five years, we have built the Wichita Triathlon Team, a local adult competitive program.”
Neither coach, however, has led teams at the college level.
“There are very few collegiate triathlon programs in the country, and ours is the first in the state of Kansas,” Coble said.
Newman University’s triathlon program will be a club sport, much like the bowling program. Competitions will be set up in districts, and participants will need to compete in a set number of meets in order to make it to nationals.
“There has been talk about Newman hosting nationals in Wichita, and that would be pretty cool,” Trilli said.