Two Set To Join UW Track Coaching Staff

July 27, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. - First-year head coach Bryan Berryhill announced Friday the addition of Joe Stephens and Shaun Meinecke as assistant coaches for the University of Wyoming track and field and cross country program.

Stephens will become the assistant coach of distance and cross country and recruiting coordinator for the Cowboys and Cowgirls, while Meinecke will be an assistant coach who will oversee sprints, hurdles, jumps and multi-events.

Stephens has spent the last four seasons as a cross country and track coach with Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. In the fall of 2011, Stephens moved up from a volunteer coach to the assistant cross country coach at CSU. He also was an assistant middle- and long-distance coach during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.

Stephens' coaching career began in 2003 as a graduate assistant cross country and track coach at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan. He was part of the 2004 outdoor track and field Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men's and women's teams, each of which captured league titles. He guided one runner to an NCAA DII All-America award in the 10,000-meter run.

During the 2005-07 seasons, Stephens was an assistant cross country coach and the horizontal jumps, 10,000 meters and marathon coach at Black Hills State University. He coached three Dakota Athletic Conference champions, two NAIA national qualifiers and two school-record holders while at BHSU.

While in college, Stephens competed at several levels, including Division I, II and NAIA. He competed in the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships during his sophomore and junior seasons. Stephens has a bachelor's degree in recreation management from Mount Marty College, in Yankton, S.D., and a master's degree in sports administration from Fort Hays State University.

"Coach Stephens is a phenomenal recruiter who has a tremendous understanding of track and field and cross country," Berryhill said. "He has proven in his previous work that he can recruit and sign very talented athletes and his talents will help us rise to the top of the Mountain West. He is very passionate about running and he will pass this onto the group of athletes he works with."

Meinecke recently completed his third season as an assistant coach at Long Beach State in Long Beach, Calif., in 2012. In 2011, three Long Beach State student-athletes earned All-Big West honors. The men's sprinters and hurdlers accounted for 21 points to help the squad to the Big West title under his direction.

In Meinecke's first year with the 49ers in 2010, three of his athletes earned all-conference honors, while the men's 4-by-100- and 4-by-400-meter relay squads finished in the top three at the conference meet. Three of his hurdlers qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary meet, while one advanced to the NCAA Championships.

Previously, he coached at Miami (Ohio) University for three years as an assistant coach. During his time at Miami, Meinecke helped produce six conference champs, seven national qualifiers, five trips to nationals, and two All-America honors. The RedHawks set seven school records, one Mid-American Conference record, and one Israeli national record under his guidance.

Meinecke spent two years as the head women's cross country/track and field coach at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., earlier in his career, earning Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year honors two times. His athletes produced 15 conference crowns, 13 regional qualifying performances, two SoCon records, two Junior National qualifiers, and one NCAA qualifying mark. He helped the Eagles to consecutive second-place finishes at the Southern Conference Outdoor Championships. Meinecke also was an assistant at Georgia Southern University from 2001-03.

He was an NCAA Division III All-America decathlete at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. A three-time national qualifier, he was a member of a national championship team as a member of the distance medley relay. Meinecke earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Luther College in 2001 and went on to earn his master's degree in sport management from Georgia Southern in 2003.

"Coach Meinecke has a proven track record of producing great athletes in multiple event areas," Berryhill said. "His technical understanding of the sprints, hurdles, and jumps is amazing. I was impressed with his coaching ability, but what really sets him apart is his character. We just added a coach that will help this program climb the ranks in the conference."