Kevin Galbraith will guide the University of North Dakota into its first year of Big Sky Conference membership in 2012-13 after a highly successful first season at the helm of the track and field program.
Galbraith, who was named head coach at UND on July 19, 2011, led UND's women's team to runner-up finishes at both the 2011 Great West Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships, while the men's squad placed third at both championship meets.
Under Galbraith's tutelage, UND student-athletes claimed nine individual GWC titles, highlighted by senior Emily Emerson's GWC record time of 4:27.29 in the 1,500-meters, the final race of her decorated career. Mikaela Hirst (triple jump), Taylor Brett (pole vault), Roman Waldera (discus), Jesse Fenstermacher (800-meters), Shawn Johnson (shot put) and Matthew Harris (pole vault) also captured GWC outdoor titles, while Brett and Christine Weinreich (weight throw) won GWC indoor championships.
Senior sprinter Chris Stoks won UND's prestigious Glenn "Red" Jarrett Male Athlete of the Year Award (all sports), senior Tyler Rose received the GWC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Sportsmanship Award, senior Lindsay Anderson was named the GWC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and freshman Chantel Urban was named the GWC Female Freshman of the Year.
During Galbraith's first year at UND, his student-athletes were equally prolific in the classroom, as both the men's and women's squads were named 2011-12 Division I All-Academic teams by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). UND's women's team boasted a cumulative 3.45 grade point average to tie for 13th among the 171 Division I women's teams honored. On the men's side, UND owned a 3.19 cumulative GPA to tie for 31st among 85 honored teams.
Individually, Anderson was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All‐America Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Third Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was joined on the Academic All-District Team by her UND teammate, junior Kirsten Haas.
During the fall of 2012, Galbraith and his staff unveiled a new addition to the program's practice facilities: the Gill NCAA Double Ring Tall hammer cage. The first-ever hammer cage at UND, it is the same model that was used at the 2008 Olympic trials hammer throw and is built to the specifications required to host an NCAA championship. The cage, which also enhances training safety for UND's student-athletes, puts the program's throwing facilities on par with nearly every school in the nation.
An experienced collegiate track and field coach with a diverse coaching background, Galbraith came to UND after a highly successful seven-year tenure as head men's and women's track and field coach at the University of Northern Colorado, where he guided the Bears through their transition from Division II to Division I and into the Big Sky Conference.
"Coach Galbraith brings a unique vantage point to our track and field program, having led a program through the transition from Division II to Division I and leading that same program into our future conference home the Big Sky," said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison at the time of Galbraith's hiring. "Kevin's coaching resume is outstanding."
During his time at UNC, Galbraith's student-athletes set 15 school records and added 68 marks to the program's men's and women's top-10 lists. UNC also boasted several significant milestones, including its first NCAA Division I qualifiers in school history (all sports), the first NCAA national championship female qualifier in school history, and the first Big Sky individual champions (all sports) in school history.
Galbraith also developed a comprehensive training and strength development plan for Amr Seoud, a Beijing Olympic qualifier. Seoud trained with the Bears in 2010 and went on to set two Egyptian national records and win the Gold medal in the 200 meters at the 2010 African Championships.
Prior to his arrival at UNC, Galbraith spent five seasons (1999 to 2004) as an assistant track and field coach at Long Beach State University, where he coached sprints and hurdles. In four of his five seasons, he coached the top three finishers at the conference championship in the men's 400 meters, and he also had the top freshmen finishers at the Big West Championship in both the men's and women's 400 meters his final three years.
Galbraith is a 1981 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor's degree in communications and was the cross country team's most valuable runner as a senior. He served as a volunteer cross country coach at LMU from 1986 to 1993, and received a master's degree in communication in 1991.
In 1995, Galbraith was named head track and field coach at Los Angeles Valley College, where he spent two seasons. He also served two stints (1993-95, 1997-99) as assistant track coach with Track West, a USA Track and Field (USATF) national club program based out of Santa Monica, Calif.
Galbraith has also served as the meet manager of the Southern California Twilight Distance Qualifier in Los Angeles, and the Southern California Cross Country Championships in Walnut, Calif.