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Aug 01, 2014 10:34 AM EDT

Bradley Names Willy Wood as Cross Country/Track and Field Coach

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Willy Wood has been named the head coach for Bradley's men's and women's running programs, effective August.

Bradley Director of Athletics Dr. Michael Cross said that his passionate competitiveness, energy and enthusiasm were notable characteristics.

"Willy Wood is a highly accomplished coach who has achieved national success in a very rigorous academic environment," said Bradley Director of Athletics Dr. Michael Cross in a statement. I am confident he can fulfill our mission of providing a distinctive education and championship experience for our student athletes. "

Wood joins the Bradley community after serving 20 years as head coach of cross country/track & field programs at Columbia.

Under his leadership, Lions secured eight Ivy League team titles and have made nine NCAA Cross Country Championship appearances. Wood produced a pair of Olympians, coached 29 All-Americans and set 68 school records.

In the last decade, Columbia women's cross country team won four Ivy League championships and the women's track and field team claimed the Ivy League Indoor title in 2012. The men's cross country squad won Ivy League championships in 2004, 2009 and 2013.

Last season, cross country squad gave its best performance in Lions' history where the men's team earned the program-best national ranking of eighth and made third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championship.

The women's cross country team made six NCAA Championship appearances in his 20 season, while the men's team achieved their highest ever finishing position of 17th (2012) at the NCAA Championships.

"I look forward to continuing the upward trajectory of the men's and women's programs and leading Bradley to even much greater success," Wood said.

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