In June of 2014, Spring Arbor University Athletic Director Ryan Cottingham announced that Jeremy Smith, the men's cross country and track & field assistant coach for the previous two seasons, had been named the Cougars' Director of Cross Country and Track & Field.
During his first five years with the cross country program, including three as head coach, the Cougars saw six runners qualify for the NAIA National Championships, and three would go on to earn All-American honors. Smith has helped coach two Crossroads League individual champions and eight All-Conference performers. In 2012, he helped guide SAU to a conference runner-up finish while the squad placed fourth in 2013.
The Cougar men have impressed on the track as well under Smith's guidance, boasting 32 NAIA national qualifiers, 11 All-Americans, and three individual national champions – all in distance events. To go along with the NAIA accolades, Spring Arbor has crowned six more National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA) national champions.
Not only have his teams found success in competitions, but they have also excelled in the classroom. Between the men's and women's cross country teams since the 2014-15 academic year, the Cougars combined for 25 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, while the track & field teams totaled 36 more.
Smith began his career at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he spent three seasons as an assistant cross country and track and field coach from 2003-05. During his tenure, he assisted in leading the Colonels men's team to a 22nd place finish at the NCAA DIII national championships in 2005 as well as a NCAA DIII South/Southeast Regional Championship. He also coached school-record breaking teams in the distance medley relay and 4x800 meter relay. Other responsibilities while at Centre included recruiting and designing running and lifting programs for distance and middle distance runners.
Smith earned a bachelor's degree in religion philosophy from Roberts Wesleyan College, where he was a four-year letterman and team captain. As an athlete with the Redhawks, he received the Wheeler Award in 2005, which recognizes the NCCAA's Cross Country Outstanding Runners in athletics, academics, leadership, Christian character and Christian service. On the track, his times in the 5000 meter run, 10,000 meter run and distance medley relay still rank top-5 in school history.
"Great coaches and leaders before me have sacrificed so much to develop the foundation and culture I now have the opportunity to build on," said Smith. "I'm excited for what God has in store for Spring Arbor University men's and women's cross country and track & field!"
Smith holds a USATF Level 1 certification and is a certified personal trainer. He is married to Shannon Smith and has two sons, Aiden and Bradley. The Smiths currently reside in Concord, Michigan.
Bryan Burk begins his fourth season as the head coach of the Spring Arbor University women’s track and field program.
The former standout competed as a member of the Cougar cross country and track teams for four years from 2009-13. He was a three-time All-Conference performer in cross country, where he helped lead SAU to a pair of second place league finishes and one third place finish.
On the track, Burk was a three-time NAIA national qualifier in the marathon, posting his best time in 2011. He narrowly missed a top-10 finish, placing 11th after completing the race in 2:33:19.96. In 2012, Burk brought home his first conference championship after claiming the top spot in the 10,000 meter run.
While a member of the cross country program, the Cougar men's team was honored by the NAIA with the Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award. This prestigious award is given to teams that demonstrate in every day decisions integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
Burk received his Bachelor's in Health and Exercise Science in 2013. He holds a USATF Level 1 Coaching Certification and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the ACSM.
He and his wife, Chelsae, reside in Spring Arbor, Michigan.
Erika Vogel begins her fourth year as the assistant coach of the Spring Arbor University men’s and women’s track and field teams.
Vogel arrived at Spring Arbor after a highly successful year on the staff at Carthage College where she worked with sprint, jump and multi-event athletes. While with the Red Men/Lady Reds, she coached the 2014 NCAA DIII Indoor National Champion and the Outdoor National runner-up in the men's high jump. Vogel also saw her athletes claim two All-American honors in the women's 400-meter dash and multiple conference titles.
Prior to her time at Carthage, Vogel spent two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Findlay, coaching the jumps and multi's. With the Oilers, she coached an All-American in the men's high jump at the 2012 NCAA DII Indoor and Outdoor National Championships. She also saw the school record shattered in the women's pentathlon and heptathlon with both athletes qualifying for the national meet.
As an athlete, Vogel was a standout at Three Rivers High School, where she still owns the school high jump record with a mark of 5' 6.5", and was inducted into the TRHS Athletic Hall of Fame. After high school, she became a member of the track team at Central Michigan University for four years competing in the high jump and multi-events. She won more than 25 high jump competitions over the span of her career, including two MAC titles, and still holds the school record at 1.84 meters (6' 0.5"). She qualified for the 2010 NCAA DI Indoor National Championships and finished 12th in the high jump and qualified for the USATF Outdoor Nationals where she finished ninth.
After her collegiate career, Vogel continued to compete and increased her high jump PR to 1.85 meters (6' 0.75"). She claimed a fifth place finish at the 2011 USATF Indoor Nationals and, later that year, at the USATF Outdoor Nationals, she posted the ninth highest jump in the United States.
Vogel received her Bachelors of Science from Central Michigan in 2010 and her Masters of Arts in Education in Human Resource Development from Findlay in 2013.
Vogel and her husband, Ryan, currently reside in Jackson, Michigan.