A conversation with new cross-country and track and field Coach Nick Schneigert

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Photo courtesy of UD athletics

What drew you to the University of Dallas?

Schneigert: The school has a really good reputation, not only in the state of Texas but nationally. I like coaching at schools that have a good academic reputation like that. Also, it’s in Dallas, so that was a big draw for me. I come from the Chicago area, so I wanted to go to a place that is sort of similar, minus the weather. And my wife is from Texas, so her parents are moving down here too by the end of the month. I think also, [SCAC]… is a great conference to work in. And I want to say, finally, that it’s always been my dream to be a full-time head coach. I’ve always been part-time before. And this is a great opportunity to finally become a full-time head coach …There are just so many positives about the university and the Metroplex area. Also, it’s a good Catholic university … and I do want to do community service work [as a team] for the Church. 

You mentioned that you have always had a dream to coach full-time, what do you love about coaching so much?

Schneigert: You know what, my interactions with student-athletes … To me, coaching is so much fun. Especially when you see student-athletes excel … I go to Buffalo Wild Wings after every meet with my wife and I just brag about my student-athletes. And it doesn’t matter what ability level they are, they could be 30-minute milers, or they could be 5-minute milers… It is the coolest feeling. 

Could you mention, more specifically, what some of your career highlights have been so far?

Schneigert: One of them was Harper College, I was an assistant coach there… Our women’s team placed second in Track and Field at the National Championship and the men placed sixth. That was really neat… When I was at Illinois Tech, I coached the 4×4 team, and every morning these kids came out, never missing practice… And because of [our conference] we had no championships. They didn’t have anything to strive for, so I told them, let’s strive for school records. And my 4×4 team got the school record, finally, I mean we worked so hard for it… And it was so funny, we were screaming, hollering, they were carrying me, and everyone’s like “Why are you guys celebrating?”… But they don’t understand how hard we worked for that. 

How do you want to see growth in the program?

Schneigert: I know Coach Barber did a good job recruiting… I really want to [recruit] kids who will fit the culture here at the University of Dallas, and then also fit into the cross-country/track and field mentality as well. I want [student-athletes] to, hopefully, when they leave here, bring that culture of track and cross-country [into the world] so the sport can grow here in the United States. I want people to love cross-country and track and field. 

If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or veggie would you be?

Schneigert: I like bananas because bananas have a lot of potassium. And runners need potassium! [But] I would definitely be a celery stick. 

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