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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Former All-American leads Eagles

Friday, September 21, 2007  
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By Stefanie Trent

After 38 years under the direction of Randy Heath, Oklahoma Christian University recently hired a new cross country coach.  Wayne Strohman now holds the reigns for the Eagles cross country program, becoming the fourth head coach in 43 years.

Strohman attended Oklahoma Christian from 1990-1994 where he ran cross country and track and field under Heath. He always wanted to come back to Oklahoma Christian to coach and work in the athletic department.

“The opportunity came to move back and I always thought it would be great to come back and make a difference and give back to the university by making a difference in kid’s lives,” Strohman said.

In his time at Oklahoma Christian, Strohman earned five NAIA All-American honors at Oklahoma Christian with two earned in cross country.

“When I was a student here and looking back on it, I was meant to be at Oklahoma Christian at that time in my life,” Strohman said. “Just the experience and direction is what I needed to become the person I wanted to become.”

Strohman qualified for nationals in cross country all four years as an Eagle and won the District 9 Championship three years in a row. In 1992 and 1993 at cross country nationals he placed 23rd and 21st, respectively, earning All-American honors.

In 1993 Strohman ran on the 3200 meter relay team that finished third at the indoor track and field nationals. His senior year he placed second at outdoor nationals in the 1,000 meter run, setting a new school record with a time of 29:25.51.

“Wayne had a lot of versatility, Heath said. “He would have to train for the specific group of the events he wanted to do.”

During his time at Oklahoma Christian, Strohman put most of his focus on training and his athletic endeavors, but still found time for his studies. The NAIA named him a Scholar-Athlete in 1993 and 1994.

“I was more into the athletic than anything else,” Strohman said. “I worked really hard to become the best athlete I could. I worked hard and studied hard.”

While at Oklahoma Christian Strohman also had the opportunity to compete internationally on the NAIA All-Star Track and Field Team in Barcelona, Spain.

He majored in physical education while attending Oklahoma Christian said some of his favorite professors were Max Dobson and men’s basketball coach Dan Hays.

After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, Strohman went on to attend Pittsburgh State University where he served as a graduate assistant coach and earned his master’s degree in physical education. Then, he moved to Wichita, Kansas to train with a post collegiate team of runners. There he met his wife.

After being in Wichita for five years, he and his wife moved to Kansas City for five years. During this time, he won multiple events as a competitive runner and holds the Kansas state record in the 12K and half-marathon.

In 2004, Oklahoma Christian inducted Strohman into its athletic hall of fame.

In addition to heading the cross country program, Strohman will assist Heath with the track and field teams. He also serves as director of Oklahoma Christian’s fitness programs while pursuing a doctorate in kinesiology and sports administration from Texas Women’s University.

Strohman has lead the men’s cross country team to a No. 24 national ranking and a No. 1 ranking in District 9. The Lady Eagles are ranked No. 3 in District 9.

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