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Corey Ihmels
Position: Director of Men's and Women's Track and Cross Country
Alma Mater: Iowa State
Graduating Year: 1997
Phone: (515) 294-6421
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Corey Ihmels
Release: 09/26/2006

The steady rise of Iowa State’s cross country and track and field programs within the Big 12 Conference and nationally continues unabated as ISU director of track and cross country Corey Ihmels heads into his seventh indoor and outdoor track and field campaigns.

Ihmels’ impact on the Cyclone track and field program has been profound. Since becoming the director of Iowa State track and field and cross country, the Cyclone men’s track team posted its best team finish since 2000 at the 2009 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship. At the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship, the Cyclone women scored their most team points in program history, placing sixth.

Under Ihmels, the Iowa State women’s cross country team won its first-ever Big 12 title in 2011, won the Midwest Regional Championship in 2010 and ran to the second-best NCAA finish in program history as they finished eighth. They have been ranked first in the Midwest Region for the entirety of the 2010 and 2011 cross country seasons. In 2011, the women also reached a program-high national ranking, reaching eighth. The men’s cross country team placed 17th at the 2009 NCAA Championship, the best finish in the men’s program history since 1997. They also finished third at the 2008 Big 12 Championship, hosted in Ames, the highest conference finish in program history since 1997.

Ihmels was named the 2011 Women's Big 12 Cross Country Coach of the Year and the Women’s Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2010. 

The Cyclones have recently graduated some highly decorated runners who developed under Ihmels’ coaching. Lisa Koll ran her last Iowa State season in 2010 and left the Cyclones as the first women to ever win four straight Big 12 titles in the same event. She became one of four athletes to ever win the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Koll was named the female track and field athlete of the year and was a finalist for the Bowerman Award in 2010.

While Koll is Ihmels’ best known pupil, Iowa State’s roster is full of proven competitors, including All-American Grace Kemmey, All-American Kiel Uhl, three-time All-American Betsy Saina, All-American Dani Stack and four-time All-American Hillary Bor.

The Iowa State women’s cross country team’s first season under Ihmels was equally promising. The Cyclones placed seventh among 25 teams at the Midwest Regional. Koll, who was third in the Big 12 Championship and fourth at the regional, went on to earn All-America honors for the second straight year with an 18th-place effort at the NCAA national meet. Kemmey, the Big 12 newcomer of the year, also earned All-America honors.

Ihmels was a six-time All-America long-distance runner at Iowa State and a member of the school’s 1994 NCAA championship cross country team. Chosen by ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard to head the Cyclone programs in May 2007, Ihmels oversees the overall operation of both programs and hired a top-notch coaching staff.

Ihmels, one of the most-celebrated runners in Cyclone history and a competitor under legendary coach Bill Bergan, is well-positioned to elevate the performance of an Iowa State track and field and cross country program long on tradition and championships.

As an assistant coach at Iowa State before taking over the director post, Ihmels watched 2006 NCAA mile runner-up David Rotich break the Cyclone coach’s school records in the mile and 1,000-meter run.

Ihmels, a 13-time North Dakota state high school champion and the Foot Locker national prep honoree, was recruited to ISU in 1992. A sub four-minute miler, Ihmels was the Big 12’s inaugural track MVP in 1997 after winning the mile and 1,000-meter run at the indoor championship. He and his wife Michelle, a volunteer assistant on the Cyclone coaching staff, celebrated the birth of their son Will in February 2007 and daughter Ruby Anne, born in January 2009.


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