Rustin Nyce, a former Goshen College runner and assistant coach, has been named head coach of the Goshen College men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs, the Goshen College Athletic Department announced Monday.

A 2002 GC graduate, Nyce has been interim head coach of the cross country teams since Doug Yoder resigned in June. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach during Yoder’s tenure and seven seasons as the head boys cross country coach at Fairfield High School in Millersburg, Indiana.

“Rustin has quickly proven that he has the skill set to not only learn and adapt, but to move things forward positively,” said Athletic Director Josh Gleason. “He relates incredibly well to various types of student-athletes, giving him a unique ability to motivate and develop them as athletes, students and as people. He is deeply passionate and committed to building excellence competitively, while also utilizing the cross country and track and field programs to make positive impacts on our institutional mission and goals as well as the broader Goshen community.”

“I am thrilled to step into the head coach positions,” Nyce said. “When I was an athlete here I ran for Rick Clark. I learned more as an assistant coach under Doug Yoder. Those two men were dedicated to success on the track and in the classroom and they were two great role models to learn from.”

On the track side, Nyce replaces another interim head coach in Jim Whittaker. Whittaker, a 2005 GC graduate who assisted Yoder for five seasons, resigned to become the head cross country and track coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.

“We will miss the leadership and expertise that Jim brought to our team,” Gleason said.

“We are confident and excited, though, about how Rustin and the rest of our coaching staff will continue to lead our student-athletes and programs forward while pursuing excellence in competition, in the classroom, and in the community.”

“Jim and I worked together to change the culture of the programs and I anticipate that the athletes will experience our parallel goals for the track program,” said Nyce. “I’m thankful that Jim has created such a hard-working, team-oriented atmosphere. I sincerely wish him all the best at Ottawa. I was a teammate of his and a coaching colleague for some time, and I know how knowledgeable and dedicated Jim is to the sport of track and field. Hopefully we will run into each other often at nationals.”

Dallan Troyer, in his third season as a track and field assistant, has also been promoted to associate head coach for track and field.

“We also have great assistant coaches and they will be much needed and much appreciated in our transition,” said Nyce. “My goals for the team are to become more competitive in our conference and, eventually, on a national level. I will continue to ask our athletes to maintain their high level of achievement in the classroom as well. My hope is that our athletes will see that this is our program, collectively, and they have a hand in helping themselves and their teammates achieve success.”

Goshen has already had a pair of athletes qualify for the NAIA national meet in the 3,000-meter race walk. 2016 will mark the 10th straight year that a Maple Leaf race walker has qualified for nationals. At least one runner, male or female, has qualified for nine of the last 11 national cross country meets.

The Maple Leaf track and field programs have three more events left in the indoor season before the NAIA national championships, set for March 3-5 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Outdoor competition will begin March 26 at the Dick Small Invitational hosted by Defiance College. The 2016 cross country schedule will be announced in May.