NC State Coach Laurie Henes After Winning The NCAA Cross Country Championships On Fostering And Creating A Successful Team Culture, Atmosphere


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"In the huddle, that's kind of what I ended with: At the end of the day, you don't know going into a season like this if everything is going to work out. We are here with an opportunity to be successful...We said it at the regional meet – because you could kind of feel it building and our Top 5 were really dialed in and running well. I said, 'Take the time and appreciate what you're doing right now. There's no guarantee of it. All you can ask for is an opportunity.' And they really took advantage of that. I'm thankful for these people I'm surrounded by. This staff is awesome. This team is awesome."

North Carolina State coach Laurie Henes joins the show just days after the Wolfpack won the team’s first-ever NCAA cross country title.

Early on in the conversation, you’ll be quick to hear Coach Henes point out that NC State won AIAW Cross Country titles in 1979 and 1980 before the NCAA. She knows her NC State history because as an athlete, she was an NCAA champion and a six-time All-American for them and then went on to have a professional career that included representing the U.S. at the World Track & Field Championships in Sweden in 1995. She finished just two spots away from making the Olympic team the following year. By that point, she had already been a member of the NC State coaching staff for four years. Now, she’s been the women’s head coach for 16 years.

In this conversation with me and my co-host Mac Fleet, you’ll hear more about how she’s fostered and created such a successful team and atmosphere and a bit about her thoughts on the success of female coaches within the NCAA. Right after we got off the call with her, she was named the Southeast Regional Coach of the Year and I’m sure that’s not the last honor that’s going to come from this remarkable year for her and the team.


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348 episodes