CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Tuesday (Dec. 20) that Bryan Fetzer, the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Harvard the past two years, has been named the Cavaliers’ director of track and field/cross country.
“It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome Bryan Fetzer to the University of Virginia as our director of track & field/cross country,” Littlepage said. “He has a successful and comprehensive background recruiting, coaching and developing championship student-athletes and teams across six sports.
“He understands clearly what is needed in order to lead championship programs in track and field and cross country. With his leadership and the completion of Phase I of our new track and field facility, we are positioning our program to attract the most outstanding prospective student-athletes and further develop the overall quality of our programs.”
Fetzer, who has had stops in the SEC and the Pac-12, helped the Crimson bring in the number-five ranked men’s track and field recruiting class in 2011 according to Track and Field News. At Harvard, Fetzer coached the sprinters, the vertical jumpers and the multi-event athletes.
“I am blessed and humbled to become the director of track & field/cross country at the University of Virginia,” Fetzer said. “I would like to thank Craig Littlepage and the Virginia athletic department for having the confidence to provide me with this incredible opportunity. I can think of no better combination in regards to academic excellence and athletic tradition than what we have at the University of Virginia.
“I am thrilled to have the chance to work with the current student-athletes. I feel we have something special here. We will be a team in every sense of the word. My expectations for the program will be very high, the goals will be lofty and to some they might seem unattainable but I want the team, university and community to know that there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together.”
Prior to his time at Harvard, Fetzer spent three years as an assistant coach at Mississippi State, and helped guide the Bulldogs’ men’s program to back-to-back 17th-place finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Under his tutelage, Bulldog student-athletes earned seven All-America honors and Marrissa Harris won the 2008 SEC title and a bronze medal at the NACAC U23 Championships in the heptathlon.
Before his time in Starkville, Miss., Fetzer spent three years as an assistant at California and helped the Golden Bear women earn their highest NCAA finishes in 2007, an eighth-place showing at the outdoor meet and 15th during the indoor season. His student-athletes broke 11 school records in the sprints and hurdles.
In 2003-04 Fetzer served as an assistant women’s cross country and track and field coach at Ball State and in one year, guided three athletes to Mid-American Conference crowns and five to NCAA Championship appearances.
From 1999-2003, Fetzer was the first director of track and field/cross country at Gardner-Webb and led the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ transition from Division II to Division I. Fetzer coached six NCAA national champions along with 12 All-Americans, including the 2000 IAAF world leader in the 55m, Julia O’Neal. The Runnin’ Bulldogs’ women’s team produced a pair of top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships in their only year at Division II and finished as the Atlantic Sun Conference runner-up in the school’s first year in Division I.
Fetzer began his career at Ranger College in Ranger, Texas, as a track and field and football coach. During his tenure, the women’s program became a national junior college power, placing second during the 1999 indoor and outdoor seasons and finishing no lower than 11th at the NJCAA Championships during his four years. Ranger student-athletes captured eight NJCAA National Championships and secured 65 All-America honors.
In addition to his work with collegiate student-athletes, Fetzer has consulted and worked on speed and power development and strength training with several professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, Arena Football League, WNBA and WUSA. Fetzer has also served on several national staffs for various countries for the World Junior Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the NACAC Under-23 Championships and the World University Games. He also served as the secretary for the US Women’s Coaches Association from 1999-2005.
Fetzer earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Canisius College, where he was a four-year letterman and senior captain for the football team. He holds a master’s degree in physical education from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.