04 Aug Carlson to lead NDSU cross country program
The NDSU athletics department and director of track & field and cross country Stevie Keller announced Tuesday that Andrew Carlson has been promoted to head coach of the Bison cross country program.
Carlson is in his seventh season directing the Bison distance runners.
“Andrew has absolutely earned this,” Keller said. “He has proven that he can lead a program, but more importantly, he has shown that he cares deeply about his athletes and he can inspire them to achieve at their highest levels. His passion and drive have elevated our distance program over the past seven years.”
Carlson, the 2019 Summit League Coach of the Year for women’s cross country, has built the Bison women into the top distance program in the league. NDSU claimed the 2019 Summit League cross country championship after three straight runner-up team finishes. At the 2019 NCAA Midwest Regional, the Bison women took 11th place for the second-best regional finish in school history.
NDSU men’s cross country has earned five consecutive top-three finishes at the Summit League Championships, with three straight runner-up trophies. The Bison men have racked up nine All-Summit League individual performances in the past three seasons.
“It has been a surreal experience to be in charge of the distance runners at NDSU for the past six and a half years, having grown up in Fargo. I am beyond excited to have the trust and confidence of our staff and administration to take the helm of the men’s and women’s cross country teams,” Carlson said. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with incredible student-athletes at NDSU, and I want to thank them first and foremost for their hard work and dedication to our program. They have earned the credit for the success that we’ve been able to achieve.”
“I have also had the amazing opportunity to work with and learn from coach Don Larson, coach Stevie Keller, and coach Ryun Godfrey on the cross country side during my time at NDSU,” Carlson continued. “Learning from them has been invaluable and, without them, this opportunity wouldn’t be possible. I also want to thank Matt Larsen and Colleen Heimstead for allowing me the opportunity take on this role. The culture at NDSU is second to none, and it starts from the top. I am grateful to be in the Bison family and can’t wait to keep going.”
Carlson will retain the role of assistant coach for the Bison track & field program, leading the team’s distance and mid-distance runners.
Carlson’s runners have re-written the NDSU record books in the past six seasons, with Erin Teschuk, Kelby Anderson, Maddie Van Beek and Annika Rotvold combining for 22 entries on the school’s all-time track Top 10 lists in that stretch. On NDSU’s current all-time Top 10 lists, there are 59 entries from athletes coached by Carlson, accounting for 10 school records.
Teschuk finished her career as a seven-time NCAA All-American and the NDSU school record holder in eight different events, including the mile (4:32.35), indoor 3000m (9:02.40), outdoor 5000m (15:41.35), and 3000m steeplechase (9:40.07).
The Bison distance runners have earned 12 bids to the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds under Carlson, including three straight years with a qualifier advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the women’s steeplechase.
In all, Carlson-coached athletes have captured 40 Summit League titles in the distance events since 2014. The Bison dominated in 2020, sweeping the women’s indoor conference titles in every event from 800m to 5000m, including the distance medley relay.
On the men’s side, Carlson led NDSU’s Tim Heikkila to the 2020 Summit League championship in the mile and Alex Bartholomay to the 3000m title.
In 2017 and 2018, Carlson guided Jake Leingang to NDSU men’s school records in the indoor 3000m (8:06.18), indoor 5000m (14:01.32), and outdoor 5000m (14:03.13).
Carlson coached NDSU’s Erin Teschuk to four All-America honors in 2016 – one in cross country, two in indoor track, and one in outdoor track. His training plan also guided Teschuk to a spot on Team Canada for the 2016 Rio Olympics after she captured the Canadian national championship in the 3,000m steeplechase.