Kevin Hadsell begins his 15th year as head coach of the men's and women's cross country programs, and his ninth year as the director of the women's track and field and men's and women's cross country programs at the University of Toledo.
During his 20 years in the profession, Hadsell has established himself as one of the top coaches in the country. He is dedicated to recruiting great student-athletes, developing their skills and motivating them to great heights in both their athletic and academic careers.
In 1998, Hadsell was hired to be the head cross country coach for a men's and women's program that had perennially been at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference and NCAA Division I regional and national rankings. Before Hadsell's arrival, the women's program had finished last in the MAC 13 of 18 years, and the men's program had never finished in the top-half of the conference in over 50 years of competition. In just a short time, Hadsell has turned the women's program into one of the top distance programs in the country. In 2003, Hadsell was named Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, and the women's track and field program enjoyed immediate improvement under his leadership.
At the MAC level over the last 11 years, Hadsell's athletes have won five Runner of the Year awards in cross country, as well as five Athletes of the Year in track and field - with Ari Fisher winning both in 2011-12 and Runner of the Year in the 2010 cross country season. In addition, he has had two MAC Runner-up individuals.
Between cross country and track, Hadsell has coached 27 MAC champions and 23 MAC runner-up finishers.
In cross country, his women's team has won the past two MAC titles and four overall (2001-02-10-11). He also has three MAC runner-up team finishes (2003-05-09). He was named MAC Coach of the Year last season for the fourth time (2001-02-10-11).
On the NCAA level, few MAC coaches in history have enjoyed similar success. He is the only women's coach in MAC history to have an NCAA Regional cross country champion and NCAA Regional Athlete of the Year (Briana Shook, 2002). Since 1999, the Rockets have had 15 NCAA All-Region selections, twice as many as any other MAC school over that same period.
Additionally, the Rockets have sent seven individuals to the NCAA Championships since 2000, more than the rest of the Mid-American Conference combined has sent over the same period. This fall, the team earned their first bid to the NCAA Championships in program history, finishing 28th and featuring their second All-American in Fisher (26th).
On the NCAA Regional level since 2000, the Rockets as a team have finished higher than any other MAC program when they finished fourth in 2001. The Rockets made history in 2000 when they finished fifth and defeated the University of Michigan for the first time in school history in a year that the Wolverines were the Big Ten runner-up. In both 2001 and 2002, the Rockets lost tie-breakers to the University of Washington for an NCAA bid. This season, the Rockets took third at the Regional meet, the highest place in program history.
At the NCAA Regional Track and Field level, Hadsell has had tremendous success as well. In 2007, the Rockets finished in a tie for 13th (out of 81 schools) with then-MAC champion Akron. Two Toledo women have won NCAA Regional titles a total of three times, with Briana Shook winning the 3000-meter steeplechase in 2002 and 2004 and Ebba Stenbeck winning the regional title in that same event in 2007.
In 2000, Tuula Laitinen became only the second-ever MAC freshman to qualify for the NCAA Championships by finishing as the NCAA Regional Runner-Up. That was also the first season that the Rockets appeared in the NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Poll. In 2001-02, the Rockets sent Briana Shook to the NCAA Cross Country Championships and she was also named an All-American in the spring in the NCAA Championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
In 2002-03, the Rockets sent two individuals to the NCAA Cross Country Championships with Briana Shook and current assistant coach and UT Hall of Famer Sara Vergote. Shook was named All-American, finishing 24th, and Vertgote finished 54th. In 2009, Toledo sent Ari Fisher to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Fisher finished 43rd, just three spots short of earning All-American honors.
In indoor competition, Hadsell sent Everlyne Lagat to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 5000-meters, where she took ninth. She also set the All-Time MAC Indoor Record in the 5000-meters in 16:15. Outdoors that year, Hadsell led Lagat back to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she again finished ninth, and Vergote qualified in the 3000-meter steeplechase and placed 17th. Shook also won the USA Track and Field Championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase in a then-American record of 9:44.
In 2006-07, Hadsell had two athletes named All-American a total of three times. April Williams was named All-American in the long jump at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. At the 2007 Outdoor Track and Field Championships Williams (eighth, triple jump) and Ebba Stenbeck (eighth, 3000-meter steeplechase) both earned All-American status.
In 2011, Hadsell led junior Ari Fisher to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 5000-meter run. Fisher finished the indoor season with a new all-time MAC Record in that event of 16:04.56. Her time also ranked her #25 in the World for that event at the end of the indoor season making her the fifth-different woman to be ranked in the Top-25 in the World for Hadsell since 2000.
With his success at the steeplechase, Hadsell has twice been invited to assist in clinics for the top female steeplers in the country at the USA Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.
Coach Hadsell is also serving his second term as the elected NCAA Regional Representative for the USTFCCCA Executive Committee.
In addition, Hadsell has sent four athletes to the World Cross Country Championships: Catherine Conder (1994), Katherine Smyth (2000), Christine Tye (2003), Abraham Habte (2004). He has also sent two athletes to the World University Games: Conder and Angela Murphy (1996).
All totaled, his athletes have been designated All-MAC 58 times. In addition, he has had eight different women and one team (2010) represent the University of Toledo at the NCAA Championships in cross country or distance events. His total number of different women who have hit the NCAA standards on the track in the distance events over his career at Toledo is 14. Hadsell's athletes now hold three all-time MAC records (Indoor: 3000m, 5000m; Outdoor: 3000mSC) and six all-time MAC meet records (Indoor: Mile, 3000m, 5000m, Long Jump; Outdoor: 3000mSC, 5000m). Hadsell has had four different athletes named All-American a total of seven times.
Hadsell has a son, Brent (16), and is the adoptive parent of Alexandra (12), Cassandra (10) and Nickolas (8).