Laura Harmon Talks Challenges, Excitement of Leading Both UMD Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track Programs

Harmon will now oversee 86 athletes across both cross country and track and field programs. She's also now just one of two women to be leading men's programs in the NSIC.

DULUTH, Minn. – On Thursday, UMD Athletics named Laura Harmon as the head coach of the men’s cross country and track and field programs. And that’s a pretty big deal for multiple reasons.

Harmon has spent the past three years as the head coach of the women’s programs at UMD and now she will lead both the men and women.

She’s spent the past few months as the interim head coach of the men but has now moved into the permanent role. Harmon said she’s excited to coach both the men and the women but with 86 athletes, managing all of them will be a bit of a challenge.

“You’re trying to figure out how to show every single athlete that they’re valued and they’re important because they are. When there are so many of them it’s just really making sure that you’re putting yourself out there with all of the different event areas,” Harmon said.

Harmon is also now just one of two women to be leading men’s programs in the NSIC. She’s also the second coach in UMD history to do so, as former coach Eleanor Rynda also led the men’s and women’s programs, being one of the first women in college athletics to do so.

Harmon said she’s ready for this to become more common in college athletics.

“I would hope that the more women that are doing what I’m doing and what Lynn at Northern State is doing, they see that and it helps them to see like hey this is something that we can do we should do, we can be really great at this so I think that the more women that are doing this, the better,” Harmon added.

Harmon will continue coaching the Bulldogs at the NSIC Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at Malosky Field this weekend.

Categories: College, Friday Night Frenzy, Sports, University of Minnesota – Duluth