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NEWS: Indiana Hires NCAA Title-Winning Distance Coach, Eric Heins


Earlier today, the University of Indiana announced that Eric Heins, the former distance coach at Northern Arizona and Louisville, will be joining the Hoosiers as the team's newest distance coach. He is expected to begin his role at the beginning of the 2023-24 academic calendar.


The Stride Report has also been informed that Indiana, prior to hiring Heins, was considering former Oregon and Virginia Tech distance coach, Ben Thomas, as well.

Heins is one of the more accomplished long distance coaches in the NCAA. Prior to his time at Louisville, Heins was the head coach for the Northern Arizona men. He led the Lumberjacks to their first national team title in 2016 before stepping away from the program.


The famed coach, who built his reputation in Flagstaff, Arizona, left his still-budding cross country dynasty in the summer of 2017 to venture to the state of Texas with his family. The move stemmed from a key career opportunity that his wife, Kaci Heins, accepted.


After kick-starting the men's and women's track and field teams at the University of Saint Thomas (TX), Heins joined Louisville as the team's distance coach in March of 2021.


Heins will be joining an Indiana program that is losing long-time distance coach, Ron Helmer, to retirement. The Hoosiers have produced a handful of top individual talents in recent years, most recently Camden Marshall and Bailey Hertenstein (now of Colorado), while also sending teams to the NCAA XC Championships over the last few cross country seasons.


Both of Indiana's long distance squads (men and women) are currently undergoing minor rebuilds after a handful of key departures.


Camden Marshall, the 2023 BIG 10 outdoor champion over 800 meters who has run 1:46 (800) and 3:39 (1500) this spring, entered the transfer portal earlier this year. However, TSR has been informed that Marshall will be staying at Indiana and is no longer expected to transfer.

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