GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG cross country and track and field head coach Linh Nguyen announced the hiring of former UNCG student-athlete Michelle Chewens and Chad Pearson as assistant coaches Thursday.
Chewens, a four- year letterwinner in both track and field and cross county, spent last season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Spartans during the track and field seasons. She concluded her running career last fall with the cross country team running a season-best 6,000-meter time of 24:56 in the Panorama Farms Invite and a 5,000-meter season-best at the Southern Conference championships in a time of 19:03.
"I'm very excited to add Michelle to the staff," Nguyen said. "She was a volunteer coach for us last year and did a great job. As a former UNCG student-athlete, she is also very familiar with the entire athletic department and our program in particular. I couldn't think of a better place for Michelle to get her collegiate coaching career started than right here at UNCG."
Chewens, a native of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., was a four-time Academic All-SoCon recipient during her career. She posted a career-best 18:59 in the 5,000-meters at the Wake Forest Relays in 2009 while posting a 24:39.8 in the 6,000-meter cross country race at the Colonial Inter-Regional in 2007. In indoor track, she posted a personal-best and the then fourth-fastest time in school history in the mile clocking in at 5:16.80 in the 2008-09 SoCon Championships. In outdoor track, she posted personal-bests in the 1,500-meters (4:48.14) her senior campaign while posting a best time in the 3,000-meters (10:45) her sophomore year.
"I could not be more excited to have the opportunity to work with Linh and Chad at my alma mater," Chewens said. "Having already been a part of the Spartan family both as an athlete and volunteer, I am looking forward to using the skills I have learned from my experiences here over the years to help contribute to both programs' continued success."
Pearson joins the Spartans after spending time as a volunteer assistant coach at Charlotte (2012) and North Carolina State (2010-11). He also was the graduate assistant coach at North Carolina State from 2004-2006 working with both the cross country and track and field programs.
"I am very excited to add Chad to the staff," Nguyen said. "He has a lot of experience running at a high level and is a native of North Carolina. I think he will help in our goal to push the program further into the national picture as well as with in-state recruiting. Chad is definitely going to bring a lot to the table and we are glad that he is a Spartan."
Pearson was a standout at NC State where he was a three-time NCAA All-America honoree in cross country and track and field. He helped the Wolfpack win back-to-back ACC cross country team championships as well as earning Academic All-America honors during his career. He was a United State Olympic Trials track and field qualifier and was the United State 10,000-meter Road National Champion. Additionally, he was a member of the United State Junior National Cross Country Tram.
"I am very excited to be a part of a program that has consistently improved over the last few years and is now competing not only on the conference level but also nationally," Pearson said. "I really want to thank Linh and UNCG for giving me this great opportunity to begin my coaching career as a Spartan. I look forward to working with both Linh and Michelle in helping both the men's and women's teams continue to build on the rich foundation of distance running that has been established here at UNCG."
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