Michael Nekuda enters his first season as the head cross country and assistant track and field coach at Dickinson State. Along with his coaching duties, Nekuda will also be titled as the assistant sports information director. Nekuda, a native of Hot Springs, SD and a graduate of Black Hills State University, says he is extremely excited about this opportunity. "I feel very fortunate to join such a great athletic department and to work with coaches and administrators that want to be successful," stated Nekuda.
Before arriving in Dickinson, Nekuda led the Dakota State University distance runners to new heights in his first season as the head cross country and track coach. Under his watch, the Trojan's captured six new school records, twelve all-conference performances, and were the Men's Runner-Up Dakota Athletic Conference Champions in cross country. He also led middle-distance runner, Andy Coy, to a Runner-Up National Championship in the 1,000 meter run, missing the state record by just six one-hundredths of a second. Prior being the head coach at Dakota State, Nekuda served there as an assistant, where he helped build the Trojans first and only conference championship team in 2009.
As a student-athlete, Nekuda was part of one of the most successful men's cross country teams at Black Hills State University. He was a key component of the 2007 Black Hills men's team that set the DAC conference record for lowest points scored (19) and then later went on to become the NAIA Runner-Up National Champions.
Nekuda recently finished his graduate work from Adams State College (CO) with a degree in Human Performance and Physical Education. He currently resides in Dickinson with his wife, Kerry, and dog, Mya.
Three-time national championship coach Pete Stanton is in his eleventh season at the helm of the Dickinson State University men's and women's track and field program. He is recognized as one of the top college coaches in the nation.
The Blue Hawk program reached the ultimate pinnacle at the 2006 NAIA Outdoor Championships when Stanton's men's team won their third consecutive National title to go along with championships in 2005 and 2004. The men's program became only the fourth in the history of the NAIA to win three consecutive championships.
In addition, his 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2003 men's teams were NAIA National Runners-Up. The 2010 Outdoor National Championships marked the eighth consecutive season Dickinson State has finished in the top two nationally.
Stanton was honored for the Hawks' achievements by being named NAIA Men's Outdoor National Track and Field Coach-of-the-Year in 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003.
Stanton has done wonders for the Blue Hawk track and field teams in his ten years as head coach. In 2002, the Blue Hawk men's team won the DAC conference championship for the first time since 1969. The Hawks went on to the national meet and placed sixth, the highest place ever at the time for a Dickinson State track and field team.
Overall, Stanton's teams have won eight Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) men's outdoor championships (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2002).
For his efforts, Stanton was named the 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2002DAC men's outdoor track and field coach-of-the-year.
His 2005 men's indoor team claimed their first ever indoor conference title. Stanton has led the Hawks to indoor conference titles in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 as well.
In 2009, the DSU men's indoor squad finished as NAIA National Runners-Up, the highest finish ever for an indoor team during Stanton's tenure. Additionally, the Hawks have finished third in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Dickinson State trophied with a fourth place finish in 2010 as well.
Stanton was named 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 DAC indoor men's coach of the year. Coach Stanton was also chosen as North Dakota Sportscasters and Sportswriters College Coach of the Year in 2005-2006 and 2002-2003.
The women finished third at the 2002 and 2005 DAC-10 indoor and outdoor and second in the 2006 outdoor championships. He was named the 2002 DAC women's indoor track and field coach-of-the-year.
Stanton has coached 125+ All-Americans and 30+ individual national champions during his first ten seasons as head coach. Most notably, Stanton trained 2007 World Championship Silver Medalist, Derrick Atkins, 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, Ramon Miller, and 2004 Olympic 6th place finisher, Aaron Cleare during their Hawk careers.
While at DSU, Atkins was a 7 time National Champion and multi-time All American. Atkins defeated Asafa Powell of Jamaica to finish second at the 2007 World Championships, with a Bahamian national record time of 9.91 seconds. Atkins also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and has run a wind aided 9.83 for 100 meters. Atkins, who competes professionally for Adidas, has also run 20.35 for 200 meters.
As a Hawk, Ramon Miller was a 4 time National Champion and 10 time All-American. In 2007, Miller set the NAIA Indoor 400m record. Miller was a member of the 2006 squad that set the NAIA Indoor 4x400m record as well.
Miller was a silver medalist for the Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, where their 4x400m Relay finished second. Miller also competed in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, racing to a personal best time of 44.99 for 400 meters.
Aaron Cleare was a 4 time National Champion and mutli-time All American for the Blue Hawks. Cleare was a member of the Bahamian national team that finished 6th in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and has run 45.90 for 400 meters.
Prior to DSU, Stanton taught and coached track and field and football in Montana at Terry and Belgrade High Schools for 12 years. He led two teams to Montana state track and field runner-up finishes.
The Baker, Montana native graduated from Dickinson State in 1987 with a degree in social science and physical education. While at DSU, he was an outstanding athlete on both the track and field and football teams in the mid-80's, participating in the 1987 NAIA National Track and Field championships in the hurdles and receiving All-American honors in football in 1987. Stanton was awarded the Harry J. Weinbergen male athlete of the year award as a senior at Dickinson State.
In the fall of 2004, Stanton was inducted into the Dickinson State University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Stanton earned a master's degree from Montana State University and is currently an assistant professor in the Health and Physical Education Department. Stanton is also an assistant coach for the DSU football team.
Three time national runner-up coach, Aric Mines begins his fourth year as the throws coach at Dickinson State University. During each of Mines years as a member of the coaching staff, the Blue Hawk men's team has finished top two in the country.
In just three seasons, Coach Mines has mentored 19 national championship qualifiers and guided multiple athletes to All-American status. During the past two years, 12 of Mines charges have competed at the national level. Most notable was 3-time All-American Christa Hofland, who set DSU records in the shot put, hammer, and weight throws. Jessica Eady was also an All-American in the weight throw. Coach Mines also mentored to 4 straight national qualifying appearances in the shot put.
Mines is also an assistant coach of the Dickinson State football team, working with defensive ends.
A former linebacker for DSU, Mines resides in Dickinson and is a native of Gillette, Wyoming.
Two time national champion, Kevin McElvaney begins his fourth year as multi events and pole vault coach at Dickinson State University. During each of McElvaney's years as a member of the coaching staff, the Blue Hawk men's squad has finished among the countries top two teams.
Under Coach McElvaney's direction, Kelsey Aide won three national pole vault titles during her Blue Hawk career. Additionally, several of McElvaney's multi-eventers have been conference champions and national qualifiers. Trevor Willis finished 10th at nationals in 2010 and was back to back DAC conference champion in 2009 and 2010. Ashley Emmons was also a 2009 national qualifier and DAC conference runner up in the Pentathlon.
Coach McElvaney completed an outstanding athletic career at Dickinson State in 2007. A member of two national championship and two national runner-up squads, Kevin was the 2007 national heptathlon runner-up. McElvaney was a four time All-American in track and field, earning the distinction three times in the multi events and once in the pole vault.
McElvaney also won multiple DAC conference titles in the decathlon (2005-2007 indoor and outdoor champion), pole vault, and hurdles.
In 2005, Kevin earned All-American Honorable Mention and DAC All-Conference honors for his exploits on the football field as a cornerback. McElvaney competed for the gridiron Blue Hawks from 2002 to 2005.
McElvaney was named the 2007 Henry Weinbergen Male athlete of the year, an honor given annually to Dickinson State's top all around athletic performer.
Coach McElvaney resides in Dickinson and is a native of Scobey, Montana.