Former Falcon Jason Phillippi has been named UW-River Falls’ head men's and women's cross-country coach according to director of athletics Crystal Lanning. He will also serve as an assistant coach for the Falcon track and field programs under first-year coach Colleen Sowa.

“I am excited to welcome Coach Phillippi back to UW-River Falls to lead the men's and women's cross-country programs,” Lanning said. "He has experienced success as both a runner and coach, and his strong connections to the UWRF and running communities will allow him to successfully lead our distance group."

Phillippi returns to UWRF after spending nearly six years coaching at the club level for Run4PRs Coaching, Inc. and Lifetime Athletic. Prior to his experience at the club level, Phillippi served as a high school assistant cross-country and track and field coach for five years.

“I am incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to lead the Falcon distance program at my alma mater UW-River Falls," Phillippi said. "I had such a wonderful experience in my years as a student-athlete creating so many lifelong memories and lasting relationships. I want nothing more than to give back to the community and inspire current and future student-athletes to become their best self as a runner and as an individual. I want to thank all of my coaches over the years including Donald Glover, Keven Syverson, and Scott Sekelsky for having such a positive impact on me. Special thanks to my wife and family who have supported me over the years and encouraged me to follow my dream of coaching at the university level. I'd also like to thank Crystal Lanning and the UWRF search committee for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working closely with Colleen Sowa to build the cross-country and track programs."

As a club coordinator and coach, Phillippi led group training sessions as well as designed customized programs tailored to individual athletes helping to reach their potential.

He also has experience developing systems to recruit and retain runners and directing local 5k event races.

Phillippi competed for the Falcon cross-country and track and field teams from 2004-08. He was a member of the WIAC championship distance medley relay team in 2006 and earned All-American and All-Conference honors in the steeplechase in 2008. He was a four-time school record holder in track and field. Phillippi earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from UWRF in 2009 and a master's degree in educational leadership from St. Mary's University in 2013.