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Former C of I All-American named new track coach

College of Idaho athletic director Reagan Rossi announced today that former Coyote All-American Austin Basterrechea has been named head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs.

Basterrechea replaces Pat McCurry, who resigned today after 12 years as head coach. McCurry resurrected the C of I program in 2004 after a 27-year hiatus and turned it into one of the most respected squads in the NAIA. He has taken an assistant coach position at an NCAA Division I school.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to continue coaching for the program, and I look forward to expanding the culture that’s been built at The College of Idaho,” Basterrechea said. “I can’t imagine a better team atmosphere and group of kids to walk into for a first-year head coach.”

Basterrechea, a Gooding native, won four Cascade Conference individual titles during his C of I career from 2011-14, earning NAIA All-America honors in the indoor heptathlon in 2012 and 2014 and the outdoor decathlon in 2013 and 2014. He set seven C of I school records (three indoors, four outdoors), while also excelling in the classroom, where he was a three-time CCC All-Academic Team selection, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and one of two male student-athletes to earn two first-team Academic All-America awards in school history.

“Having spent four years as a student-athlete and a season with Pat as a full-time assistant, Austin is a great fit for the head coaching position,” Rossi said. “He understands what it means to be a Coyote as an athlete and a coach, and we are pleased to keep the position within in the Coyote family. Austin has learned from one of our greatest coaches, and I expect our programs to become even more successful in the years to come.”

Basterrechea joined the coaching staff in 2015 as McCurry’s top assistant. He helped both cross country teams to national top-10 finishes in the fall and then helped guide the women’s track team to its fourth consecutive CCC championship this spring.

McCurry leaves the C of I as one of the most decorated coaches in school history. In cross country, his men’s team has been ranked nationally every season since 2005, advancing to nine consecutive NAIA national meet appearances, while the Lady Yotes claimed five league titles over a six-year span from 2008-13, placing as NAIA national runners-up in 2012 and 2013. In track, the Lady Yotes have won the past four CCC titles, with McCurry coaching four individual NAIA champions who won a combined 14 national titles. His athletes have claimed 58 individual conference titles during his 12-year tenure.

“I spent 12 years here at the C of I building our program, and it has been among the most rewarding and special experiences of my life,” McCurry said.  “The culture we have established runs deep with our current kids and alumni now and I am very proud of that.”

“We enjoyed having Pat as part of the Coyote family for the past 12 years,” Rossi said. “What he has done for the cross country and track programs, the athletic department as a whole and the Caldwell community will be a tough act to follow. We always knew Pat was a rising star in the coaching circles and we were thankful to keep him as long as we did. I know that he will be extremely successful in his future endeavors and we still expect to see great things from Pat McCurry in the future.”

The C of I cross country team opens the 2016 season on Sept. 3, hosting Montana Western in a head-to-head dual meet on C of I’s Campus Course.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College's close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho's mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.