On Friday, 22 days after being named head coach of Ohio State men’s track and field, Ed Beathea announced that Brice Allen as the first official hire for his coaching staff.
Allen, who will serve as the team’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, will lead OSU’s distance runners and serve as the coach for the men’s cross country team. As recruiting coordinator, he will also be responsible for organizing the team’s recruiting efforts.
Allen told The Lantern he feels “honored” to be selected for the position.
“It’s a privilege to be a member of the athletic department, and most of all to work hand in hand with Coach Beathea,” Allen said.
Prior to joining the Buckeyes, Allen’s most recent coaching experience came at the University of Louisville, where he spent seven years. He joined Louisville as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator in 2004, and was promoted to head men’s and women’s cross country coach in 2008, a position he continued to hold through the 2010 season.
Prior to his coaching career, Allen had his own experience as a collegiate distance runner, competing in cross country and track at Allegheny (Pa.) College. He later worked as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona University prior to joining the Louisville staff.
Beathea, whose coaching background is working with sprinters and hurdlers, said it was necessary to hire a coach with experience working with distance runners.
“When I was looking for a coach, I think it was understood across the country that what I was looking for was a distance coach to fill the position,” Beathea said.
Beathea said the position was not advertised as an associate head coaching position, but he felt Allen deserves that title.
“It was advertised as an assistant coach position, but with Brice’s experience and responsibility at Louisville, I thought it appropriate to make him the associate head coach,” Beathea said.
Beathea estimated there were between 60 to 90 candidates who applied for the assistant coaching position.
Beathea added that he has not yet made any further decisions on who will make up the remainder of his coaching staff.
In both of his previous coaching jobs, Allen worked simultaneously with both male and female athletes. He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to focus his attention on coaching only one gender.
“I’m anxious to focus on one gender, and I think that’s going to be a completely different dynamic,” Allen said. “I was balancing 20-25 athletes at Louisville with the co-gendered program, and to focus just on the men’s program is certainly going to be a different dynamic.”
Allen listed “intensity, a commitment to be competitive and a sense of urgency” as three fundamental traits he says he will bring to Ohio State as a coach.
Allen said his expectations, both for the upcoming season and going forward, are in line with those of Beathea.
“We want to be a conference contender, a regional power and a national representative year in and year out,” Allen said.
Allen also discussed the team’s recruiting strategy for the upcoming season.
“We’re going to focus on Ohio, and we’re going to recruit Ohio very hard,” Allen said. “Then we’re going to recruit the peripherary (sic) states and peripherary regions, so we’re going to work from the inside out.”
Wanting to get off on the right foot with OSU fans, Allen was cautious about naming any other specific states that the staff would focus their recruiting efforts toward.
“I understand that in Ohio, we want to talk about Ohio and Ohio only,” Allen said. “There’s a very good state very close to us, but we’re going to focus on Ohio first.”