NORTON, MA – Wheaton College Interim Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00 and head men's and women's track & field coach Dave Cusano have announced the hiring of Kathrine (Wallace) Bright '05 as the school's assistant men's and women's track & field coach.
A member of four NCAA National Championship teams at Wheaton, Bright returns to Norton after spending the last three years as an assistant track & field coach at fellow New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) school MIT, where she worked primarily with the horizontal and vertical jumping groups.
"I'm really excited to return to my alma mater to coach the track & field teams," said Bright, who helped the Engineers captured the NEWMAC Men's and Women's Championships in each of her three seasons at MIT. "Hopefully, I can assist in leading them to several NEWMAC Championships and more NCAA Championships."
In addition to the Engineers success against conference foes, Bright helped guide the men to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division III New England Indoor Championships, and the women to the 2011 Division III New England Women's Outdoor Championship. She also coached the NCAA Division III New England Field Event Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and the 2011 NCAA Division III Men's Outdoor Track & Field Long Jump Champion.
"Kathrine is a terrific addition to the track & field staff. Her expertise and education makes her one of the best coaches in the country," said Cusano. "Having her back home at Wheaton will allow the program to take huge strides forward in developing our student-athletes both academically and athletically. Kathrine's familiarity with Wheaton will help all facets of the program move forward at a remarkable rate."
The 2010 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Indoor Track & Field Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, Bright helped the Lyons capture the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Championships. During that time, Bright earned 2003 All-America honors in the high jump (outdoor) and again in 2005 as a member of Wheaton's 4x400 meter relay team (indoor). She was a five-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection in the high jump (2002-04), 4x400M relay (2004), and triple jump (2005).
"It is an honor to welcome Kathrine back to Wheaton as our assistant track & field coach," said Sutyak. "Her experiences the last three seasons at MIT, along with being an All-America student-athlete and member of four national championship teams here at Wheaton, will serve our current student-athletes well and provide a solid foundation for our program. Kathrine and head coach Dave Cusano will continue our proud track & field tradition here at Wheaton."
Bright is USA Track & Field (USATF) Level II certified as both a jumps coach and a combined events coach. In 2010, she was invited to attend the USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Camp and later became a member of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy (December, 2010). She began her coaching career as an assistant track & field coach at Connecticut College (2005-06) before accepting a part-time coaching position at Wheaton in 2006, where she remained until joining the staff at MIT. Last September, Bright began working as a physical education instructor at MIT.
Bright received her bachelor of arts from Wheaton in 2005 after majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. In 2010, she went on to earn her master's degree in education from Boston University, where she concentrated on coaching principles and sports psychology. Bright will assume her new role at Wheaton at November 1.