Track coach Galbraith to leave UND in 2019
Pat Sweeney | Oct 10, 2018 AT 4:54 pm
University of North Dakota head track and field coach Kevin Galbraith announced on Wednesday that the 2018-19 season will be his final one leading the program.
Galbraith arrived at North Dakota in 2011 and guided the program from the Great West Conference into the Big Sky Conference and now into The Summit League. He also played an integral role in the planning of the UND Athletics High Performance Center, North Dakota’s eight-lane, 300-meter indoor track, one of the premier indoor track and field facilities in the country.
“I have enjoyed my time at the University of North Dakota immensely and that makes the decision for this to be my last season a difficult one,” Galbraith said. “The best aspect about being a part of North Dakota Athletics is the people. We have fantastic athletes, fans and staff -- the best of any program I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of.”
Galbraith said he desired to spend more time with, and be located nearer to, his father and family in Oregon following the 2019 season.
“I still enjoy coaching, but being so far removed from my family situation weighs heavily. If you try to keep your heart and soul in two places, neither side gets all of you and you compromise what you’re doing,” said Galbraith.
Much of North Dakota’s track and field record book has been re-written during Galbraith’s tenure and under his tutelage the program has successfully transitioned to the NCAA Division I level. With Galbraith at the helm, Molli Detloff became the first Division I All-American in program history, earning those honors in the hammer throw in 2017.
Perhaps the best all-around meet to date with Galbraith leading the program was at the 2018 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championship, where the women finished fifth and men finished sixth. North Dakota had 13 combined all-conference finishes at the meet, including Molli Detloff being named Big Sky Conference MVP for the second consecutive year.
In 2018, nine student-athletes advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, the most ever produced by the program.
“Coach Galbraith has done a marvelous job turning our track and field teams from Division II squads into a solid Division I program,” said UND Associate Athletic Director Kyle Doperalski, who oversees the track and field program administratively.
Doperalski continued: “The progress the program has made competitively and in facilities while he has been our coach is remarkable. To take a program that wasn’t at NCAA maximum-scholarship capacity at the time and finish fourth (of 12) at the Big Sky Indoor Championship in 2016 at elevation [in Flagstaff, Ariz.] like he and his staff did with our women’s team is one of his many great accomplishments. Our first year in the Big Sky Conference our program struggled to score in double digits as a team in the conference championships. His recruiting philosophy and development plans made a significant difference and were the driving factors in his success.”
More than 75 school records were set at UND in Galbraith’s time as head coach, to go with 16 individual conference championships and 72 all-conference honors.
He provided leadership on the athletic department’s apparel evaluation team, which ended in 2017 with the selection of adidas as the first department-wide apparel contract in UND’s history.
“Coach Galbraith has laid the foundation for our Division I program,” said UND Athletics Director Bill Chaves. “Years from now, our student-athletes, alumni and fans will be able to look back on his eight years as our head coach and recognize it as a turning point in our program’s history.”
Prior to his eight seasons at North Dakota, Galbraith spent seven years as head coach at Northern Colorado University, where 15 school records were broken and 68 marks to the program’s top-10 list performances were added.
Prior to his arrival at UNC, Galbraith spent five seasons (1999-2004) as an assistant track and field coach at Long Beach State University. In four of his five seasons, he coached the top three finishers at the conference championships in the men’s 400 meters and he also had the top freshmen finishers at the Big West Championship in both the men’s and women’s 400 meters his final three years.
Galbraith is a 1981 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and was the cross country team’s most valuable runner as a senior. He served as a volunteer cross country coach at LMU from 1986 to 1993 and received a master’s degree in communication in 1991.
In 1995, Galbraith was named head track and field coach at Los Angeles Valley College, where he spent two seasons. He also served two stints (1993-95, 1997-99) as an assistant track coach with Track West, a USA Track and Field national club program based out of Santa Monica, Calif.
North Dakota’s search for a new head track and field coach will begin in the spring.