Flames NewsFlames Home > Cross Country Home > News
Scott, Newell Join Liberty Track Staff
Liberty Cross Country and Track & Field Head Coach Brant Tolsma has announced the hiring of Derek Scott and Daniel Newell to his coaching staff. Scott will serve as an assistant coach for the men's and women's cross country and track & field squads, while Newell will be an assistant track & field coach.
Scott will coach Liberty's men's and women's distance runners, highlighted by two-time NCAA national champion Sam Chelanga. Meanwhile, Newell will work with the Flames' multi-event athletes.
"We are very blessed to have both Derek and Daniel join our staff, which I feel is one of the best in collegiate track & field," stated Tolsma.
"We are very excited to have Derek join our staff as an assistant coach for track & field and cross country," observed Tolsma. "With an educational background in exercise science and sports management, experience with distance running and racing at national and international levels, a personal history of exceptional development, excellence and winning, and a strong commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Coach Scott appears well equipped to help our rising distance program continue its steady progress."
Scott boasts an impressive running resume, training under Dr. Robert Chapman for Team Indiana Elite for the last three years. In April, he won the PUMA Mile at the Mt. SAC Relays, earning a $10,000 contract from PUMA.
A participant in the men's 1,500-meter run at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Scott's personal bests include 1:48.9 for the 800, 3:39.6 for the 1,500, 3:57.87 for the mile, 8:52 for the 3,000 steeplechase and 13:47.28 for the 5K.
Scott racked up 10 NAIA All-America honors while running for Cornerstone, in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. He won the 2007 NAIA national title in the men's 1,500-meter run as a senior. Scott was also a teammate of former Liberty standout Josh McDougal on Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Track & Field Championships, where he ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Scott's most recent coaching experience came during the 2010 season, as an assistant track & field coach at Bloomington North High School. He also served as an assistant cross country coach at his alma mater, Northview High School, in 2007.
Scott graduated from Cornerstone in 2007, with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. A Dean's List member, Scott minored in sports management. His senior thesis was titled, "Genetics of East African Distance Runners."
"After only one year away, Daniel returns to help our program as a coach," Tolsma noted. "Liberty's most recent decathlete with national experience, Daniel brings his abilities to help a tremendous crew of promising decathletes, most of whom also have national-level potential. Daniel is an intelligent, focused young man who will be able to help our athletes spiritually, psychologically and athletically."
Newell is just one year removed from a stellar career as a Liberty track & field student-athlete. He capped off his tenure with the Flames in style, competing in the decathlon at the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Newell placed 16th at the meet with a career-high 7,302 points, moving up to No. 9 on Liberty's all-time decathlon performance list.
A big meet performer, Newell is one of only two Liberty athletes (also Brandon Hoskins) to sweep the Big South and IC4A decathlons in the same season. The Roanoke, Va., native pulled off the feat in back-to-back years, 2008 and 2009.
Newell also excelled indoors. His winning heptathlon score of 5,346 at the 2009 Liberty Open ranks second in Liberty and Big South Conference history. That same season, he helped the Flames win the 4 x 400 relay at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Newell earned numerous academic accolades as a senior, featuring third-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America recognition. He was a member of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team and the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team. Newell was also voted the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's indoor track & field.
Newell completed his bachelor's degree in English in 2008. He then remained at Liberty to earn a master's degree in English, concluding his studies in 2010.