Emory University Athletics Director Dr. Michael Vienna has announced the appointment of Linh Nguyen as head coach of the cross country and track field teams. Nguyen will begin his duties at Emory on July 8.
Nguyen joins the Emory program after serving as the Director of Cross Country/Track and Field at the University of Toledo since 2013. During his time at UT, he coached four Rockets to All-America honors, six to Mid-America Conference championships, four cross country runners to all-region recognition and 40 to all-conference acclaim. He guided the women’s cross country program to the 2014 MAC Championship and a berth in the NCAA Championships after registering a third-place finish at the Great Lakes Region Championships. The Toledo women finished runner-up at the conference meet in 2013 and 2017. In track, he coached Megan Wright to a MAC-record time in the mile and Janelle Noe to the league record in the 1,500 meters. Nguyen’s athletes distinguished themselves in academics throughout his tenure, most recently when two members earned President's List honors with perfect 4.0 GPAs this past spring while 22 others earned a spot on the Dean's List by garnering at least a 3.50 GPA.
“We are excited to have Linh join our department and lead the cross country and track and field programs,” Dr. Vienna stated. “His wide range of experience as a Division III athlete and successful runs as a head coach at both UNC Greensboro and the University of Toledo make him and excellent choice. In addition to his proven ability as a coach, he is dedicated in seeing that his student-athletes maintain excellence in the class room and that they maximize their academic opportunities.”
Prior to coming to Toledo, Nguyen coached for 12 seasons at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, seven as the head coach of the cross country and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams. The Spartans became a perennial contender in the Southern Conference under Nguyen, culminating in one of the best years in program history in 2011-12. Nguyen was named the conference Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading both the men’s and women’s teams to titles. Paul Chelimo earned All-America honors under Nguyen’s guidance, the first runner in school history to earn that distinction. During the 2012 outdoor track season, Nguyen coached Chelimo to a national runner-up finish in the 5,000-meter run, while Paul Katam finished first in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Regional Meet. Nguyen mentored Chelimo and Katam to NCAA runner-up finishes in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs at the NCAA meets, respectively, as the men’s team finished 15th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“I'd like to thank Dr. Vienna, the search committee and everybody involved at Emory University for this opportunity,” Nguyen said. “Emory is clearly a special place and I am beyond excited to have this chance to guide the cross country and track and field programs. Emory is an elite institution and can challenge for titles nationally, and I'm excited to get back to my roots in Division III. I can't wait to meet the team and start working towards the goal of taking the program to the next level.”
Nguyen began his coaching career in 2000 as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, Lynchburg College, before accepting an assistant position at UNCG in 2002. He spent four years as an assistant before taking over head coaching duties for the Spartans at the start of the 2006 outdoor track and field season.
As a student-athlete at Lynchburg College, Nguyen earned eight all-conference selections and helped lead the cross country team to an Old Dominion Athletic Conference title in 1999. He graduated from Lynchburg in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, and earned his master’s degree in exercise physiology from UNC-Greensboro in 2007.
Nguyen is a USATF level II Certified Endurance Coach and a Level II Certified Sprint/Hurdle/Relay Coach.
NOTE: Linh Nguyen (pronounced – Ling Win)