Layne Anderson is in his first year as head coach of the University of Iowa women's cross country and track and field teams. He has served as the Hawkeyes' head women's cross country coach for the past five seasons, and was the interim head women's track and field coach in 2008. From 2003-07, he served as an assistant women's track and field coach for the Hawkeyes.
In Anderson's five years with the cross country team, the Hawkeyes have made strong strides toward recapturing the program's success of the 1980's. The team qualified for the NCAA Championships the last two seasons after a 14-year absence from the meet. The Hawkeyes also placed sixth at the Big Ten meet - which is the team's highest finish since 1993 - and third at the NCAA Midwest Regional - which is Iowa's highest finish under Anderson - the last two years. During his tenure, the Hawkeyes have either improved or maintained their finish at the Big Ten and regional meets each of the last five years, and set school records in the 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 meters.
Diane Nukuri and Meghan Armstrong closed out phenomenal Hawkeye careers earning all-America honors in 2007. Nukuri defended her NCAA Midwest Regional title and became only the second Hawkeye in school history to win a Big Ten title. She earned Athlete of the Year honors and set meet records at both the Big Ten and regional championships. A finalist for the national Honda award in cross country, Nukuri set school records in the 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 meters in 2007, already holding the 3,000-meter mark from 2006. She also set four course records during the season. Armstrong became the first women's cross country competitor in school history to earn three all-region honors. She was Anderson's first NCAA cross country qualifier at Iowa, placing 79th at the 2005 national meet.
In 2006, Nukuri, Armstrong and senior Racheal Marchand paced the team. Nukuri and Marchand earned all-America honors, making Iowa one of nine schools to crown two all-Americans. Nukuri was named Midwest Region Runner of the Year when she captured the regional meet title. All three earned spots on the all-region team, while Armstrong and Marchand earned all-Big Ten honors. Nukuri set school records in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, while she and Armstrong shared the 6,000-meter mark.
In 2005, Armstrong and Marchand earned all-region honors, becoming the third and fourth all-region honorees during Anderson's tenure. Sarah Arens (2003) was the first Hawkeye to earn the honors under Anderson, and Nikki Chapple (2004) was the second.
The Iowa cross country team has also had success in the classroom under Anderson. The team earned academic all-America honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association all five seasons, while Arens (2003) and Armstrong (2005) each earned individual academic all-America recognition. Armstrong was Iowa's Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient in 2007, while Arens was Iowa's nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year in 2004. Twenty-six Hawkeyes have earned academic all-Big Ten honors.
Anderson served as interim head coach for the women's track and field team for the 2008 season after the passing of former Hawkeye Head Coach James Grant. Under Anderson's direction, Iowa crowned five all-Americans and won four Big Ten individual titles. The Hawkeyes posted 14 NCAA indoor provisional qualifiers, four NCAA outdoor automatic qualifiers, two NCAA outdoor provisional qualifiers and qualified nine competitors for the NCAA Midwest Regional. Seven Hawkeyes were named to the academic all-Big Ten squad. Seniors Kineke Alexander, Armstrong, Nukuri, Tammilee Kerr and Racheal Marchand, and junior Renee White each posted outstanding individual performances.
Alexander picked up her eighth all-America honor in the 400 meters, which is the most any Hawkeye in school history has every accumulated. The 2006 NCAA 400-meter champion and two-time NCAA Midwest Regional Champion won five Big Ten titles and set school records in four individual events and two relays during her Hawkeye career. Armstrong and Nukuri kept the momentum going from cross country, with Armstrong winning two Big Ten titles and Nukuri and White each snagging one. Armstrong, Marchand and Kerr earned all-America honors outdoors. Nukuri earned the Wilma Rudolph Award and was Iowa's nominee for Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year.
As an assistant track coach for the Hawkeyes from 2003-07, Anderson had success with the middle distance and distance corps. During that time the Hawkeyes crowned three all-Americans, posted 19 national qualifiers and 13 regional qualifiers. Iowa was one of four schools in the nation to have NCAA indoor qualifying marks in the 800 meters, mile, 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and distance medley relay in 2004. Tennessee, Stanford and Kentucky were the other three schools to achieve those standards.
Anderson served as head men's and women's cross country coach and assistant track coach at Auburn University (1997-2002). During his tenure, he coached seven all-Americans, two SEC champions, 15 all-SEC honorees and 58 academic all-SEC performers. He also coached eight individual school record holders and four relays to school records. Anderson helped the men's team to four top-15 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and two top-20 placings at the NCAA Indoor Championships; and the women's squad to three top-15 finishes at the national indoor meet and one at the NCAA outdoor meet. The men's highest national finish was third place in 2000, while the women's was 11th in 2002.
The Tiger cross country team produced four all-South Region performers, two NCAA individual qualifiers, four team titles, three individual titles and two SEC Athlete of the Week Award recipients under Anderson. He served as meet director for the annual Auburn Cross Country Invitational, which featured over 600 runners, and the 2000 NCAA South Regional Cross Country Championships.
He was an assistant men's cross country and track and field coach at Texas Tech (1996-97), where he coached six Red Raiders to nine all-America honors. In 1997, the men's track and field team placed 11th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and 21st at the national indoor meet. He also coached one GTE academic all-district award recipient.
He served as the administrative assistant to the Faculty Athletics Representative at Auburn (1994-96), which included a one-year stint as administrative assistant to the Graduate Program Officer (1994-95). Anderson was a graduate teaching assistant at Auburn (1991-94) and The Citadel (1989-91). During his graduate assistantship at Auburn, he worked with 1991 World Champion and 1996 Olympic silver medallist Samuel Matete and two-time Olympian Tommy Asinga.
A three-time Southern Conference individual champion, Anderson set 10 school records at The Citadel and was named team MVP three times. He was a member of a USATF national champion distance medley relay. A three-time academic all-Southern Conference selection, Anderson was named to the Dean's List four times and the Gold Stars list twice.
The son of an Army Officer, Anderson graduated from Frankfurt American High School in 1985. He was a five-time Department of Defense Schools champion in the 800 and 1,500 meters and was named Department of Defense Schools European High School Runner of the Year twice.
Anderson holds two degrees from The Citadel. He earned a bachelor's (1989) and masters of education (1991), both in health and physical education. Anderson and his wife, Alexis, have a son, Sawyer.
Anderson's Cross Country Results
Anderson's Track & Field Results
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The Anderson File
4 Cross Country All-Americans
27 Track & Field All-Americans
2 NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Champions
2 NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Athletes of the Year
10 NCAA All-Midwest Region Cross Country Performers
11 NCAA All-Midwest Region Track Performers
1 Big Ten Cross Country Champion
Four Big Ten Track & Field Champions
48 Iowa All-Time Top 10 Performers in Cross Country
95 Iowa All-Time Top 10 Performers in Track
5 USTFCCCA Academic All-America Cross Country Team Awards
1 USTFCCCA Academic All-America Track & FIeld Team Awards
52 Academic All-Big Ten Performers In Cross Country and Track