photo courtesy Paul DeCoursey
Iowa Central Community College continues to mourn the unexpected loss of track and field coach Denny Myers, who died while visiting Duluth on Saturday.
Myers was 60 years old.
Services times have been announced for Myers, a true icon of his sport. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday at Decker Auditorium on the ICCC campus. The funeral is Saturday at 11 a.m. at the same location.
Myers, a coaching staple in the track and field community for nearly four full decades, took over as the Tritons' head coach in 2009. The program flourished under the guidance of the East Lansing, Mich. native, as Iowa Central brought home all 10 indoor Region XI crowns on both the men's and women's side during his tenure. The Tritons also prevailed in all 10 Region XI men's outdoor competitions, and eight of the 10 women's team races.
Iowa Central secured 10 individual national titlists at the NJCAA Outdoor Championships this past season, with 22 All-Americans and six school records achieved. The women were recently awarded the 2017-18 NJCAA National Academic Team Award as well.
"To say Coach Myers will be missed is an understatement," said Dee Brown, the school's cross country coach and Myers' track and field assistant. "He was tough on his athletes, but only because he had very high expectations for them. He was also the first to offer a congratulatory word or hug for a job well done, mostly because he really did care about the success of his athletes — not just as runners, but as people.
"Coach Myers was a great friend. I always enjoyed our conversations. He will be sorely missed by us all."
In Myers' first season at the helm, the Iowa Central women won an indoor national championship. The men placed second nationally in 2010, '13 and '14.
The women's program secured indoor gold in 2012 and '14, with runner-up finishes in 2011 and '13. The women were also outdoor champs in 2013 and runners-up in '14.
"He had a big heart for those who kept trying, both on and off the field," Brown said. "He was passionate and dedicated to the sport of running.
"Coach was admired and respected by athletes and colleagues alike."
Myers, a graduate of Grand Ledge High School, Lansing Community College and Siena Heights College, coached from 1979-2000 at LCC. He turned the program into a national powerhouse, as Lansing won 10 NJCAA national titles. Myers was an 11-time national coach of the year during his time at LCC.
Myers also had coaching stops at State University of New York (Plattsburgh), Vincennes University and Rend Lake College.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship fund has been established through the Iowa Central track and field program. Checks should be made payable to the Iowa Central Community College Foundation, earmarked with a "Denny Myers Scholarship" note.
Myers is survived by his wife, Pasca.