2009 Cross Country
Head Coach Gary Labonte
Contact Information for Coach Labonte
Office phone: 419-358-3898
Gary Labonte, from Adrian, Mich., is starting his second year as Bluffton University's head men's and women's cross country/track and field coach. Labonte was the assistant track and cross country coach at Adrian College for two years before accepting the head coaching position at Bluffton.
"I am excited to announce that Gary Labonte will join our athletics program as head cross country and track and field coach for both our men's and women's teams," said Phill Talavinia, athletics director. "Coach Labonte's NCAA Division II and III coaching experience and his awareness of the high schools in our region and southern Michigan are key elements that will help Bluffton recruit outstanding student-athletes from the area."
Labonte gained post-season experience as a graduate assistant at the University of Findlay where he mentored 12 sprinters and hurdlers who competed at the NCAA Division II National Championships. All 12 were awarded All-American honors and one was named National Champion.
In addition to athletic performance, Labonte's teams have a tradition of excelling in the classroom. At Adrian, both the men's and women's cross country teams earned national recognition with Academic All-American Honors.
"Coach Labonte's post-season experience and his attention to his student-athletes performance in the classroom is a perfect match with Bluffton's athletics tradition," said Talavinia.
Labonte obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Findlay. In 2000, he was named an NAIA Outdoor Track and Field All-American and in 2003 he was named an NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field All-American.
Coach Labonte currently resides in Bluffton.
Assistant Coach Jordan Hill
Contact info for Coach Hill
Office phone: 419-358-3031
Jordan Hill is currently starting her first season at Bluffton University as the graduate assistant for the cross country and track and field team.
Hill was a four-year letter winner for NCAA Division III Baldwin-Wallace College, competing in the 55m, 300m, 4x200 and 4x400 indoors and the 100m, 200m, 4x100 and 4x400 outdoors. She earned All-Ohio Athletic Confference and All-Ohio honors for both the indoor and outdoor seasons multiple times and helped the Yellow Jackets capture three OAC titles and three All-Ohio championships in four years. In the spring of 2009, Hill received the Paul "Sparky" Adams Most Outstanding Female Athlete award and was named the B-W Most Outstanding Sprinter.
In May 2009, Hill graduated with a B.A. in Communications and minors in public relations and marketing, and is currently pursing her master's degree in organizational management at Bluffton University.