Rick Witt, the 1996 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Coach of the Year, is the man responsible for the success of the UW-Stevens Point men’s cross country and track and field programs for the last 29 years.
Set to enter his 30th year in 2007-08 as the head coach of both sports at UW-Stevens Point, Witt is nationally recognized as one of the premier middle distance/distance and hurdle coaches.
Witt earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in physical education form the University of Northern Iowa. As an undergraduate, he was a four-time NCAA national qualifier.
Success at both the team and individual level in conference, regional and national competition has become commonplace under Witt. In the spring of 2002, UW-Stevens Point continued its success at the national level with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and an 18th place finish at the NCAA Indoor Nationals. UW-Stevens Point also posted fourth and sixth place finishes at the 2001 NCAA Championships.
The Pointers cross country team has enjoyed similar success and has posted numerous high national finishes, including an all-time best second place performance in 2003. The success of both the track and field and cross country programs has elevated UW-Stevens Point's program to its present status as one of the elite in the nation.
Individually, the Pointers have produced over 20 NCAA national champions, in both track and field and cross country, along with over 150 All-Americans.
Witt has twice served as a coach on the international level, having led a USA cross country team to an international meet in New Zealand, and a USA track & field team to international competition in Europe.
In addition to his National Coach of the Year Award, Witt has also been named conference coach of the year 11 times, and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year six times.