BOCA RATON, Florida – Lynn University's Director of Athletics Devin Crosby announced on Thursday the hiring of Chris Wood as head cross country coach and the school's first director of sports performance. Wood brings over nine years of cross country and 13 years of strength and condition experience to the Fighting Knights.
As director of sports performance, Wood will manage nutrition and strength and condition as well as develop initiatives to increase the speed, strength and agility of student-athletes across Lynn's 14 intercollegiate athletic programs.
Wood will also oversee the Fighting Knights' cross country program, which has achieved great success since the program was re-established in 2012. The Blue & White had runners qualify for the NCAA South Regional in each of their first three seasons and saw former runner Gabriella Wuyke advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2013.
"Chris' professional approach and background of mentoring, program development and student success will make a positive influence on our student athletes," said Crosby. "He is influential within the industry of sports performance and is a leader of service that clearly demonstrates the 'Spirit, Service and Strength' attributes of a Lynn Fighting Knight.
Wood arrives in Boca Raton following two years at Pfeiffer University where he started the Falcons program from scratch for the 2014-15 season. During his tenure, Wood oversaw the development of two-time All-Conference Carolinas selection Kylie Spencer while helping lead the Falcons to consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. In addition, Pfeiffer was honored with the Conference Carolinas Fall Team Sportsmanship Award.
Prior to his time at Pfeiffer, Wood ran the track & field and cross country programs for over two seasons at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. He guided the women's cross country team to a pair of North Atlantic Conference Championships (2011-12) and was named the 2012 NAC Coach of the Year while designing and implementing a comprehensive sports performance program for the Eagles 18 athletic teams.
Wood also served as the strength and condition coordinator and assistant track & field coach at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., from 2007-11 and spent time at LaSalle University for two years in the same capacity. He got his start in athletics as a graduate assistant strength and condition coach at Temple University before being promoted to head strength and condition coach for Olympic sports.
A graduate of Temple University with a Master of Education and Bachelor of Exercise Science from the University of Puget Sound, Wood is certified at the level of 2 with USTFCCCA (the collegiate governing body for XC/TF), USATF and USA Weightlifting as well as holds a CSCS and was named the North Atlantic Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2012.
"I'd like to thank President Ross and Devin Crosby for the opportunity to lead this program. The department staff has been so welcoming throughout this process; a direct reflection of the positivity within the University as a whole," said Wood. "Coach [Niki] Alvarez did a great job getting the cross country program off the ground and I am looking forward to continuing that progress."