Not enough interest to sustain MCC cross country

Marshalltown Community College Director of Athletics Dan Huntley has made several positive changes to the Tiger athletic department since his arrival to campus last winter.

He has improved the workout facility inside the Student Activity Center and also hired a full-time Sports Information Director – Richard Webster – to oversee a new and improved athletics website.

Those positive changes are part of the reason Huntley has decided to suspend the men’s and women’s cross country programs.

“This decision was based on numbers – we have just one male and one female on letters of intent right now,” said Huntley. “We will look at some funding issues this winter and see if this is something we can do again in the future. We know for sure that we won’t have teams this fall.”

Huntley made this decision in part because Jarrett Heil stepped down as head coach back on May 31. This will allow Huntley to take a year to decide what he wants to do with the programs.

“It doesn’t do any good for us if we don’t have full rosters,” Huntley said. “We didn’t have full rosters last year and it isn’t an easy sell to prospective athletes. The numbers just aren’t there right now.”

Huntley also is in the process of finding a new women’s basketball coach and one assistant coach on that staff.

Former coach Alison Lacey stepped down after this past season to move out west with her now husband and former Iowa State men’s assistant basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger. Lacey was 11-20 in her only full year as Tiger coach last season.

Huntley said the school will finalize phone interviews this week and hopes to narrow their list to one or two finalists by next week. Dashad Isumu will remain on the women’s hoops staff as an assistant coach.

Bill Meecham also stepped down as the second assistant on the MCC baseball staff. Huntley said the hiring process has begun for that opening as well.

Other positions still needing to be filled include two assistant softball coaches to work with new head coach Tyrone Robinson, who was recently hired to replace former coach Jeff Lamb.

The Tiger volleyball staff has filled up its coaching staff after MCC and head coach Chris Brees announced the hiring of former Marshalltown Bobcat Jennifer O’Neal. O’Neal’s primary responsibilities will include working with the outside hitters while playing an integral role in recruiting, team travel and day-to-day duties. She served as the freshman coach at Marshalltown High School prior to coming to MCC.

“Jen is a great addition to our staff and will really help move our program in a positive direction,” said Brees, who will begin his second season on campus. “Her style of coaching fits well with my philosophies of volleyball and commitment to academic success. She is well respected in the Marshalltown area, which will help in the recruitment of local talent.”