VERMILLION —South Dakota director of track and field & cross country Lucky Huber has announced the additions of Nolan Fife, Kyle Long and Ethan Bray to round out his track and field coaching staff. Fife will serve as the distance coach, Long will specialize on the throws and Bray will serve as the director of operations.
“These are three young coaches that we believe will do a great job building on the tradition of South Dakota’s track and field program,” said Huber.
Fife: Head Cross Country Coach/Distance
Fife also serves as the Coyotes’ head cross country coach. He spent the past six seasons as an assistant cross country coach at the University of Illinois. He helped guide both the men’s and women’s Illini programs to NCAA Championship appearances in his tenure. His athletes have combined for six Illinois school records, nine Big Ten Championship titles and nine All-America honors.
“Nolan has a great background in both cross country and middle distance,” said Huber. “He brings experience working with some great athletes. During his time on campus, our team loved his coaching philosophy and training style. His experience in the Big Ten will help us to continue our success in cross country and on the track.”
Fife also worked with the Illini track and field program as an assistant coach working with the distance and middle-distance runners. On the track, he worked with 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jonathan Davis, who went on to finish runner-up in the 1,500 meters at the 2022 U.S. Outdoor Championships and has clocked multiple sub-four minute miles at Illinois. He also coached the Illini men’s distance medley relay to All-America status in 2019. On the women’s side, he trained Olivia Howell, a four-time Big Ten Champion and three-time All-American in the mile and 1,500 meters.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the athletic department at the University of South Dakota,” said Fife. “I want to thank David Herbster and Lucky Huber for putting me in a position to help build on the tradition and success that is already in place within the track & field and cross country programs. I was very impressed with the campus, facilities, and people at South Dakota. My family and I are incredibly excited to start our journey in Vermillion.”
Fife graduated from Indiana University in 2015 with a degree in kinesiology. He ran for the Hoosiers’ cross country and track & field teams from 2010-15. As a junior in 2013, he was a member of Indiana’s Big Ten team title in cross country. It was IU’s first Big Ten men’s cross country title since 1980.
Long: Assistant Coach/Throws
Long comes to South Dakota after the past three seasons at Minnesota State University Moorhead. In his time with the Dragons, he coached athletes to multiple top-10 performances including a school record in the discus. Along with building the program via training, he organized fundraising campaigns to outfit the throwing program with proper equipment to be successful.
“I knew as soon as the on-campus visit started that Kyle was the right person to lead our throws program,” said Huber. “It was a combination of his passion and the knowledge of the specialty he brings, having been coached by two of the best throw coaches in the NCAA while he was at Arizona State. He has a wide range of coaching experiences, from developing young throwers to coaching on the international stage.”
Long graduated from Arizona State in 2017. He threw for the Sun Devils from 2012-17, garnering All-America accolades in the discus as a senior. After graduating, he stayed on at his alma mater as a volunteer coach. He worked with newcomers on throwing techniques across all four disciplines – shot put, discus, hammer and javelin.
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to continue to grow the program at USD,” said Long. “The coaching staff is doing a phenomenal job developing excellent athletes and I am honored to be able to join such a program.”
Long also brings experience working as a private coach for two-time World finalist Maggie Ewen in the shot put. She has placed in the top-three at the U.S. Championships seven times between the indoor and outdoor seasons. She owns a personal best of 64 feet, 11 inches, (19.79m) in the shot put.
Bray: Director of Track & Field Operations
Bray, an All-American pole vaulter for the Coyotes, has worked in the Coyote ticket office since June of 2019. He was promoted to assistant director of ticket operations in January of 2022. In that role, he worked with ticket sales, renewals and game day ticket office operations.
With his new role in the track and field program, his duties will include budgeting, planning team travel, equipment management and assisting with on-campus recruiting visits, all while following NCAA regulations and university policies.
“Ethan’s experience working with the administration and his experience as a student-athlete here at USD make him uniquely qualified to assist our student-athletes and the coaching staff,” said Huber.
Bray’s collegiate track and field accolades include three All-America honors, a pair of Summit League titles and Academic All-America as a senior. He capped off his collegiate career with a bronze medal at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and qualified for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. Bray owns a personal best of 18-6 ½ (5.65m) in the pole vault, the second-best height in USD program history behind teammate and Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen.
“I have enjoyed my three years in the ticket office and have learned a lot from that experience,” said Bray. “I want to thank everyone that I’ve worked with during that time. I am looking forward to being back with the track and field program and working with my former coaches as colleagues.”
Bray graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2020 with a degree in criminal justice. He served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President during the 2019-20 academic year and was a SAAC representative for four years.
Complete Staff for 2022-23
In addition, the Coyotes have a new graduate assistant manager in Trajan Johnson and a pair of new volunteer coaches this upcoming season. Ewen, the 2022 U.S. Indoor Champion in the shot put, will train in Vermillion while assisting Long with the throwers. Shanice Hall returns to the program in a volunteer role, previously serving as a graduate assistant coach in 2019.
Lucky Huber enters his 15th season as South Dakota’s Director of Track and Field & Cross Country, Derek Miles returns as the program’s associate director of track and field and Teivaskie Lewin returns as an assistant coach. Dave Gottsleben and Matt Hoyt will continue to serve in their volunteer assistant roles for 2023.