VERMILLION, SD—South Dakota director of athletics and cross country Lucky Huber announced the addition of Nolan FifeKyle Long and Ethan Bray to complete his team of athletic trainers. Fife will serve as distance coach, Long will specialize in throws and Bray will serve as operations manager.
“These are three young coaches who we believe will do a great job building on the tradition of the South Dakota track and field program,” Huber said.
Fife: Head Cross Country/Distance Coach
Fife is also the Coyotes’ cross country head coach. He has spent the past six seasons as an assistant cross country coach at the University of Illinois. He helped guide the Illini’s men’s and women’s programs to NCAA championship appearances during his tenure. His athletes have combined for six Illinois school records, nine Big Ten championship titles and nine All-America honors.
“Nolan has great cross-country and middle-distance experience,” Huber said. “He brings his experience working with great athletes. While on campus, our team loved his coaching philosophy and coaching style. His experience in the Big Ten will help us continue our cross-country success. country and on the track.”
Fife has also worked with Illini’s athletics program as an assistant coach working with 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 second in the 1,500 meters at the 2022 US Outdoor Championships and logged multiple miles in under four minutes in Illinois. He also coached the Illini Men’s Distance Medley Relay to All-America status in 2019. On the women’s side, he coached Olivia Howell, a four-time Big Ten champion and three-time All-American in the mile and 1,500 meters.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join the University of South Dakota athletics department,” Fife said. “I want to thank David Herster and Lucky Huber for putting me in a position to help build on the tradition and success that is already in place in the track and field and cross country programs. I was very impressed with the campus, facilities, and people in South Dakota. My family and I are incredibly excited to begin our journey in Vermillion.”
Fife graduated from Indiana University in 2015 with a degree in kinesiology. He raced for the Hoosiers cross country and track and field teams from 2010 to 2015. As a junior in 2013, he was a member of the Indiana Big Ten team title in cross country. It was IU’s first Big Ten men’s cross country title since 1980.
Long: Assistant Coach/Pitches
Long comes to South Dakota after three seasons at Moorhead at Minnesota State University. During his time with the Dragons, he coached athletes to several top-10 performances, including a school record in discus. Along with building the program through training, he organized fundraising campaigns to equip the pitching program with the proper equipment to succeed.
“I knew from the start of the campus visit that Kyle was the right person to lead our throwing program,” Huber said. “It was a combination of his passion and the knowledge of the specialty he brings, having been coached by two of the top throwing coaches in the NCAA while at Arizona State. He has a wide range of coaching experiences, from developing young pitchers to coaching on the international stage.
Long graduated from Arizona State in 2017. He pitched for the Sun Devils from 2012 to 2017, earning All-America accolades in discus as a senior. After graduating, he stayed at his alma mater as a volunteer coach. He worked with beginners on throwing techniques in all four disciplines – shot put, discus, hammer and javelin.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue to grow the program at USD,” Long said. “The coaching staff does a phenomenal job of developing great athletes and I’m honored to be able to join such a program.”
Long also brings his experience as a private coach to two-time world shot put finalist Maggie Ewen. She placed seven times in the top three at the U.S. Championships between indoor and outdoor seasons. She holds a personal best of 64 feet 11 inches (19.79 m) in the shot put.
Bray: Director of Athletics Operations
Bray, an All-American pole vaulter for the Coyotes, has worked at the Coyote ticket office since June 2019. He was promoted to assistant manager of ticketing operations in January 2022. In that role, he worked with ticket sales, renewals and operation of the ticket office on the day of the match.
With his new role in the athletics program, his duties will include budgeting, planning team travel, managing equipment, and assisting with campus recruiting visits, while adhering to the regulations of the NCAA and university policies.
“Ethan’s experience working with administration and his experience as a student-athlete here at SHU make him uniquely qualified to assist our student-athletes and coaching staff,” said Huber.
Bray’s collegiate athletic accolades include three All-America honors, a pair of Summit League titles, and Academic All-America as a senior. He capped off his college career with a bronze medal at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and qualified for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. Bray holds a personal best of 18-6 ½ (5.65m) in the vault pole vault, the second highest height in USD program history behind teammate and Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen.
“I enjoyed my three years at the box office and learned a lot from that experience,” Bray said. “I want to thank everyone I’ve worked with during this time. I look forward to being back with the athletics 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 Chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 2019-2020 academic year and served as a SAAC representative for four years.
Full squad for 2022-23
In addition, the Coyotes have a new assistant manager with a degree in Trajan Johnson and a pair of new volunteer coaches this coming season. Ewen, the 2022 U.S. indoor shot put champion, will train at Vermillion while assisting Long with the throwers. Shanice Hall returns to the program in a volunteer role, previously a graduate assistant coach in 2019.
Lucky Huber is entering his 15th season as director of track and field for South Dakota, Derek Miles returns as associate director of the athletics program and Teivaskie Lewin returns as assistant coach. Dave Gottsleben and matt hoyt will continue to serve in their volunteer assistant roles for 2023.