New director of track and field and cross-country talks goals, his excitement

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

When Brenton Emanuel found out he was going to follow in his mentors footsteps and become Eastern’s third director of track and field and cross country program at Eastern, the only thing he continued to say was how overwhelmingly excited he was.

Calling it a “special opportunity,” Emanuel said he is more excited than he is nervous about becoming the third director in Eastern’s history, replacing Tom Akers who retired at the end of the spring 2018 semester after 24 years.

He also said he could not believe the amount of appreciation and “love” he received from the Eastern community, and said he could not wait to start working.

“It’s truly amazing how much people care about the program and for me I really can’t think of a better situation,” he said.

As a former sprinter on Eastern’s track team from 2005 to 2008 and after spending five years as the assistant track and field coach and recruiting coordinator for Eastern after his graduation, Emanuel said he knows “this place” like the back of his hand.

Now, returning as the director, Emanuel said he has the experience to recruit and help his athletes.

“It’s an exciting feeling being able to help kids experience what I’ve experienced during and show them how much love is in that community,” he said.

After Emanuel left Eastern, he coached at Illinois State for four seasons serving as the associate head coach for the 2017-2018 season.

According to a press release, he specializes in coaching sprints, hurdles and relays and has coached seven national qualifiers during his time at Illinois State.

Emanuel said he can relate to the student athletes, which he said will help with Eastern’s recruitment.

“I can relate because I’ve been in that seat, across from that desk in coach Akers’ office as a recruit,” he said.

As of right now, Emanuel said he still needs to assess the team, meet with them and get to know everyone.

When it comes to long term goals though, he said he wants to continue to stay on top.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].