Since his first day of track practice in 7th grade, the new associate head coach of cross country and track and field, Ray Shadowens, knew he would be involved with the sport for the rest of his life.
“I came to love the technical aspect of the sport,” said Shadowens.
Coming from a small town, Shadowens feels right at home in Pacific’s tight knit community.
During high school in Arp Texas, population 900, Shadowens participated in hurdles and high jump.
At Buffalo State College in New York, Shadowens competed in Decathlon.
After college, he was an assistant track and field coach at Bates College in Maine, also a division three liberal arts college, for two years.
With some experience under his belt, Shadowens was intrigued by the opportunity to coach at another small division III institution.
“Once I was interviewed and saw the campus and facilities and met with the staff I knew this would be a great place to work,” said Shadowens.
Talking about his coaching style, Shadowens said that at the college level the focus on fundamentals is still important.
He said athletes have to have a very strong base before advancing to the next level. He also stressed the team aspect of such individualistic sports.
“Cross country and track and field are seen as an individual’s sport so it’s my job to keep the team aspect intact,” said Shadowens.
Some of Shadowens qualifications for the position are being certified as a USA Track and Field Level two coach in jumps, U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association endurance event specialist.
He is also a level one sports performance coach of USA Weightlifting.
“A lot of my previous experience is on the track and field side, but I am very excited to be gaining experience on the cross country side of things,” said Shadowens.