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Tony Houchin, who has served as the cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at UNLV the past four seasons, has been hired as the head coach for UAB's cross country program and an assistant coach for track & field.
With his main concentration on the cross country team, Houchin will also work with the distance runners during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
In 2013 Houchin led the cross country team to one of the most successful and notable seasons in recent history. The Blazers recorded nine top-10 finishes during the year and were led by graduate student Elinor Kirk. Houchin led Kirk to being named the C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year, who was the third qualifier in history to run in the NCAA Finals. She won the conference individual title in early November and she was the only C-USA female participant in the NCAAs in Terre Haute, Ind.
As a team Houchin led the Blazers to two team wins at the Trojan Invitational and Azalea City Classic to begin the season. UAB finished eighth at the Conference USA Championships and 16th at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
While at UNLV, Houchin coached the Rebels' first-ever middle-distance Mountain West Conference champion in Charlotte Browning, who claimed the league's outdoor 1,500m title in 2007 and was named the MWC Outdoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year. He also coached two All-MWC cross country athletes. During his tenure, his athletes added 41 marks to UNLV's Top 10 All-Time Performer Lists.
Prior to his time at UNLV, Houchin was the head coach of the men's and women's cross country teams and assistant coach for the men's and women's track & field teams at McNeese State for the 2005-06 season. He coached one NCAA regional qualifier, two league champions and nine all-conference athletes.
Before arriving at McNeese State, Houchin served as the assistant coach for both the men's and women's cross country and track & field programs at Butler from 2003-05. He helped lead the men's cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships, and coached All-American Olly Laws. He also assisted the women's cross country team to its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships that season. In 2005, he coached Victoria Mitchell to the NCAA title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. During his two-year stint, Butler produced four conference champion cross country teams and four individual conference champions.
Houchin served as a graduate assistant for the men's cross country and track & field teams at Oklahoma State from 1999-2002. He coached middle-distance and distance athletes along with serving as the program's recruiting coordinator. During those four seasons, he coached four track & field NCAA qualifiers, three NCAA All-Americans and eight track & field conference champions.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma State in 1999. He is married to the former Mary Duerbeck, who will serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the UAB cross country and track & field teams.