Title: Dir. of Track & Field/Cross Country
Experience: 9th Year
Alma Mater: Southern Illinois, '90
Prior to 2004 the Hornet Track & Field/Cross Country programs had never finished better than fourth as a team at a Big Sky Conference Championship meet. Kathleen Raske took the helm in 2004 and quickly turned the program around. Raske has led the Hornets to eleven Big Sky team Championships while finishing second four additional times. To say that times have changed is an understatement.
In 2009 the Hornets continued their high level of performance. The women repeated as Big Sky outdoor champions while finishing runner up indoors and in cross country. The second place finish in cross country was the highest finish in school history. Ronald Brookins and Ericka Violett were voted Most Valuable Field Athletes of the meet at the indoor championships. In total for the year, the athletes' individual accolades included; 13 conference champions, 37 all-conference accolades, 18 entries to the West NCAA Regional and three to the NCAA Championship meets. In addition nine school records and 67 all-time top five marks were established.
Raske’s team-oriented and family-focused philosophy has nurtured in an era of excellence at Sacramento State. In the eight seasons Raske has led the Hornets, she has been named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year eleven times, produced thirteen NCAA All-Americans, six USATF Junior All-Americans, 65 NCAA National Championship participants, 81 NCAA West Regional participants, 129 conference champions, and 302 all-Big Sky performers. There have also been 115 new event school records established, and 536 all-time top ten event marks have been recorded. Raske is the only woman to coach a Division 1 men’s team to four conference championship titles in NCAA history in any sport. During her tenure the Cross Country program has enjoyed its most success since joining division 1. The team and individual accomplishments for the women include; seven all-conference accolades (top ten championship race finishers), eight of the Hornet all-time top 10 times and all-time top placers at the conference championship, and nine of the top 10 all-time NCAA regional championship times and six of the top 10 finishers respectively, and a Big Sky Championship team runner-up finish. The men’s accolades include; six of the top ten Big Sky conference championship finishes and seven of the top ten NCAA Regional finishes, and seven of the top 10 NCAA regional championship individual places and times.
2011 was a year for the record books. The Hornets claimed all four Big Sky Conference Championship team track and field titles. While doing so the women’s team claimed its’ fourth outdoor championship in a row, the first time ever accomplished in the history of the Big Sky. The men not to be outdone swept the indoor and outdoor titles for the first time in program history. Leading the way for the women was four-time NCAA All-American and four-time Big Sky Champion Lea Wallace. For the men, seniors Ronald Brookins and Emilio Hernandez let the way claiming eight Big Sky Championships and two All-American honors. The duo also shared the outdoor championship MVP accolade. Raske, for the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh times was awarded the Conference Coach of the Year award. Brookins went on to represent the Hornets and the USA in China at the World University Games where won the Bronze medal in the 110m hurdles. The 2011 award totals are as follows; four conference team championships, seven NCAA All-Americans, 33 NCAA Championship meet participants, 75 All-conference recipients, 113 all time top 10 marks, 22 new school records, seven conference championship meet MVP’s, 15 Big Sky athletes of the week, nine USATF top 40 marks, four Coach of the year accolades, one World University Games participant, and eight were named to the USTFCCA All-Academic team.
2010 was yet another record breaking year. The women continued their recent dominance of the Big Sky conference by sweeping the indoor and outdoor track and field team titles. The outdoor title was the third in a row for the women a feat only matched one other time in conference history. The men’s team rejoined the conference top tier taking third place in both championships. Leading the way for the women was five time conference champion Moira Robinson. Moira won four individual championships during the outdoor meet which also earned her the meet’s MVP award. Ronald Brookins led the men with four conference championships himself in addition to garnering the championship MVP at both the indoor and outdoor meets. Raske, for the six and seventh time respectfully was awarded the Conference coach of the year award for the women indoor and outdoor championship meets.
In 2008, the Hornets set numerous firsts. Individually, Raphael McFarlane joined Dan O’Brien as the only two men to be named both track and field athlete of the meet at the Big Sky indoor championships, and Emilio Hernandez garned the field athlete of the meet award at the outdoor championships. There were also a record 22 Big Sky event titles won, 20 entries to the NCAA West Regional and five to the NCAA Championships (three outdoor, two indoor). Raske also had success after the season as freshman Ronald Brookins finished third at the USATF Junior Nationals in the 110-hurdles and 11th at the IAAF Junior World Championships in Poland.
Raske led the Hornets to prominence in 2007. That year, the individual accomplishments included 20 school records, 16 conference titles, 35 all-conference honors, 11 NCAA West Regional participants in 15 events, and a record-setting four NCAA National Championship participants. Raske coached Nancy Searcy to the NCAA Championship meet and the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Championships. Searcy won three Big Sky titles and had six all-conference finishes. While doing so, she broke a 22-year old school record when she ran 13.35 in the 100-hurdles at the prestigious Mt. Sac Relays.
In 2006, the honors continued to pile up for Sacramento State. Dave Nichols finished sixth at the NCAA Championships making him the first Hornet to be named All-America two times. Awarded the Big Sky Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet, Roshena Duree became the first Hornet to garner a conference championship most outstanding accolade. During the year, eight conference championships and 23 all-conference finishes were collected by Sacramento State.
The 2005 campaign was a banner year for Raske’s programs. An unprecedented three student-athletes competed at the NCAA Championships. While there, all three (Geoff Fong, David Nichols and Brandon Parker) advanced to their event finals and two were named All-America — Parker in the long jump and Nichols in the shot put. Both also claimed their event conference title at both the Big Sky indoor and outdoor championship meets.
In 2004, Raske’s Hornets had a solid first year under her guidance. The men and women had their highest team finishes at a Big Sky championship meet, men (third) and women (fifth). Eight conference championships were won and 19 all-conference honors were attained. Fourteen athletes qualified for the NCAA West Regionals and two advanced to the national championship meet. Dave Nichols began his great career in 2004 when he earned two USATF Junior All-America certificates in the shot put and discus.
Raske, hired in August of 2004, came to Sacramento State from Central Michigan University where she served as the head coach of the women’s track & field and cross country programs for six years.
While at CMU, Raske coached 19 conference champions, 49 all-league recipients, 20 NCAA championship meet qualifiers, three All-Americans and 53 school records were established.
In 2002, she led CMU to its first Mid-American Conference championship. For her efforts, she was named MAC Coach of the Year, Great Lakes NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and Central Collegiate Coach of the Year. Two NCAA All-Americans were garnered that year. High jumper Suzy Bozin and heptathlete Maria Derezinksi each earned the accolade. Bozin was a three-time MAC champion in the high jump and was the top freshman to compete at the 1999 NCAA Indoor championships. She qualified for the championship events four times in her career. The Chippewas won their first outright MAC Cross Country title under Raske’s direction in 2000.
Prior to working at Central Michigan, Raske was an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) and Southern Illinois. While at Miami, she coached both the men and women in sprints and hurdles. She had six athletes win MAC titles and three advanced to the NCAA Championships between 1992-97. One of her top athletes with the Redhawks was Becca Williams. The hurdler was a two-time NCAA All-American and was ranked 20th in the world in the 400-hurdles.
From 1989-92, Raske coached at Southern Illinois where she had two athletes win Missouri Valley Conference crowns and two qualify for the NCAA Championships. While at SIU, she oversaw the team’s sprinters, hurdlers, and relay teams.
A renowned teacher, Raske has not only coached at the collegiate level but also in regional and national competition. In the summer of 2006, Raske served as the head women’s coach for the United States team in its quadrangular meet against Great Britain, China and Russia in Birmingham, England. She was recently tabbed to serve as the head coach for the for the USA at the 2009 World University Game.
The event was not the first USATF experience for Raske. In 2005, she was an assistant coach for the United States team at the Junior Pan-American Games. In that role, she worked with the team’s high jumpers and hurdlers.
She was also named the coordinator for USATF Olympic Hurdle Development in July of 2003 after serving as the assistant coordinator for three years.
In the summer of 1999, she was a manager for the United States team that won the gold medal at the Junior Pan-American Games.
Off the track, Raske is the secretary for the USA Track and Field Coaches Advisory Committee. She previously served as secretary for the U.S. Women’s Track Coaches Association for nine years and was on the USTCA Rules Panel Committee.
In addition to her committee responsibilities, Raske has also been a speaker on the topic of hurdling and sprinting at major coaching clinics throughout the United States and internationally.
Raske is also involved with Athletes in Action. In the summer of 2002, she led a U.S. team to Thailand and Laos. She also serves as the campus advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
Raske competed at Southern Illinois and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. As a sprinter and hurdler, she was an All-American in the 100-meter hurdles and held the conference record in the 200-meter, 55-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles. Raske was named MVP of the Decade by the Gateway Athletic Conference.
She has also competed in five U.S. National Championships, including the 1992 Olympic Trials in the 100-meter hurdles.
Raske is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the NCSA and has earned Level I and Level II USA Track and Field coaching education certification.
She graduated from Southern Illinois in 1990 with a double major in education and zoology.