Joe Haggenmiller | Head Coach | Cross Country – Track and Field | Michigan Tech

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

We are looking for the right fit for our program. Our university specializes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. If a PSA is not interested in STEM, they are unlikely to find that Michigan Tech would be a good fit for them, as we do not offer much in the way of Liberal Arts education or an everything under the sun like Michigan State University or the University of Michigan would. So, a fit academically is our most important criteria. Then our next most important criteria is a passion for sport combined with a desire to develop and improve. We are very much a development based program, so we do not wish to have student athletes who wish to live off past training, just “show up on race day” and to go into semi retirement with priorities on seeing the world and recreation.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

We do not really try to have specific performance expectations for our athletes. We expect all our athletes to embrace the process and the improvement and results will come. We have had athletes that have arrived on campus and found they were way below the competition at the college level and patiently train hard to come up to making the travel squad, and we have had others who have come in with All-American talent who have embraced the process and become All-Americans. Both types of athletes when they do their best “exceed expectations”.