NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College has named Jan Merrill-Morin as head coach of the men's and women's cross country programs, as announced by Director of Athletics Dana Fulmer Garfield on Monday.
Merrill-Morin, a former Olympian and a Mitchell alumna, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as both a coach and athlete. She has coached at both the NCAA Division I and III levels—including stops at Rutgers University, Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College—and spent 18 years as the varsity coach at Waterford High School.
"We are excited to add Jan to our coaching staff," said Fulmer Garfield. "She has an outstanding resume that really speaks for itself, and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber take over the programs. She's a well-respected member of the community, and our student-athletes will benefit greatly from both her expertise and passion for the sport."
A native of Waterford, Conn., Merrill-Morin served as head coach of the cross country and track and field teams at Waterford High School from 1988 to 2006. Her girl's program won the Class M state title in 1990, and during her tenure she oversaw the development of Liz Mueller, a 10-time New England champion and the 1991 national high school cross country champion.
Merrill-Morin joined the collegiate coaching ranks in 1992 as an assistant at Coast Guard. In 2007 she accepted a position at Rutgers, serving as an assistant cross country and track and field coach for eight seasons. She returned to the New London area in 2015 and most recently served as a volunteer assistant at Connecticut College and the head coach for the boy's track and field program at Old Saybrook High School.
Merrill-Morin achieved numerous accolades and awards during her running career, which included being a finalist in 1,500-meter at the 1976 Olympics and a gold medalist at the 1975 and 1979 Pan Am Games. She was also a silver medalist at the 1981 World Cross Country Championships, a 14-time National AAU/TAC Champion and a member of 24 United States international teams.
In addition, she is a former world-record holder in the indoor 3,000-meter and two-mile run, as well as the outdoor 5,000-meter. Merrill-Morin also held the American record in the 1,000, 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000-meter.
A 1979 graduate of Connecticut College, Merrill-Morin earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and received her master's degree in sports science from the United States Sports Academy in 2005. Prior to attending Connecticut College, she completed an associate's degree at Mitchell in 1977.