Dave Wood - Head Track & Field Coach
Dave Wood begins his 18th season as the Head
Track & Field Coach. Wood’s tenure has been nothing short of
phenomenal. He has directed the men’s and women’s programs from the
basement in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) to the head
of the pack. The Saints’ have won twenty-two WHAC indoor and outdoor
team titles since 1998.
Success under Wood’s direction hasn’t been
limited to the conference level. Competing at the NAIA National
Championships both indoors and outdoors, Saints’ athletes earned
All-American honors 75 times including four NAIA National Champions and
four runners-up finishes during Wood’s tenure. Those accomplishments
have earned Wood seven NAIA Regional Coach of the Year awards.
The Saints’ success under Wood’s direction
comes as no surprise. The 1972 Michigan Class A mile champion and a
middle distance standout at Central Michigan University, Wood has been
developing team and individual champions at the high school, junior
college and collegiate level since his first coaching assignment at
Grand Rapids Union High School, his alma mater, in 1976.
A USATF Level II certified coach in the sprints
and hurdles, Wood came to Aquinas after an outstanding twelve-year
stint as Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at Ferris State
University. Wood was honored with a total of 10 Great Lakes
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) “Coach of the Year” awards
while guiding the Bulldogs to 11 GLIAC Championships in cross country
and track & field.
In addition to having his teams consistently
ranked in the NCAA II top 20, Wood was recognized four times as NCAA II
Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. His success at the national
level was highlighted by 35 All-Americans, three National Champions and
a seventh place finish at the NCAA II Outdoor Track & Field
Championships during his tenure as Ferris State’s coach.
Mike Wojciakowski - Assistant Track & Field Coach
A 1997 Aquinas College graduate, Mike Wojciakowski begins his 15th year
as cross country coach and an assistant coach for the Saints’ track
& field teams. “Woj’s” success with the middle distance and distance
runners has be exceptional. He has directed the men’s and women’s cross
country teams to six WHAC Championships, four NAIA Regional Titles and
six top twenty finishes at the NAIA National Championships, including a
runner-up finish in 2004 (the highest national finish for any team in
Aquinas College history).
A four time NAIA Regional Coach of the Year, Woj’s success on the
track was no less spectacular. The Saints have dominated the middle
distance events in the WHAC in the past six years under Woj’s direction.
He has sent numerous athletes to the indoor and outdoor national
championships and has guided many of the runners to the Saints’ top-five all time performance list.
A USATF Level II certified coach in the distance events, Woj’s
knowledge, personal approach and work ethic has been responsible for
developing the Saints’ distance program into one of the best small
college programs in the Midwest.
A four-year varsity letter winner in both cross country and track
& field for the Saints, Wojciakowski captained both teams during his
senior year. An outstanding student as well as a runner, Wojciakowski
earned Academic All-American honors in cross country his senior year.
Neil Reilly - Assistant Track & Field Coach
Neil Reilly begins his 11th year on the Saints’ coaching staff. A 1988
Aquinas College graduate, this is Reilly’s second stint with the Saints
as he was as an assistant coach from 1989-90 following his graduation
An All-State discus thrower for Traverse City St. Francis in 1984,
Reilly’s contribution has been significant. Under his direction the
throwing events have produced 18 individual WHAC Champions, 30 national
qualifiers and eight All-Americans. In addition, Reilly’s athletes have
rewritten the record books in the throwing events.
A four year letter-winner for the Saints’ from 1985-88, Reilly
enjoyed a stellar career as a thrower at Aquinas. A three-time national
qualifier in the 35 lb. Weight, Reilly was recognized twice as a NAIA
Academic All-American. The former school record holder in the 35 lb.
Weight, Reilly is listed in the top-five performance list in every
throwing event for the Saints.
Jim Baker - Assistant Track & Field Coach
Starting his seventh year on the Saints’ coaching staff, Jim Baker
brings a wealth of experience and abilities as both a coach and athlete.
A graduate of Central Michigan University, Baker earned four letters in
both cross country and track & field while running in a CMU
singlet. In addition Baker won a Mid-American Conference title at 800
meters and has run a personal best of 1:48.0 for that distance.
Baker enjoyed notable success as a high school coach at Rockford High
School for the past 17 years. During his tenure as Head Coach Baker
directed the team to four conference championships, three regional
titles, two MITCA team state titles and two MHSAA Track & Field
Finals runner-up finishes. In addition he has had numerous athletes earn
All-State and All-Conference honors.
While a middle distance runner by trade, Baker has significant
experience coaching all the running events. A USATF Level I Coach, Baker
will use that expertise to assist with the Saints’ sprint and hurdle