Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) officials announced today that the college is establishing cross-country running teams for both men and women. These new teams will begin competing during the Fall 2023 semester.
The teams will be coached by Patrick Laney, a math teacher at Scottsboro High School (SHS). Laney has assisted with Scottsboro’s varsity cross-country teams and organized the formation of SHS’s varsity soccer programs for boys and girls.
"We are extremely pleased with establishing this program and having an outstanding person like Patrick Laney as our coach," stated Dr. David Campbell, President of Northeast. "This will provide more sports opportunities at the college level for our students."
Campbell noted that Laney will start the job immediately by scouting and recruiting runners for Northeast and setting up the program. He will also continue to teach at Scottsboro High School.
"I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of building a culture where student-athletes can extend their athletic careers while growing as people,” said Laney. “As a teacher, I have seen the impact Northeast has had on students. When I saw an effort to start a cross-country program, I was eager to learn more. I love helping young people fulfill their dreams.”
"We know that there is a history of having great cross country teams in our area at the high school level – both Women’s and Men's teams," Campbell stated. "We want athletes from these programs to run for Northeast. These athletes and Coach Laney will lay the foundation for what we think will be a great program at Northeast."
NACC cross-country teams will join other Alabama Community College schools in competing under the umbrella of the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC), which is headed by Commissioner Dean Myrick.
“The Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) has shown unprecedented growth over the last few months, with Northeast Alabama being a big part of that,” said Commissioner Myrick. “Cross country, in particular, has shown immense growth, going from two teams three years ago to eight teams this year. By the fall of 2023, there will be 10 teams. We thank Dr. Campbell for his athletic vision and support and look forward to the opportunities it presents potential student-athletes in the future.”
Laney is ready to continue the growth of NACC’s athletic programs, saying, “We are going to be a program that nurtures the whole person as an individual and as a collective group. With the talent in our area and proper training, the Mustangs should be competitive in our first season. I cannot wait to get started and share this journey with the staff of Northeast Alabama Community College and some incredible young people that we will bring to our campus. We will make all of Northeast Alabama proud!"
NACC’s Associate Dean of Instruction, Barbara Kilgore, also serves as the college’s Athletic Director. “We are so excited to be able to offer Cross Country for our students here at NACC,” said Kilgore. “Cross Country promotes such strength of character, endurance, and dedication from its participants. I have always said a kid that runs cross country can do anything. They already have the mindset for success. They already know how to push through the difficulty and the pain. They are all winners.”
"On another NACC sports front,” Dr. Campbell says, “the college has been authorized by Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Chancellor Jimmy Baker and Chief Facilities Officer Mark Salmon to hire an architect to oversee the construction of a women's softball field.”
The architectural firm hired is McKee and Associates of Montgomery. McKee has built sports stadiums at Auburn, Jacksonville, and Troy to name a few. Given no issues or problems, the timeframe on construction is two years. The first step in the process is to have an engineering company do a geophysical examination of the chosen softball site. "We are excited to get these sports projects underway and to bring more sports to Northeast," Campbell stated.
Northeast is a comprehensive community college with some 2,650 students registered for the fall semester. The Aspen Institute has rated NACC as one of the top community colleges in America five times. This is out of some 1,200 community colleges. The college is characterized by the use of advanced educational technology that is available to students. The college has been ranked number one in various categories within the Alabama Community College System.
For more information about Northeast Alabama Community College, visit nacc.edu or download the OneACCS app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Follow NACC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with the latest announcements, current events, and more.
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