Berea, KY – Shawn Jakubowski has been named the men and women’s head track and field coach, head women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s cross country coach at Berea College. Jakubowski returns to Berea after a three-year stint as the head coach at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Previous to that he served as the assistant track and field/cross country coach at Berea.
“We are excited to add Shawn to our coaching staff,” said Berea College Athletic Director Mark Cartmill. “Being a former Berea College graduate he knows what is expected of the student-athletes here and has a great understanding of what Berea is all about. His ability to recruit and build programs from the ground up combined with his knowledge of Berea will be very beneficial as he takes over a program with a strong tradition of success.”
In 2012, Coach Jakubowski arrived at Tennessee Wesleyan with the responsibility of starting the college’s first track and field program in school history as well as taking over the already existent cross country programs. In his three seasons there they won two women’s track and field AAC conference championships (2013/2015) and back-to-back men’s AAC track and field championships (2014-2015). Each time he was named AAC track and field coach of the year. In 2015 the TWC men finished 15th at the NAIA Indoor National Championships. At the NAIA Outdoor National Championships the men placed 23rd and the women earned a 28th place finish where they also had two women place in the top 5 in the marathon. As the head track and field coach at TWC he had a total of 36 conference champions, 32 track and field national qualifiers, 14 NAIA All-Americans and 1 National Champion in the indoor 60 meter.
In cross country, Coach Jakubowski led the Tennessee Wesleyan men and women to two AAC Conference runner-up finishes. In 2014, the men were ranked as high as 4th in the NAIA national poll and went on the win the AAC conference championship and Jakubowski was named AAC men’s cross country coach of the year. In his three years as the head coach at TWC the men competed twice as a team at the NAIA National Championships where they finished 17th in 2013 and 11th in 2014. The women competed once as a team finishing 25th in 2014. As the head cross country coach at TWC Jakubowski had 26 NAIA cross country national qualifiers and one AAC individual conference champion.
Previous to Tennessee Wesleyan, Jakubowski spent three seasons as the assistant coach at Berea College, helping coach 28 men and women individual national qualifiers as well as seven men and women's KIAC team championships. Berea College Men's Cross Country had also placed in the top 30 twice while he served as the assistant coach. While coaching at Berea College part time he also worked as a production engineer at Hitachi automotive and, in 2012, he quit his full-time job to focus on his true passion, coaching. “Not many people get to wake up every day and look forward to going to work, but I do.” said Coach Jakubowski. “I get to work with great student-athletes every day and help them reach their goals in the classroom and on the track. There is nothing I would rather do.”
“We are so excited to have Shawn and his family return to the Berea community,” said Berea Assistant AD and Compliance Coordinator Ryan Hess. “Shawn was an outstanding student-athlete here and, as an assistant coach, he made an immediate impression on the student-athletes he worked with. His influence and guidance was evident. We look forward to watching these programs and student-athletes continue to succeed under his leadership.”
When asked about his return to Berea, Shawn commented, “I cannot express how excited my family and I are to be back. Berea is where I met my wife and where we had our son, it is our home. Getting the opportunity to return and take over the program I ran for as well as coach alongside some of the most influential people in my life is a dream come true. Berea has given me so much and I look forward to being a part of its strong tradition.”
Along with his coaching appointment, Jakubowski will also serve as the primary Sports Information Director for the College.