EMORY, Va. - David Cheromei, who led Virginia Intermont College to historic success as a student-athlete, has been named the head coach for the Emory & Henry College men's & women's cross country/track & field teams.
Cheromei was a highly-decorated collegiate distance runner winning 10 NAIA national titles, including three-straight championships in his specialty, the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He became the third runner in NAIA history to capture three-consecutive steeplechase crowns and set a meet record (8:40.03) as a senior in 2007.
While at Virginia Intermont, Cheromei was a part of a men's cross country squad that won three-consecutive NAIA team titles (2004-06). He was the individual national champion in 2006.
In indoor track & field, Cheromei took home the 2005 national championship in the 5,000 meters and won the 3,000-meter crown in both 2006 and 2007. He was also a part of VI's champion distance medley relay squad in 2006.
"I love the culture, mission and small setting of Emory & Henry," said Cheromei. "I know the area fairly well from my time as an undergraduate, and from hosting running camps at the College, and I can't wait to be part of the E&H community."
The native of Eldoret, Kenya most recently served as an assistant cross country and track & field coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Cheromei was responsible for creating the training program for both teams. He also assisted with day-to-day operations including academic advising for both squads.
"We are so excited to hire a coach who has been as successful as an athlete on a national level as David has," said Anne Crutchfield, Emory & Henry interim director of athletics. "We are really fortunate to get such a great coach, but also a fantastic human being who will serve as a great role model for our student-athletes and the E&H community."
Cheromei has spent the past five years as the founder and director of management for Grace of God's Children's Project. The organization assists children with education opportunities, spiritual teaching and basic needs for orphans and needy children in Kaptagat, Kenya.
Emory & Henry also announced the hiring of Shawnee Kegley as an assistant coach for the teams. Kegley previously served as the head track & field coach at Chilhowie High School in Chilhowie, Virginia.
Kegley was a six-time All-American in track & field at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia where she was the Division II 800-meter champion in 2011 (outdoor) and 2014 (indoor). In addition, Kegley was named an Academic All-American® in 2014.
"My goal as a coach is to give the student-athletes an experience that they will carry with them even after their days at Emory & Henry," said Kegley. "I want to continue to build the track program to become academically and athletically successful in the ODAC standings."
Emory & Henry competed in men's track & field for the first time in 24 years this past spring and for the first time ever in women's track & field. The Wasps will join the Old Dominion Athletic Conference for the 2018-19 season.