Alum Steps Into Dream Job Coaching Cross Country, Track & Field – Jagwire

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Jacob Burgamy’s return to Augusta University marks a dream come true for him.

In late August, Burgamy was hired to lead the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs, succeeding longtime coach Adam Ward, who will lead the programs at the University of Maine. Burgamy raced for AU in the program’s best ever year of 2019, and his return is a homecoming that was meant to be.

“Going back to AU was a perfect situation for me because I knew all the ins and outs of the program,” said Burgamy, who was part of Augusta’s ninth-place finish at the NCAA Nationals – a ranking tied for the best finish of any Peach Belt conference team in history.

“I know everything that a foreigner wouldn’t know, like the specific training and training schedules of the riders here. It made the transition easier, so if I could choose a school in the United States that I wanted to coach at, I would choose here.

Taking over at AU is bittersweet for Burgamy given how much he looked up to and admired Ward. But he said his racing experience for Ward helped prepare him for his role in the future.

“He was a huge mentor to me. I talked to him for hours about training. I had great mentors, but he had the biggest impact on me,” Burgamy said. “I know how he’s done things in the past and how he would have done things now, so it’s ideal for me to step in for him and carry the tradition forward.”

At Augusta University, Burgamy earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from the College of Education and Human Development with a minor in athletic coaching, but since he was in college, he’s always had his sights set on becoming a coach. .

“College-level coaching has always been the goal, especially since I was in eighth grade,” he said. “I started coaching as a rookie in high school, and that gave me experience as a coach and a teacher. That experience when I was young actually helped me to individualize myself at the working as part of a team and multi-tasking, which helped me along the way.

His high school coaching experience proved fruitful as he led Brentwood School, an independent school in Sandersville, Georgia, to multiple state-record performances last season. He hopes to continue the success Ward has had with the program.

“In the 2019 season, we had the best result in the history of the program, and the men’s team was vocal about leaving this year as the best team in the history of the program. I think Looking at the roster, they definitely have a chance to be better than us, and I hope they do.

Long term, Burgamy said getting this year’s men’s team to a podium finish is something he is working towards.

“Apart from a few guys, our team is very young, so beyond this year we want to consider getting on the podium,” he said. “If we can move forward and do better than the 2019 team this year with our young roster, it would be a big step towards becoming a team that can claim the podium (top 4) in the national championship.”

He is also working to write the history of the school with the women’s team.

“They have an outside chance to win the conference, which hasn’t happened in school history,” he said. “Our biggest goal this year is for the women’s team to win a conference title for the first time ever, which could be huge for us.”

In addition to coaching, Burgamy also runs 478 Athletics, a commercial gym and training company, where he is a running coach. He notes that the intensity of a student-athlete often depends on how far along they are in their career.

“There’s a difference between middle and high school kids who are just there to be there and college athletes who take it seriously,” he said. “All of our team members this year want to contribute to something big at the team level. There may be kids who decide the amount of training is too much for them, but those who are ready to work run pretty well.

Through his company, Burgamy has gained experience in training top runners.

“It definitely helped me become a better coach,” he said. “I coached a runner who is now a pro which gave me some experience to hone my craft. Coaching in high school teaches you how to develop young kids, but coaching through 478 really helps me on the side development and the professional side of coaching.

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