The Ferris State University Athletics Department has appointed Steve Picucci as the school's men's and women's cross country/track and field head coach in an announcement made today (May 13) by FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.
A former Bulldog standout and Ferris alum, Picucci has served as the program's interim head coach since last July and will now move into a permanent role. He originally joined the track/cross country staff as an assistant coach prior to the 2007-08 campaign and has also served in a game management role for the athletics department during his time at FSU.
In an interim role this year, Picucci guided the Bulldog women's cross country team to the program's first NCAA National Championship appearance since 1987 and helped sophomore Tina Muir become only the second women's cross country All-American in school history. The Bulldogs also placed third overall in the 2008 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships (Nov. 8) held on their own course at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.
Picucci also helped tutor two track and field student-athletes to indoor All-America status this season in senior Mikinzie Stuart and junior Matt Jozwiak, who became only the second FSU men's track and field athlete since 1993 to claim Division II All-America status at either the indoor or outdoor national meets.
"Steve brings to our track program a work ethic that is outstanding and (being an FSU alumnus) an understanding of what it will take to make our program successful," Kirinovic said. "The accomplishments our women's cross country program achieved in the fall under Steve's direction is only the tip of the iceberg as to how he will lead us to great success. We are very excited to have Steve join the FSU family."
A four-year letterwinner in both cross country and men's track at Ferris State, Picucci was selected by the FSU Athletics Department as the 2002-03 recipient of the annual "Willie Bouyer Leadership Award" for his strong inspirational leadership and dedication to the program.
Picucci, who holds the distinction of being the first four-year letterwinner in both men's cross country and track at Ferris State since each program's reinstatement in 1999-00, earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Men's Cross Country Second-Team accolades in 2002. He registered conference all-academic team accolades a combined 11 times during his career in men's cross country along with indoor and outdoor track and field. The three-time (1999-00 and 2002) FSU Men's Cross Country team's Most Valuable Runner Award winner notched five top-15 finishes during the 2002 campaign, including a 14th-place showing at the GLIAC Championships (10/26).
In track and field, Picucci compiled a personal career-best nine top-eight track and field performances during his senior year in 2003. He was selected the Ferris Track and Field squad's 2002-03 Bulldog Award recipient after previously earning the distinction in 2000-01. The two-time (2001-03) track and field team captain placed among the top 10 competitors in the distance events 16 times during his FSU career.
A 2002-03 Verizon Academic All-District IV College Division Men's Track & Field/Cross Country First-Team pick, Picucci twice (9/6 and 9/27) was named the GLIAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week in 2002 by virtue of claiming his first two individual championships - the Northwood Invitational (9/6) and FSU's Bulldog Invitational (9/27). The four-year (1999-03) team captain received 2001 NCAA Division II Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team recognition and was Ferris State' s top finisher in 20 of his 29 collegiate cross country races.
Behind the scenes, Picucci served as a member of FSU Athletics' Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and coordinated the team's elementary school reading program during his collegiate career. He is a native of Brighton, Mich.
Ferris State University -
Named Steve Picucci men's and women's track and field/cross country head coach