The meet will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet Field House.
Mark Stanforth returns to the Air Force track and field team for his fifth season as a volunteer coach and his 20th overall with the program. Stanforth, who retired in 2007 after serving 15 years as the head coach of the cross country team and associate head coach of the track and field team, will assist with the current Falcons' middle distance and distance runners.
The highlights for the men's cross country program during Stanforth's 15-year tenure include three top-16 NCAA finishes between 2000 and 2004, topped by an eighth-place finish in 2003. When the Falcons qualified for the NCAA Division I championship in 2000, it marked a unique coaching distinction for Stanforth - his teams had qualified for the national cross country championship in every collegiate division: NJCAA, NAIA, NCAA Divisions I, II and III. The Falcons won three conference championships, were conference runners-up six times and finished outside the top three only once in that 15-year span. Stanforth was selected by his peers as the conference coach of the year four times.
Stanforth led the women's cross country team during their transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. In his first four years, the Falcon women competed in Division II and qualified for the NCAA championships each year with program-high finishes of sixth place in both 1992 and 1995. In 1996, the Academy women's programs moved to Division I. In 1999, the Falcons started a string of five consecutive third-place MWC conference finishes, the only upper division finishes by any Falcon women's program in Division I.
Individually, the athletes that Stanforth worked with earned All-America honors 10 times in track and field and six times in cross country. He coached 28 individual conference champions on the track and one in cross country. His teams also earned national all-academic honors nine times.
Prior to coaching at the Academy, Stanforth coached one year at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota/Springfield, seven years at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College and five years at the University of California, San Diego, in addition to one year as a graduate assistant at Northern State (S.D.) University.
Stanforth and his wife, Pat, have two sons, Nicholas and Daniel.