Steve Picucci - Ferris State M/W CC Coach - Season Outlook/Interview

Steve Picucci  - Ferris State M/W CC Coach - Season Outlook/Interview

Steve Picucci - Ferris State M/W CC Coach - Season Outlook/Interview

RM: With the Div II cross country season being extended by several weeks (culminating with the NCAA Championships Dec 4th), what have your athletes done differently this summer? What changes will you be making in the early season, if any, taking into account for the extended season?

SP: First, this summer we adjusted our training phases slightly to make sure we are still fresh when we need to be at the end of the year. I just tried to remind everybody that its a long season and so we need to be patient and take care of the little things so we are ready when it matters. Early in the season we are going to keep our first few meets very low key with the focus more on staying relaxed and using them as another workout rather than being concerned with times.

RM: With the women having such a breakout season last year (finishing 11th at NCAA's), what are you hoping for this year? What will it take for them to get to that level?

SP: Even though we had an outstanding season last year, we want to keep in mind that there are a lot of quality teams in our region and we are all fighting for the qualifying spots. Therefore our number one goal is to qualify for the National Championships in Louisville, KY. From there we would really like to improve on our performance from 2009 and try to crack the top 10.

RM: What will it take for your men to reach the level of your women's program? What do you think will be the biggest hurdle and why?

SP: The first thing we need to do is increase the depth of our mens team by bringing in athletes who are committed to trying to take the program to the next level. We have some quality men on the team right now and we just need a few more pieces of the puzzle to take that next step. The biggest hurdle is going to be bringing in high level recruits to an up-and-coming program like Ferris State, without the large scholarships some programs have.

RM: What would you credit for your women having such a breakout season last year?

SP: The main reason that the women had such a good season last fall was because of the hard work and dedication that they showed all summer and throughout the fall. We have a really strong core group of women, who do the training they need to improve, which is allowing our program to strive towards that next level.

RM: Who are some of the top young Ferris runners that you are expecting big things out of this year?

SP: I am excited to see how our talented group of sophomores improve now that they have a years worth of experience under their belt. I hope that the sophomores combined with our promising incoming freshman class gives us the depth of talent required to be competitive at the national level.

RM: What do you expect out of the GLIAC at the national level on the men's and women's side this year?

SP: Obviously Grand Valley is one of the top programs in Division II and is sure to be successful at both the mens and womens side at the national level. Hopefully, some of the other GLIAC schools can step up at the national meet to show that our conference is one of the stronger in the nation.

RM: For those highschool juniors/seniors who might not know much about Ferris, please talk about what Ferris has to offer the student athlete.

SP: The most important thing that Ferris State has to offer is its diverse educational opportunities through a variety of unique degree programs. Athletically, we provide a highly motivated training environment focusing on the individual needs of the athlete, hopefully allowing them to achieve success throughout their college career. Even though we emphasize a smaller roster, we have been improving as a team as well as individually, taking us one step closer to the top programs in Division II.