By BMC Media Relations
BLUE MOUNTAIN – Heather Duley, who has led the Blue Mountain College cross country program for the past two seasons, has resigned as the Toppers’ coach.
Duley said her decision was a personal one based solely on the need to spend more time with her family, which includes husband Scott Duley, the Union County football coach, and four children from 8 to 15 years old.
“This was not an easy decision; I love Blue Mountain,” Duley said. “I want my children to go here someday, but for now they need my attention at home. With Scott and me both coaching a fall sport, it’s been really difficult and this truly is a family decision.”
Dr. Bettye Rogers Coward, BMC president, said she regrets but respects Duley’s decision.
“Coach Duley has been a tremendous asset to BMC,” Coward said. “She had some very high expectations for her student athletes and at the same time has been a great source of encouragement to them as they tried to meet those expectations.
“She has served as a role model for us all. She didn’t require any more of her athletes than she did of herself.”
Lavon Driskell, BMC athletics director, said much the same thing about Duley, who replaced Fred Smith, the program’s first coach, two years ago.
“Coach Duley continued to move our cross country program forward,” he said. “You can see that in the number of BMC runners (six) who qualified for the NAIA national championships in her two years.
“We appreciate all the work Coach Duley has done for BMC, not only as a coach but for her character and for the high standards she brought to the program.”
Duley led the BMC women to a pair of second-place finishes in the TranSouth Athletic Conference and the men’s program to third- and second-place finishes. Besides the six runners who competed in the NAIA national championships, seven BMC runners were named all-conference and four earned NAIA Academic All-American honors.
Duley recently qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a 3:34.56 in the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, and raised more than $1,000 for St. Jude. The marathon team she was part of raised more than $25,000.
She said she would continue to serve as BMC’s coach until a new one is named.
Driskell said inquiries about the BMC position and applications should be made to him by mail or by email: email@example.com.