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NEW ORLEANS, La. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Friday that McMurry University’s Barbara Crousen has been selected as the men’s track and field “Coach of the Year” for the 2012 NCAA Division III outdoor season.

Crousen, in her 14th year at the helm at McMurry, led the War Hawks to their first NCAA team title since 2008. The squad scored 66 points with ten scorers to take the title, 17 ahead of nearest challenger UW-La Crosse. Senior Kevin Cunningham swept the 400 meters and 400 hurdles at the national meet and McMurry’s 4×400 relay took top honors. In addition, sophomore Paul Davis won the national crown in the shot put.

McMurry also claimed the American Southwest Conference title this season for an unprecedented 14th-consecutive season. She was the 2012 ASC men’s Coach of the Year for the 14th time, as well as being named the men’s NCAA III South/Southwest Region Coach of the Year for a ninth time.

Crousen holds the distinction of being the first-ever woman to coach a men’s team to an NCAA national championship in any sport, at any level, when she led the team to the NCAA III title in 2008. She will also go down in McMurry history as the first head coach to lead a team of any kind to a national championship since it began intercollegiate athletics competition in 1923.

“Coach Crousen has shown her tremendous dedication to our students over a great many years,” McM acting president Dr. Paul Fabrizio said. “Her knowledge and passion for our students and for track and field is well known and much respected. This honor is only the latest sign of the affection and admiration that so many hold for Barbara Crousen. McMurry University delights in learning of this award.”

This is Crousen’s first recognition as the national men’s “Coach of the Year.” She was also the NCAA III women’s “Coach of the Year” in 2001.

“I have been truly blessed this year because a group of young men decided that nothing was going to get in the way of their winning a National Championship,” Crousen said. “I am honored by this selection, but this award is really all about the team.”