Empowering Athletes for a Life Without Limits

Having recently come off of an indoor season that showed promise and improvement (men’s recap & women’s recap) despite a rebuilding year, track and field stalwart Marlon Brink enters his 24th outdoor season as head track and field/cross country coach at Wayne State College, an NCAA Division II program in competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). From day-to-day athletic progress to watching his former athletes grow and become great people, Coach Brink thoroughly enjoys the coaching process.

Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Marlon Brinks enters his 24th season with Wayne State College Nebraska.
Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Marlon Brinks enters his 24th outdoor season with Wayne State College Nebraska

“Just day-to-day watching [my athletes] making improvements is great. Whether it’s a new PR or doing a workout they didn’t think they could do and seeing them feel the joy and exhilaration of that success…those are the things that still keep me excited and passionate about coaching,” says Brink. “When you get to the end of their careers, seeing them take that step from going to Wayne State to med school…or a business occupation where now they’re in the real world and seeing them be successful…it’s rewarding to see that.”

However, the primary focus for Coach Brink and the WSC Wildcats remains on the near future, with their lengthy outdoor season in full swing. The team’s eyes are set on the NSIC championships in May with the hope of delivering some strong performances and putting plenty of points on the board.

“Our goal is always to try to place as high as we can in the conference championships. Last year, the men placed 7th. I think the women were 6th. A few of the kids from last year’s team that helped support some of those points graduated,” says Brink. ”We know that this year is going to be a little bit of a rebuilding year, especially on the women's side. We had one athlete [who] was a national champion in the weight throw and another who was All-American. So losing those two was kind of a big hit for our program. But at the same time, it gives the younger athletes a chance to step up.”

The athletes of Wayne State fully embody the moniker of student athlete, with both the men's and women's program receiving all-academic team honors for the past indoor season.

On academic success for his student-athletes, Brink says, “From the very start when we are recruiting athletes, we tell them that. We want you to be the best athlete you can be while you’re here, but we also want to make sure that you’re the best student you can be. [Our athletes] understand that there’s a pretty high expectation that they’re good students as well as good athletes.”

A portion of this academic and athletic success can be attributed to the progress of Wayne State College as a whole. With major renovations of the school underway, every student-athlete is benefitting from a more conducive learning and training environment.

“The college itself is continually improving. Just in terms of athletic facilities, we’ve had some big improvements and are still continuing some of those improvements. We’re building a 300-meter indoor track right now that will be ready by this fall, which we’re really excited about,” says Coach Brink. “It’s a night and day difference. We are also building brand new residences right now that will open in January 2025. We also did a major renovation of the library about eight years ago. We had another major renovation of the math/science building. There’s been a lot of continued progress at the college.”

Coach Brink and the team are gearing up for the NSIC Outdoor Championships from May 9 - 11 before looking ahead to NCAA D-II champs later in May. Follow along with the men's and women's team season’s progress here.

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