Track & Cross Country Coach Retires

Jonathan Zimmerman retires to be with family.

Dec. 18, 2014 By Neil Morgan

 


After eight and a half successful years of growth at the helm of the Biola Cross Country and Track and Field programs, Head Coach Jonathan Zimmerman has announced his retirement.

Zimmerman came to Biola nine years ago following 19 very decorated seasons at Orange Lutheran High School and grew the Biola track and field team from 15-20 student-athletes to over 70 in less than a decade. He’s been a head coach at the high school or collegiate level for the past 34 years.

“Jonathan recruited not only great athletes, but students that were good a good fit for Biola spiritually and academically,” said Biola Athletic Director Dr. Dave Holmquist. “He produced numerous national champions, All-Americans, academic all-americans, scholar-athletes and more.”

The quality athletes Zimmerman recruited helped him lead the program to five team conference championships and two national runner-up finishes (2009 and 2010 women’s cross country). This list includes Golden State Athletic Conference championships as recent as the 2014 women’s track and field and 2013 women’s cross country title. His student-athletes earned a total of 205 All-GSAC honors.

Behind the success of his student-athletes, Zimmerman claimed eight GSAC Coach of the Year awards, with his most recent coming after Biola’s 2014 track and field conference championship.

In addition to the success at the conference level, Zimmerman coached teams were always a force to be reckoned with at the national meets, combining for 16 top-12 finishes.

His student-athletes set 53 school records and earned 114 All-American honors, 12 individual national championships, five track and field national MVP awards and one NAIA track and field most outstanding award.

He coached Natasha Miller to a ton of national success and helped her become the youngest member of the Biola Athletics Hall of Fame with her 2013 induction.

“It’s been a tremendous ride,” said Zimmerman. “It was a great experience working with these student-athletes who really bought into being a team and trusted the system. I also want to thank by staff and recognize the Biola faculty who were very accommodating through the years.”

Academics are just as important to Zimmerman as the athletic success, as evidenced by the 22 NAIA Scholar Team recognitions between men and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field during his tenure. His student-athletes also claim a total of 128 scholar-athlete honors over the last eight and a half years.

“During his tenure the track and field and cross country programs made great improvements,” said Holmquist. “I will always appreciate the dedication and hard work he displayed as our head coach. As a colleague he was always cooperative and enjoyable to work with.”

Zimmerman retires to spend more time tending to personal matters and spending time with his wife, Sharon, and his sons’ growing families.

“I am going to be recharging my batteries and looking forward to having more time to serve my family,” said Zimmerman.

An interim head coach will be named for the 2015 track and field seasons, with a national search launched to find a full-time replacement to begin in the fall of 2015.

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