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What Grinnell and its students taught me over my 40 years at Grinnell College

The many conference titles do not demonstrate the real success of our programs over the past 40 years. It took the teacher becoming the student, learning how to fit sports into the Grinnell ethos, and learning to give ownership to the athletes. Our coach-led, athlete-centered model did not begin that way. Coming into Grinnell as a successful D1 athlete, I had a lot to learn. This pre-recorded presentation is about what I learned and how our teams became successful. It’s about psychology, training design, and pedagogy, and Grinnell teaching me what really mattered.

Faculty Member: Will Freeman
Discussion Date: March 24 at 3 p.m. CT  

Meet Professor Freeman

Having been at Grinnell since 1980, Will Freeman is considered nationally as a teacher of coaches and athletes. He has led the Grinnell Pioneers to 33 Midwest Conference titles in cross country and track and field during his 40 years at Grinnell, coaching beginners to national champions in his tenure. Freeman attended the University of Florida where he competed as a highly successful pole vaulter, winning 5 SEC titles in the vault (3 indoors and two outdoors), the Penn Relays vault, was the National AAU Junior Champion (19 and under). He also earned NCAA Div. 1 All-America recognition and was a finalist at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1976.

A former National Chairman for Coaching Education for the USA Track & Field, Freeman holds Level III certification as a coach and as a Level II and III instructor. He served four years on the NCAA Track & Field Coaches Committee, chairing the committee in his final year. He was also selected as part of the select USA Track & Field Knowledge Team, dedicated to improving coaching education in the sport.

A much sought-after clinician, Freeman speaks at clinics both around the U.S. and internationally. He has trained coaches and athletes throughout the US, in Canada, the Bahamas, China, and Africa. An avid writer, he has written or co-written six books, many articles and wrote and presented on 19 training videos for coaches of all levels.

Freeman has been the meet director for four NCAA championships while at Grinnell, two cross country and two indoor NCAA Championships in Track & Field. Besides his duties as a cross country and track coach, Freeman is an Associate Professor at Grinnell College. His areas of study are in Sport Psychology and American Studies. Before their joint retirement in 2020, Freeman’s wife Evelyn was the highly successful women’s cross country and track coach at Grinnell.

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Wednesday March 24
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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My 40 years at Grinnell College:
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