Brady Wells, a 1983 Hanover College alum, will be entering his fourth full season as the head men's and women's cross country coach in the fall of 2020.
In his first three seasons, Wells ascended the performance of the men's long distance runners. The Panther men earned back-to-back second place finishes at the HCAC Championships during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, tying the program's best finish since the league's inception in 1998. During the 2018 season, Wells took the program to new heights as Jacob Hedrick qualified for the NCAA Division III National meet after garnering the schools first ever Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Individual Championship. The senior was named the leagues Most Valuable Runner for his efforts and captured his second United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Scholar All-American award.
In Wells first season, the Blue and Red had three runners finish inside the top five, garnering the trio all-conference accolades. The squad also produced three top 25 finishers at the Greater Louisville Classic, which was a first in school history. Jacob Hedrick and Joe Rector also went on to be named United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Scholar All-Americans for their efforts in the fall of 2017.
The 2019 women's fall campaign saw the Panthers claim a runner-up finish as part of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships behind All-Conference performances from Arig Tong and Brianna Medcalf. Tong advanced to the NCAA Division III national meet for the second consecutive season, being only the fourth Panther in history to achieve the feat.
With a women's squad featuring two seniors in 2018, Wells helped guide the program to a top five finish at the HCAC Championship and an individual runner-up finish by Arig Tong, the best finish in over a decade. Tong's runner-up finish garnered her Freshman of the Year honors as well as a spot in the NCAA Division III National meet. Under Wells guidance the program has received national academic recognition from the USTFCCCA on two sperate occasions.
Wells spent the fall of 2016 as an assistant coach for the Hanover cross country program. He was also an assistant for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, a role he is still currently holding.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue to build on the strong tradition of Hanover College Cross Country,” stated Wells. “This institution and this program have been very special to me and my family for many years. I look forward to once again, being able to be a part of their success.”
Wells was an accomplished runner for the Hanover cross country and track and field programs during his time as a student-athlete from 1979-83. A two-year captain of both the cross country and track and field squads, Wells still ranks among the top five all-time in HC history in the men’s 5000 and 10000 meter runs. He is also in the top 20 all-time at Hanover in cross country times.
To go along with his top time accolades, Wells was also a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Track Championship qualifier in the marathon event, where he placed 13th overall in 1983. His 13th place finish is the highest of any Hanover athlete at the NAIA nationals.
After his career at Hanover, Wells has continued to run competitively, participating in numerous marathon events. Wells has won the Indianapolis Marathon (1984) and the Louisville Marathon (1985), while also placing 30th overall in the well-known Boston Marathon in 1985.
Brian Power, Head Track and Field Coach at St. Olaf, stated, “I’m incredibly excited to welcome Coach Brady Wells to the staff in the role of Head Cross Country Coach. As one of Hanover’s most accomplished runners, Coach Wells brings a lifetime of high-level running success at both the local and national level while possessing a terrific ability to motivate and encourage athletes after three decades of coaching.”
Power also added, “As an alum, father of a recent alum, and most recently assistant coach, Brady has a terrific understanding of the prominence of Hanover Cross Country’s past and the prospect of future success. He quickly connected with the team this fall in his role as assistant coach and has become an integral member of our coaching staff. I look forward to continuing to work with and learn from him in the future.”
Wells will take over a cross country program that has been traditionally strong of late, with the women placing inside the top three at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship in each of the past seven seasons, including first place finishes in 2013 and 2014. The men’s side has also placed third in the conference meet in three consecutive seasons.
To go along with his coaching experience with the Hanover running programs, Wells was also the varsity boys and girls track and field and cross country coach at nearby Salem High School for five years. He also has over 20 years over volunteer work assisting the Scottsburg High School track and field and cross country programs.
No stranger to coaching at Hanover, Wells also spent time as an assistant men’s basketball coach for the Panthers from 2009-12.
Wells graduated from Hanover in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and later added a Master’s of Science in Secondary Education, from Indiana University-Southeast in 1988.
He and his wife Julie (Hanover, 1984) reside in Scottsburg, Ind., and have two children, Lauren and Logan (Hanover, 2015).