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Jesse Norman
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Western Carolina
Graduating Year: 2003
Phone: 828-251-6921
Email: jnorman@unca.edu

Jesse Norman just finished up his fifth year as head coach of the UNC Asheville Cross Country and Track and Field programs.  The Bulldogs cross country and track and field program have shown tremendous improvements across the board during his tenure.

 

In the 2011-12 seasons, the Bulldogs men's track team had Milan Ristic qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Outdoor meet in the 110 hurdles. It marked the first time a Bulldog hurdler had advanced to a NCAA championship meet. Ristic won the Big South Conference championship in the 110 hurdles at the outdoor meet and won the 60 hurdles at the league's indoor meet in February. On the women's side, Sarah Gentry captured the 800 meters at the outdoor BSC championships for her first ever championship.

 

The 2010-11 seasons saw new heights for the program.  The women's cross country squad improved their team finish at the Big South Championships with Melanie Kulesz again earning all-conference honors.  The indoor season had the women's team finishing in third place; the highest finish in school history.  Norman was named Big South Indoor Track and Field Women's Coach of the Year after Asheville's impressive performance.

 

During the outdoor season Natalie Pearson (100m & 200m) and Simon Haake (Javelin) qualified for the NCAA Eastern Regional with Pearson advancing on to the NCAA National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.  The outdoor season also had Ristic qualify for the European U-23 Championships in the 110m hurdles.  He also guided Ashlei Clodfelter to a school record in the triple jump (38-9).

 

During the 2009-10 seasons, both Bulldog cross country squads improved their showing from the previous season with freshman Melanie Kulesz earning all-conference honors. In the track and field ranks, Asheville had both Simon Haake and Natalie Pearson qualify for the Eastern Regional under tougher standards. Pearson became the first Bulldog student-athlete to qualify for the National Championships in the 200 meters. Pearson was ranked first nationally in the 200 during the season.  Kulesz qualified for the USATF Junior Nationals in the 5,000m placing 11th at the championships.

 

Norman worked for two years at Western Carolina with the Catamounts men and women's distance teams before coming to UNC Asheville in the summer of 2007. He helped guide WCU cross country runner Dan Fassinger to an all-conference finish in cross country and Deanna Kulesz to an all-conference finish in the 1500 and 3000 meters. Norman was part of a Catamount coaching staff that helped WCU win two straight Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field championships.

 

Norman enjoyed a great career at Western Carolina from 1999-2003. He won the Southern Conference individual championship in cross country in 2001, the only Catamount ever to accomplish such a feat and earned all-conference honors in the 10,000 meters during the 2000 outdoor season. Norman had a sensational prep career at Fuquay-Varina HS where he was a five-time state champion in cross country, 1600 meters and 3200 meters.

 

Norman earned a degree in physical education from Western Carolina in 2003 and then picked up his master's in physical education in May of 2007.

 

Norman holds USATF Level I & II certifications in endurance and was invited to attend the United States Olympic Committee's Emerging Elite coaching clinic held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA for both the endurance (2009) and the jumping (2010) event groups.

 

Jesse and his wife Melanie have a daughter Eliza. 

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