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Michigan State’s Lisa Breznau named Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year

Breznau earned her second Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year Award.

2021 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championship Photo by Jason Parkhurst/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Michigan State women’s cross country team — hot off its third Big Ten title of the past four years after taking first place last Friday, Oct. 28 at the Big Ten Championship in Ann Arbor — earned some more well-deserved hardware on Wednesday.

Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Lisa Breznau was announced as the unanimous Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. The award marks her second time earning the honor as Breznau was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the COVID-19 disrupted 2020 campaign while working under the interim tag.

Breznau was named the full-time Director of Track & Field/Cross Country in May 2021 following her time as the interim during the abridged cross country and track and field seasons of 2020-2021. She coached the Spartan women’s cross country team to its 2020 season title that marked back-to-back Big Ten titles and now adds a third championship for the program following the results in Ann Arbor last Friday.

In addition to Breznau’s earning Coach of the Year honors as announced today by the Big Ten Conference, graduate student Grace Molloy and junior Andrew Nolan were named the Big Ten Sportsmanship Awards recipients for Michigan State.

Molloy finished 33rd overall Friday in Ann Arbor at the Big Ten Championships and has scored in every race for Michigan State this season. Nolan finished 17th Friday at the championships and in fourth-place among the MSU men. He has finished in the top-20 in every race he’s competed in this season and this marks his second-consecutive Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Among the notable team and individual accomplishments earned under Breznau’s leadership this season, two Spartan men and two Spartan women earned All-Big Ten honors last Friday in Ann Arbor. CarLee Stimpfel earned All-Big Ten first-team honors and Riley Hough earned All-Big Ten second-team honors. For the women, Katie Osika earned All-Big Ten first-team and Makenna Veen earned All-Big Ten second-team honors.

The Spartan men’s and women’s cross country teams return to competition next at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute, Indiana on Friday, Nov. 11. Qualifiers there will compete at the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday, Nov. 19.