SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Kenny McDaniel completed his initial coaching staff with the hiring of Aaron Braun as the Hornets' distance coach, it was announced today.
Braun joins Carl Caughell (jumps) and Kyle Lille (throws) as the newest assistant coaches on the team. The trio will also work with Kim Graham-Miller (sprints/hurdles) who returns to the staff.
"Our distance program just elevated to another level with Aaron on board," McDaniel said. "The best way to describe him is 'world class'. He's been a part of two of the best distance programs in the country in NAU and Adams State and brings a winning culture with him as well as an elite mindset. He also has an understanding of the cutting-edge distance training methodologies."
Braun comes to the Hornets after being part of the staff at Northern Arizona for three years. The Lumberjack men won the NCAA Div. I Cross Country Championship during all three seasons — becoming the first program to go back-to-back-to-back since Arkansas in 1998-2000.
Prior to moving to NAU, Braun was a volunteer at his alma mater, Adams State from 2014-16. Part of his responsibilities included implementing daily training for distance group, motivating student-athletes, talent identification and organization of recruiting efforts for multiple event groups, creating itineraries for team travel and official visits, and other various administrative duties.
Braun had an illustrious Adams State career where he led the team to three national titles (one indoor, two cross country) and is a member of the Adams State athletic hall of fame. He was a 16-time NCAA Div. II All-American and was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and the Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2009. Braun went on to win NCAA Div. II individual titles for the indoor mile (2009 & 2010) and had three runner-up performances at NCAA Div. II Championship meets. As a cross country runner, he finished second at both the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Div. II National Championships. He is the school record holder in the indoor 3K and the indoor and outdoor 5K and is also a member of the school record holding distance medley relay team.
Braun continued to run after his collegiate career. He was fifth in the 10K at the 2012 US Olympic Trials and had the second best finish by an American at the 2018 Chicago Marathon where he ran 2:12.54 (5:04 average per mile).
He graduated with a degree bachelor's degree in mathematics from Adams State in 2009 and added a master's in exercise science in 2011. Braun has also received his USTFCCCA TFTC certification.
Braun will live in the Sacramento area with his wife, Annika, and daughters Makenzie (7) and Myla (2).
Braun By The Numbers
• National Championship Teams in Women's Indoor Track & Field (2014), Men's Cross Country (2014), Men's Indoor Track & Field (2015), and Women's Cross Country (2015)
• 23 Individual and Relay National Titles
• 67 All-American Performances
· NCAA Div. I National Championship men's cross country team (2016, 2017 & 2018)
• Big Sky Championship Teams in men's cross country (2016-18), women's cross country (2016-17), men's and women's indoor track & field (2017-18), women's outdoor track & field (2017-18), men's outdoor track & field (2018)
• 18 All-American performances (nine cross country, four indoor, five outdoor)
• Andy Trouard national champion in indoor 3K, Matt Baxter national runner-up in cross country
As a Competitor
• 16-time NCAA Div. II All-American
• Six-time individual national champion
• Three-time NCAA team champion
4:00.3 - Mile
13:20 - 5K
27:41 - 10K
1:01.38 - Half Marathon
2:12.54 - Marathon
What Others are Saying
Damon Martin, Adams State Director of Cross Country/Track & Field
"Aaron is a great hire. He comes with an excellent background as an athlete and competitor, achieving success at the highest levels in sport. As an athlete at Adams State, Aaron was a true team leader and a fierce competitor - both skills that will serve him well as a coach. Most importantly, Aaron is an outstanding person. He will be do a great job for your program, university, community and the student athletes there. I wish him much success in this new endeavor."
Ben Rosario, Hoka One One NAZ Elite Head Coach
"I have known Aaron for seven years now and he is as dedicated a person as you will find. Aaron is a family man, first and foremost, and nothing means more to him than his wife and two daughters. As an athlete, Aaron was wonderful to work with because he always got the job done on race day and he was the consummate teammate. As a friend, he's incredibly loyal. As a coach, Aaron brings the same desire to succeed that he possesses as an athlete and he cares about his athletes in the same way he has always cared for his teammates. His new athletes at Sacramento State are lucky to have Aaron Braun as a coach. "