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Cross country course named

Mel Brodt, who coached Bowling Green track and cross country from 1969-1984 at the University, was honored last weekend when the cross country course was named after him.

Brodt coached track for 20 years and cross country for 25 years at the University, bringing four teams to top 10 finishes in the NCAA, one to a Mid-American Conference championship, and seven to MAC runners-up. He also coached an Olympic champion, a world record holder and 28 All-Americans.

“Basically, I think the athletic department and the University felt that Mel had an outstanding career here; his teams were championship caliber,” said Sidney Sink of the athletic department. “We just felt like we wanted to name something after him.”

Brodt, who was the last coach to take a University cross country team to nationals, said he felt he should have been recognized for his achievements at the school before this, but is happy regardless.

“I feel greatly honored, it’s been a long time coming,” he said. “I’m very pleased that this administration saw that something great was done when I was here.”

Sink said the cross country course was not originally going to be named in Brodt’s honor because the athletic department wanted to name the indoor track after him. However, that track could not be named because it is inside a building.

“The cross country course was very appropriate for Mel because a lot of his accomplishments came in that sport,” Sink said.

According to Sink, who ran cross country under Brodt, it was Brodt’s ability to make players want to work hard that made his teams a success.

“If you had the ability to be a national caliber athlete, he got it out of you,” he said. “All his athletes had so much confidence in him it carried over into running.”

Because he accomplished a great deal as a coach at the University, Brodt said having the course named after him is not one of his greatest accomplishments.

“It wasn’t at the top of the list,” Brodt said. “It’s something that’s going to be there forever as far as for my grandchildren wondering what the old man had done at the school.”

Brodt played an instrumental role in the lives of his student-athletes both on and off the course, Sink said.

Not only was he a coach at the University but he also taught health and physical education.

“He did a good job at both,” Sink said. “He really touched all the athletes in that he prepared them for the future when they got out of college.”

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