Head Coach – Dan Fishel
“You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.” – unknown author
In his third year, Coach Dan Fishel is excited to continue building the cross country program at MCC that was re-started in 2010 by former Coach Mike Smith. Coach Fishel has many ties to the area. He grew up in Sullivan Township and attending Ravenna Public Schools for many years before graduating from Whitehall High School in 1996. At Whitehall, he was a member of a Conference Championship cross country team and a Class B State Championship track & field team.
After high school, Coach Fishel attended Muskegon Community College, earning his Associate’s Degree in 1998. He felt going to MCC was a great educational and financial choice that prepared him well to continue his education at Grand Valley State University. Coach Fishel ran cross country and track & field for GVSU during his 3 years there until his graduation in 2001. He was part of a GLIAC Championship track & field team at GVSU. As a varsity cross country runner, he was named “GV Sports Athlete of the Week” in 1999 and was an Academic All-American in 2000. He also later earned his master’s degree at GVSU in 2011.
Coach Fishel has plenty of experience building a program. In 2002, Coach Fishel took over the struggling Muskegon High School Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams. In ten years coaching cross country at Muskegon High, he increased cross country participation over 300 percent and fielded teams that competed with and defeated many Muskegon County powerhouse programs. In 2010, the boys team won 2 team trophies, their first since 1979. In 2011, the girls team won their first cross country team trophy in school history!. For these accomplishments, Coach Fishel was named the Muskegon Chronicle Divisions 1+2 Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2011. He also coached on city, conference, and regional championship track & field teams while coaching many school record-holders at Muskegon High School.
In 2013 the Jayhawk cross country teams had their best team showing at the NJCAA Division I national meet in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The men’s team finished 14th in the country, and the women’s team finished 24th in the country. These were the highest cross country team finishes at nationals since the program was restarted in 2010 after having more than 30 years without a program.
Coach Fishel teaches at Muskegon High School. He lives in Roosevelt Park with his wife, Jennifer, his 3 daughters, and his son. Carly will be 5 years old in April, Maggie will be 4 years old in July, and twins Rex and Penny will turn one in November.
Assistant Coach – Jessica Sowles Chandler
Coach Chandler is excited to share her passion for running and begin her first season as assistant coach for the Jayhawk runners.
Coach Chandler was born and raised in Muskegon and ran track and cross country at Orchard View High School. While at Orchard View, she was a state qualifier and broke the school records for Cross Country, was a member of the record breaking team in the Two Mile Relay, and also broke the school record in the 800 meter run. After high school, Coach Chandler focused on academics but still enjoyed running. She attended Muskegon Community College and during her time at MCC was the coach for the Orchard View Middle School Cross Country Team. Coach Chandler then went on to Grand Valley State University graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Finance and International Business. Coach Chandler is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Downtown Muskegon and enjoys running in her spare time. In 2004 she completed her first marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon on her first attempt. Last year she won the women’s race for the inaugural Half Marathon at the Seaway Run, where she still holds the female course record. Coach Chandler was married in June and resides in Roosevelt Park with her husband Anthony.
Coach Chandler is excited that MCC has brought back their Cross Country Program and excited to help the young student athletes achieve their goals!