Scott Vicker was named head coach of the Southwestern Community College cross country team Monday afternoon.
Vicker, who acted as an assistant for the Spartan cross country and track and field teams, moves into the head position that was held by Trey Bruton. Bruton, will move into the assistant role for the cross country team, completing the swap.
Vicker joined the program in 2019, but felt the prospect of leading the program was never on the forefront of his mind.
“Honestly, it wasn’t (on my mind),” said Vicker. “Especially with coaching being new to me, when I started as an assistant, I hadn’t really considered being head coach at all. I just wanted to get involved with the sport again and work with our student athletes. I hadn’t given it any consideration really, ... but when the opportunity came up it’s a good opportunity and I didn’t want to pass it up when it was there.”
Vicker, a former News Advertiser managing editor, transitioned to Southwestern to be a marketing and institutional advancement specialist in the student services division of the college. Going from a reporting lifestyle, to now a desk job paired with a head coaching gig, brings him back to a busy day-to-day that he is used to.
“I don’t think so. I’ve kind of always been a busy person,” said Vicker. “... When I initially made the move out to SWCC I was a little less busy than I was used to being. It was nice for a while, but eventually with getting into coaching, it felt like things were back to normal for me. ... Being a collegiate athlete for four years, even though I’m not competing now, ... it’s very similar to that.”
A decorated runner at Creston High School, Vicker was a two-time Hawkeye 10 Conference champion for cross country and a three-time state qualifier (finished in the top-15 twice, 10th once). On the track side of things, Vicker was a four-time state meet medalist in track, including runner-up in the 1,600; Drake Relays medalist in the 3,200; and is still the Creston High School record holder in the 3,200 and 1,600.
Vicker was also successful in his Div. I college career, earning a scholarship to Saint Louis University (SLU) to compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He was a four-year scoring member of SLU’s cross country team and held school records in the indoor distance medley relay, outdoor 4x800 relay, and 3,000-meter steeple chase.
Despite being rather successful in his running career, Vicker feels keeping Bruton on the staff is going to enhance the team more.
“I think Trey being still involved with the program is going to be such a huge help,” said Vicker. “He’s going to have so much valuable experience I can fall back on and bounce ideas off of him. I can get his input on things if we come across a situation I may not have experienced. ... I think he’s going to be so valuable to not only myself but to have him involved and working with the student athletes.”
With incoming prospects recently graduating high school, Vicker has reached out to all incoming runners he can to inform them of the coaching change.
The change, he feels, has been well received from both the current roster and incoming prospects after video calling them to break the news.
“It’s hard to tell. Not everyone was on video,” said Vicker. “... I think the fact that both of us are still in the program is comforting to all of them at least. Most of them know both of us already, ... so at least they have that familiarity.”
Entering the 2020 fall, Vicker thinks both the men and the women’s’ team are trending in the right direction.
“I think we’ve got a talented group coming in,” said Vicker. “... We’ve got a lot of guys coming in who I think can really blossom at Southwestern. I am really excited to see what they’re able to accomplish this fall with a summer of training under their belts. ... For the women, we’ve got some potential there and we’ve got a few more spots we’re looking to fill. If things come together I think we’ve got a lot of promise on the women’s side as well.”