Women’s cross country team repeats as Horizon League champion, Stroede and Levy claim program’s first HL individual titles
Oakland will host the Horizon League Championships on Katke-Cousins Golf Course.
The women's team repeated as league champions while the men's team finished fifth.
Men's and Women's cross country teams each win Horizon League title, boast nine All-Conference selections and seven first-place finishes
Steve Clark, Brittni Hutton and Brian Stuard will be inducted into the Hall of Honor on April 18th at the Fox Theatre.
Cross Country Coach, Paul Rice reviews the 2013 Cross Country Season
Cross Country Head Coach, Paul Rice, recaps the Bradley Meet and previews the Horizon League Championship
Cross Country Head Coach, Paul Rice recaps the Michigan Intercollegiate and previews the upcoming meet at Bradley
2016 Golden Grizzly Open - Photo Credit: Jose Juarez
Paul Rice enters his 20th season as head coach for men’s and women’s cross country and has also served as the head coach for men’s and women’s track and field since the program’s inception in 2006, when he was named the first full-time coach in the program's history.
In the spring of 2017, under Rice’s guidance, Bryce Stroede became the second NCAA Track and Field Finals qualifier in the school’s history, competing in the 5K in Eugene, Oregon finishing 23rd and achieving Honorable Mention All-American. Stroede set a new school record of 13:49 in the event. The Eugene trip capped off a record setting year for Stroede as he won four Horizon League titles and also became the first all-region performer in cross country in the Division 1 era.
The spring of 2017 also saw Oakland’s men and women finish runner-up at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships, the highest finish ever for both teams at the outdoor meet. The men also finished runner-up in 2017 at the indoor championships, also their highest finish ever.
In the fall of 2016 Oakland’s women won their first ever back-to-back cross country league championship, winning by a margin of 60 points over second place Wright State. Rice was named women’s cross country Coach of the Year for the second straight season, bringing his career total to eight. Both Rachel Levy and Stroede won the individual championship and each earned athlete of the year at the meet, marking the first time in program history Oakland had the men’s and women’s individual champions in cross country.
The winter of 2016 saw the women’s track & field team win their first ever league title as they upset defending champion Youngstown State at the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships. With this team accomplishment, Rice was named Horizon League Women’s Indoor Track Coach of the Year.
The 2015 cross country season was a banner year for Rice and the Golden Grizzlies as he led both teams to Horizon League titles, and seven total first-place finishes on the season. Jacob and Andrew Bowman both earned All-Horizon League first-team honors, while George O'Connor, Bryce Stroede and Michael Cox earned second-team honors. For the women, Ashley Burr, Rachel Levy, Miranda Haas and Karli Keur all earned places on the All-Horizon League first-team. For his efforts, Rice was awarded Horizon League Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's teams.
Under Rice's guidance, Golden Grizzly cross country became one of the premier programs while in The Summit League, producing 27 all-conference runners who won 53 total conference awards, three runners of the year, two newcomers of the year and three Summit League championships in just nine seasons. Rice earned Summit League Coach of the Year accolades four times. When Oakland transitioned to the Horizon League before the 2013 season, Rice produced a Freshman of the Year in Jacob Bowman and three second team all-league performers in Michael Cox, Karli Keur and Sammy Mondry.
During the 2010 season, Rice led the women's team to their first-ever Summit League Championship. Oakland placed four runners in the top eight to score 45 points edging out defending champion Southern Utah by five points. Lia Jones, Brittni Hutton and Sara Lieblein earned All-Summit League first team honors and Kelsey Carmean earned second team honors. Rice earned his first Women's Cross Country Summit League Coach of the Year award, the fourth coach of the year accolade of his career.
In 2005, Rice led the men's team to its second conference championship in four years, as Oakland placed all five of its scoring runners in the top-15 to compile 38 points, edging Southern Utah for the title. The Golden Grizzlies were paced by Summit League Runner of the Year Adam Frezza who won the event. Four runners earned all-conference honors: Frezza and Paul Kulisek were named to the first team while Andrew Lawrick and Jason Young were second-team selections. The team also earned its first-ever regional ranking when it was 14th in the United States Cross Country Association Great Lakes Region poll.
Another successful season, 2003, saw both the men's and women's teams place second at the Summit League championships. The women were led by two-time Summit League Runner of the Year Kristie Kieffer (2000, 2003), who became the first Golden Grizzly runner to qualify for the NCAA championships since Oakland joined Division I when she placed 13th at the NCAA regional.
In 2002, Rice and the Golden Grizzly men captured their first conference championship, breaking Southern Utah's streak of five straight titles. A record six runners earned all-conference recognition on the men's side while the women placed two on the all-conference team and had the newcomer of the year in Sarah Drouillard. Rice was named Summit League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Rice took the helm in 1998 after serving two years as Oakland's assistant cross country coach. He graduated from Oakland in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in general studies/human resources. Rice ran cross country at Oakland from 1990-93 and was a three-year captain, earning All-GLIAC honors 1991 and 1992, as well as all-region recognition in 1991-93.
A resident of Rochester Hills, Michigan, Rice and his wife, Shannon, have three children: Olivia, Ethan, and Abigail.