Local Sports Journal

Dan Fishel has been named the new men and women’s cross country coach at Muskegon Community College.

Fishel takes over for Mike Smith, who started up MCC’s cross country program two years ago.

“Mike Smith (with the help of the MCC athletic administration) did a great job getting the program started up the first two years and I hope to continue that growth in numbers and success, Fishel said. “I am looking forward to the challenge of coaching at the college level after 10 years of coaching cross country at Muskegon High School.

“Both teams continue to grow as we have our biggest team in the third of the revival of MCC cross country after decades of not having a program.”

Fishel has many ties to the area: growing 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 continued his education at Grand Valley State University.

Fishel ran cross country and track & field for GVSU during his three 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.

In 2002 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 two team trophies, their first since 1979 and 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 Division 1-2 Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2011.

Fishel also coached on city, conference, and regional championship track & field teams while coaching many school record-holders at Muskegon High School.

Coach Fishel teaches at Muskegon High School and lives in Roosevelt Park with his wife, Jennifer, and his two daughters Carly who will be 3 years old in April, and Maggie will be 2 years old in July.