Meet Brian Diemer
Brian Diemer has been at Calvin as men's cross country coach since the fall of 1986.
The University of Michigan graduate was a state champion in the mile as a high school runner at South Christian. He competed in the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track seasons as a scholarship runner at Michigan. As a senior he was the Big Ten and NCAA I steeplechase champion, the event which propelled him to the 1984 Olympics and a bronze medal. Diemer finished fourth in the steeplechase at the 1987 World Championships and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 1988 and 1992, but did not medal at either Olympics. In 1989 he won the Glen Cunningham Award, presented annually to the top distance runner in the U.S.
In 1992, he captained the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team. Diemer was
the gold medallist in the steeplechase at the 1990 Goodwill Games and
won the silver medal in the steeplechase in the 1995 Pan American games
in Argentina. Diemer also won the silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Festival
in 1995 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Diemer continues to organize and
compete in a number of road races in the West Michigan area and competed
at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in the steeplechase.
Diemer has been named Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year 16 times in the last 17 years. In 2000, 2003 & 2004 he was named the NCAA D3 National Coach of the Year in men's cross country after leading the Knights to the national championship. Diemer was then named D3 National Coach of the Year in 2006 after leading the Knights to their fourth national title. Diemer also is a member of the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Michigan Track and Field Hall of Fame.
While at Calvin, Diemer has led the Calvin men's cross country team to 23 MIAA titles, 21 Great Lakes Regional crowns, 11 top-four national finishes, four national runner-up berths and four national titles. With 22 league titles under his leadership, Diemer is the winningest coach in MIAA men's cross country history. Diemer has also led the Calvin women's cross country teams to four MIAA titles, three Great Lakes Regional crowns and four top-four national finishes. With a total of 27 combined MIAA titles under his watch, Diemer is ranked fourth on the all-time MIAA coaches list for championships won.
Calvin's teams have also excelled in the classrom during Diemer's tenure, earning team All-Academic honors from the College Cross Country Coaches Association of Amercia for the last 17 years. In addition, Diemer has coached 19 Academic All-Americans.
Diemer and his wife, Kerri, have four childen: Kelsey, Kaitlin, McKenzie and Matthew.
Meet Al Hoekstra
Calvin College assistant men’s and women’s cross country coach Al Hoekstra has been an integral member of the Calvin cross country program and track and field program since joining the coaching staff in time for the 1986-87 academic year.
A native of Palos Heights, Illinois, Hoekstra’s running career began at Chicago Christian High School where he was a state qualifier in cross country as a senior before graduating in 1973. He continued at Calvin where he was a three-year member of the Calvin men’s cross country and track and field teams. While at Calvin, Hoekstra held Calvin records in the two-mile, three-mile, 3,000 meter steeplechase and indoor two-mile runs.
In addition to serving as an assistant coach with both cross country programs and with the men’s and women’s track and field teams, Hoekstra serves as the recruiting coordinator for Calvin’s cross country program. While at Calvin, Hoekstra has helped Calvin capture 23 MIAA titles in men’s cross country and 21 MIAA titles in women’s cross country. He has also been a part of all six national titles in Calvin cross country history – two in women’s cross country and four in men’s cross country.
Hoekstra and his wife, Kris, have a son: Kurt.