Men's Cross Country, Track & Field

Jake Stewart
Jake Stewart

Cross Country/Distance Coach

3rd Season

Alma Mater:
Iona College '05


Signing Day Recap: Future Fighting Illini Sign NLIs

Early National Letter of Intent signing period started November 12.


Paul, Weinstein Receive Top Honor at Scholar-Athlete Reception

Basketball, Gymnastics Standouts Take Home Prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor


Many PR's Set at Mt. SAC Relays

Mickow cracks into top-10 in 10K school history


Distance Medley Relay Set School Record

Illini relay breaks 18-year old DMR record; qualify for NCAA's


Illini Find Success at Spire/Husky

20 Illini athletes set personal bests over the weekend

Follow Coach Stewart at @IlliniXC

In 2013, Stewart led the men's cross country team to a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, with Jannis Toepfer placing sixth to earn All-Big Ten honors. Toepfer also qualified for the NCAA Championships, marking the third consecutive year that at least one Illini has qualified for the national meet. During the 2014 indoor track season, the distance medley relay team of Luke Carroll, Joe McAsey, Stephon Pamilton and Liam Markham recorded the second-fastest time in school history, while eight individual Illini entered Illinois' all-time top-10 lists. In addition, the Illini scored points in the 5,000m at the Big Ten Championships for the first time since 2009. Outdoors, the distance crew racked up 21 points at the Big Ten Championships, led by Big Ten Champion Joe McAsey (800m). McAsey also earned second-team All-America honors after placing 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Stewart finished his first year as the head men's cross country coach/assistant track coach and saw a very successful year, including five new school records and 12 additions to the All-Time Top 10 lists. Stewart guided the Illini to a fourth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, which was the best performance in 16 years. For the second consecutive year, the squad sent two runners to the NCAA Championships as senior's Hunter Mickow and Jannis Topfer ran in the national meet for the first time in their career. During the track season, the distance medley relay placed seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships to earned All-America honors, while Hunter Mickow earned second-team All-America honors in the 10,000m at the outdoor championships. Stewart coached two All-Americans, two All-Midwest Regional athletes, three All-Big Ten athletes, and 10 NCAA qualifiers.

During his time at Purdue, he had success on the cross country course and on the track. In the fall, he led the men's cross country team to its best finish since the 2008 season. Stewart also had two athletes qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round of Championship (800, 5,000m) while also coaching an athlete who's performance placed them into the top five all-time in the school record books. In addition, Stewart had a USATF Junior All-American and recruited the first Foot Locker All-American recruit in school history.

Before coaching at Purdue, Stewart spent three years at Lamar University where he was the assistant track coach and cross country coach. At Lamar, he was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2009 and in 2010 after the men won four of their five invitationals including a top finish at the 12-team conference championships. The men were also back-to-back cross country conference champions in 2009 and 2010. Individually, he coached 3 All-Americans in indoor and outdoor track, 17 Southland Conference champions, 39 All-Conference performers, 10 NCAA qualifiers, and one World Cross Country Championship athlete. Stewart helped the Cardinals set 10 new school records and coached 53 conference point scorers in both indoor and outdoor track.

Prior to his tenure at Lamar, Stewart was the assistant coach for the Iona College men's and women's cross country and track and field teams for three seasons. In his time with the Gaels, the men's cross country team finished third in 2006 and runner-up in 2007 and 2008, the highest finish of any program in school history. The men's team was also honored for its scholastic achievements as it was named the NCAA Division I All-Academic Team of the Year in 2006 and 2007. In addition, he coached the first women's cross country team to qualify for the 2006 national championships.

During his time as an undergrad at Iona, Stewart helped the Gaels win four MAAC championships and finish in the top 10 each year. In addition, he was the captain of the squad in 2005, becoming the first walk-on in program history to achieve the feat.

Stewart earned his Masters degree in Sports Administration from Concordia University, Irvine California and his Bachelor of Science in English from Iona College in 2005. He resides in Champaign and he and his wife, Brandi, welcomed their first child, Griffin, in November.

Fastest Times by Athletes Under Coach Stewart:
800m: 1:47.73
1,500m: 3:40.41
Mile: 4:00.17
3,000m: 7:59.89
5,000m: 13:35.75
10,000m: 28:32.62
3,000m Steeplechase: 8:35.75

Updated July 2014