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Who is SAU? Dan Tomlin & Dan Zeimet

Dan Tomlin and Dan Zeimet

February 2014 | by Jane Kettering

What happens when a university's cross country and track and field coaches have the same first name?

"It doesn't help matters that we're both Dan," said Dan Tomlin '05, ‘10 MBA, the men's and women's track and field coach.

"Obviously I'm younger and better looking. I've never claimed to be the smarter one." Cross Country Coach Dan Zeimet '91, '96 MBA laughs at this. And so it goes...

The Tornado that is Tomlin

"I'm very high energy-loud," said Tomlin, who serves as point person for recruiting in both programs. "By the time families spend time in Zeimet's quiet office, it's a bit of a yin-yang experience for them."

The Zen of Zeimet

An athlete through and through, the much-calmer Zeimet also serves as university registrar. "The registrar in me wants everything structured, details worked out," he said.

But Seriously

The Dans, who serve as one another's assistant coach, have taken their programs to a whole new level.

In six years, track and field has grown from 30 to 150 athletes, with 161 individual conference champions, 87 national qualifiers, 11 All-Americans, and the distinction of the 2013 men's indoor squad being named the NAIA Champions of Character Team.

Cross country teams have won nine conference titles in 10 years. In 2012, both the men's and women's teams won conference championships and advanced to the nationals. That same year the men's team had the highest grade point average in the NAIA.

Dan if You Do; Dan if You Don't

  • Tomlin didn't participate in track until college, and only then because he heard the team was going to Disney World.
  • Both credit their wives for providing love and support. And patience.
  • Zeimet: White Sox. Tomlin: Cubs. (And the latter married an ardent Cardinals fan.)
  • During one team road trip, both fell asleep eating giant bacon cheeseburgers.
  • Tweeting-and-texting machine Tomlin had to explain "LOL" to Zeimet. (LOL)
  • Both believe in recruiting character, attitude and the capacity to handle adversity.

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