Weber State University men's cross country coach, Chick Hislop, has been named the 1991 National Coach of the Year by the NCAA Division One Men's Cross Country Coaches Association.

Bucknell's Art Gulden, president of the coaches group, made the announcement after voting by the association's executive committee. That panel chose from among nine coaches nominated by their peers in the eight national districts.Hislop's selection marks the first time a coach from Weber State University or the Big Sky Conference, has been named national coach of the year in a division one level sport.

Using a lineup of predominately local athletes, Hislop molded the group into a solid performing unit. The Wildcats captured their third straight Big Sky Conference Cross Country title and captured the District Seven title for the second year in a row as well. Moving on to Nationals, Hislop's group placed fourth. It was the highest finish ever by any Weber State team in national NCAA Division One competition and the second best finish ever by a Big Sky team in the NCAA Country championships. Northern Arizona placed second in 1988.

"I consider it a great honor to be selected by my peers," said Hislop. "It's an even greater tribute to the young men which I had the privilege to work with on a daily basis. Without their hard work and dedication, this honor would not have been possible."

In his 23rd season at Weber State, Hislop was named 1991 Big Sky Conference Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year (for the third straight season), and District Seven Coach of the Year (second straight year). District Seven comprises the Big Sky Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Utah State and the University of Colorado.

"Chick didn't just do a great coaching job, he did a superior coaching job with this year's team," said WSU athletic director, Richard Hannan.

"Chick has been at Weber State for so long, we probably take him for granted. But his ability to take athletes who weren't heavily recruited by other schools, and form a solid running squad, speaks highly of his coaching abilities. Above all, Chick is not only an excellent coach, but a tremendous individual as well."

Other District coaches who were eligible for the consideration were: Ray Treacy (Providence College, District One), Harry Groves (Penn State) and Art Gulden (Bucknell University) in District Two; Dave Walker (East Tennessee State / District Three), Martin Smith (Wisconsin / District Four), Bill Bergan (Iowa State / District Five), John McDonnell (Arkansas / District Six) and Dave Murray (Arizona / District Eight).