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BOULDER - University of Colorado head cross country coach Mark Wetmore has announced the promotion of Heather Burroughs to associate head coach for the men's and women's cross country programs, effective immediately.

"This change in position and responsibility for coach Burroughs is long overdue because it's at least five or six years that she has had as much to do with the conduct and success of the men's and women's cross country teams here, as have I," Wetmore said. "She is integral to all of the decision making; nothing in our training or in our racing happens without her being involved in the decision, so that she is the associate head coach is almost to the level of credit she deserves. The next level would be to be the head coach." 

Burroughs has served as the assistant men's and women's cross country coach for the last eight seasons. In that span, she has seen the Buffs win 10 conference championships, three NCAA team titles and has coached over 30 All-Americans. In Burroughs' eight seasons, the men's program has placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships six times and the women have recorded four top-ten finishes. 

Colorado joined one of the top cross country conferences, the Pac-12, in 2011 and won the men's and the women's inaugural titles. The men went on to place third at the NCAA Championships while the women placed 11th. The men's team had three All-Americans in Richard Medina, Joe Bosshard and Andy Wacker, while the women had two in Shalaya Kipp and Emma Coburn.

Burroughs has also played a huge role in the development of some of CU's finest distance runners, having coached Olympian and NCAA Champion Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, Olympian Billy Nelson, USATF and NCAA Steeplechase Champion Coburn and NCAA Steeplechase Champion Kipp, just to name a few. She works equally with the men's program as well as the women's program.

The Kansas City, Mo. native was a three-time All-American on the cross country course for the Buffs (1994, 95 and 98). She earned all-conference finishes in 1994, 95, 97 and 98, which included a runner-up finish in 1995.

"I visited CU as a high school senior in March of 1994 and within 12 hours I knew CU was my dream school and Boulder was my dream town," Burroughs said. "I'm grateful for the opportunities the administration has provided me for the past 18 years, first as a student-athlete, then as an athletic staff member and now as a coach. With head coach Mark Wetmore as my mentor, I've had the chance to work with and learn from the best. I'm honored to be named the associate head coach and excited to begin another year with our athletes and staff." 

The 2013 CU cross country season will start on Sept. 1 with the time trial. The Rocky Mountain Shootout, CU's biggest home meet, is set for Sept. 29.