Mike Spain enters his first season as the Illinois State cross country team's graduate assistant.
Spain earned his degree in finance and economics from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., where he competed in both cross country and track & field.
A three-time All-American in cross country and seven-time All-American on the track, Spain joins a staff that has had the ability to see him perform over the past few years as he won in the Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships in 2010.
In 2009, he finished second at the NCAA III National Cross Country Championships, helping his team to their 13th national title. He followed up that performance with a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA III National Championships, posting a time of 24:24.6.
On the track, Spain won the 5,000-meter national title at the Division III Indoor Championships with a time of 14:17.42. If that wasn't enough, he took that momentum with him outdoors and wont the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, finishing in 14:41.15 and 29:58.92 respectively.
His performances at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships earned him National Track Athlete of the Year honors and helped his team to their second-straight national title.
The Schaumburg, Ill., native is working toward a master's degree in sport management.