Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has hired Doug Spicer to lead the RDP Cross Country Running and Indoor Track teams into the 2022-2023 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season. 

“We are extremely pleased to add someone of Doug’s experience and expertise to Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics. He has been an integral contributor to a vast range of athletics in central Alberta, including as a coach, provincial executive member, board member and volunteer,” says Randy Stewart, Manager, Athletics and Student Life. “Doug was a Track and Field Coach at Lindsay Thurber and Hunting Hills High School for 27 years and those connections will help with recruiting new student-athletes. With a teaching background, he has the ability to organize, communicate and inspire students, which will benefit the Kings and Queens immensely.” 

In addition to Spicer’s high school track and field coaching experience, he has also coached youth with the Red Deer Titans Track and Field Club for eight years. 

Spicer is looking forward to joining Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics and continuing the legacy of excellence that previous coaches at the institution have established. 

“I'm excited to begin working with the staff and student-athletes at Red Deer Polytechnic. Track and Field has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I'm grateful to be given this opportunity,” says Spicer, a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Level 3 Coach in Track and Field. “I have really big shoes to fill, taking over from Kari Elliott.” 

Elliott was the Red Deer Polytechnic Cross Country Running and Indoor Track Head Coach for the past six years and recently accepted a coaching position at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. Last season, the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Cross Country Running team won silver at the ACAC Cross Country Running Championships in Camrose. The Queens earned bronze. 

Then the Kings finished eighth and the Queens placed 10th at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross Country Running National Championships in Calgary. Nine of the 12 RDP student-athletes who participated at nationals were in their first year, so Spicer will work with a young and talented squad this season. 

“I hope to continue building on the work that Kari – and Brian Stackhouse before her – have done to enhance the RDP Cross Country Running and Indoor Track program,” adds Spicer. 

The Red Deer Polytechnic Indoor Track team also had many dominant performances at the ACAC Championships. The Kings finished first as a group, winning gold. The Queens captured silver. In addition, Red Deer Polytechnic individual student-athletes and relay teams added 13 more medals to their season haul. 

Along with dedicated coaching, some of last season’s success can be attributed to the strong bonds established between student-athletes. Spicer believes that this will play an important role in the team’s growth during training and competition this year. 

“One of the most important aspects of coaching cross country running and indoor track is the development of a very cohesive team, where each member supports one another,” says Spicer. “In the upcoming season, I look forward to helping our student-athletes achieve their goals. I’m also excited to grow relationships with coaches and athletes throughout central Alberta as I begin my role as a recruiter for future student-athletes and ambassadors at Red Deer Polytechnic.”

Spicer and the Red Deer Polytechnic Cross Country Running team will open the new campaign at Running Room Grand Prix #1 in Medicine Hat on Saturday, September 10. 

Spicer officially began his role on July 20.