By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
WINONA LAKE – Grace College’s athletic department is pleased to announce a change of responsibilities for Jeff Raymond.
Raymond, currently an Assistant Athletic Director and the Head Track and Field Coach at Grace, will transition to a new leadership role within the athletic department. While continuing his Assistant Athletic Director role, he will add the title of Assistant Sports Information Director, and step down from the head coaching position.
“We are excited for the opportunity for Coach Raymond to continue to lead as an assistant athletic director while taking on an additional leadership role in our sports information department. Adding Jeff to Josh Neuhart’s staff (in sports information) will continue to grow the ever-expanding coverage and behind-the-scenes work for Grace. Jeff’s extensive administration background will greatly help our department,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “I cannot thank Dr. Katip and the senior cabinet enough for their support as we build and enhance the athletic programs at Grace College.”
Raymond has revamped Grace’s track and field program since coming to Grace in 2010. His student-athletes have achieved 65 All-American honors from the NCCAA between indoor and outdoor track, including 14 NCCAA national champions.
At the NAIA level, Lancer athletes have earned All-American status 11 times to go along with 68 NAIA qualifiers.
The record books have undergone a complete revision over the past decade. Since Raymond’s arrival, Grace has broken 38 of the 42 indoor track records and 31 of the 44 outdoor track records.
Additionally, Grace built the state-of-the-art Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Stadium in 2016. Almost immediately the Lancers began to host high-profile events such as the NCCAA National Championships in 2018 and 2019. This May, Grace will host the Crossroads League Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in school history.
Most recently, Grace’s men placed 19th at the NAIA Indoor Championships, signifying the best finish in program history. The Lancers were one of six teams in the NAIA to produce 10 or more All-Americans in the meet.
“I’ve been involved with collegiate track and field for most of my adult life and have been fortunate to work with some amazing coaches and athletes, and have had many memorable experiences. The chance to play a part in building the Grace track and field program has been a special time of my career, and I look forward to seeing the team continue to grow in the coming years,” Raymond said. “However, now is a good time to step into a new role at Grace. I’m pleased to be able to assist Chad Briscoe with the great job he does administering Grace athletics, and also work with Josh Neuhart in the sports information realm. I look forward to working with all the Lancer coaches and athletes.”
Part of Raymond’s new role will be returning to the ranks of the sports information field where he began his professional career, serving as an SID for 15 years. He began with the Trans America Athletic Conference (currently the Atlantic Sun Conference) from 1988-91 before heading to Taylor University where he was the school’s first SID from 1991-96.
He then moved to Westmont College (Calif.) as their first SID from 1997-04. While at Westmont he earned the Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award for outstanding contributions to the NAIA and sports information profession. He also won numerous awards for writing and publications at the NAIA level and served on the board for the NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association.
“Our coaches and student-athletes will be immediately impacted by having Jeff join our athletics communications staff at Grace,” said Grace Assistant AD/SID Josh Neuhart. “His experience and organization will greatly enhance our communications efforts, and I’m thankful to be able to serve alongside him.”
Raymond will finish the school year in his current role leading the track and field teams. In the meantime, a national search for a full-time track and field head coach for Grace will begin immediately.