By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
Monticello High School Cross County program head coach Dan Sauser is one of eight finalists for the National High School Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year. The award given annually by the National High School Coaches Association and is scheduled to be announced at their 2020 National Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska on Thursday night July, 23rd. Sauser has been the head coach for both the girls and boys cross country teams at Monticello since 2004. During his coaching tenure, his teams have won 23 conference championships, four boys class 2A state cross country championships and the Panther girls have won two Class 2A state titles. In addition to the six crowns, Sauser’s teams have three state runner-up finishes and five third place finishes. Throughout the years, Monti has 27 times had cross country runners place in the top 10 individually at the state meet with 5 times a runner finishing as the champion. Currently the boys team has the longest active state meet appearances with 23 in a row from 1997 to 2019. The record for the most consecutive state trips is 25 held by Cedar Falls.
Coach Sauser has collected numerous coaching honors during his career. He has been named the IATC State Coach of the Year seven times, the Northeast Iowa Coach of the Year ten times and was the recipient of the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award in 2017.
Dan is a graduate of Monticello High in 1989 and the University of Iowa class of 1993. He teaches mathematics at Monticello High School and Kirkwood’s Jones Regional Educational Center and is supported at home by his wife Donna and their two children Nathan and Ella.