Jeremy Wilk joined the Northwood coaching staff in September of 2016. He works extensively with the cross country teams, distance and middle-distance runners. In the summer of 2019, Wilk was named the head coach of the cross country programs.
During the 2018 cross country season, Wilk coached the men’s team to their highest finish at the GLIAC XC Championships (5th) since 1999 and first top-ten finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship (9th) since 2005. The regional finish was a huge improvement from the previous two years when the men’s team finished 20th in 2017 and 27th in 2016. The 2018 XC season also saw the first All-American in Northwood Cross Country history, when sophomore Brian Patrick earned All-American status with a 36th place finish at the NCAA XC Championships in Pittsburgh, PA. Patrick was only the second individual in school history to qualify for the National Championships, also earning All-Region honors for his 12th place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Wilk has now coached seven men and six women onto the top-25 lists in school history for cross country. Both Men’s and Women’s cross country teams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, with five earning Academic All-American honors for Cross Country (Brian Patrick, Dylan Rocha, Zane Aldrich, Parker Hayes and Caleb Barker).
During the 2018-19 indoor track and field season, his crew broke five different school records. Brian Patrick broke the school record in the 5k by 27 seconds, running 14:21.88 a 55 second personal best and an NCAA Provisional Mark. Three men also went under the school record in the 1k at the same meet, led by Chase Clark in a time of 2:30.34. Three men surpassed the previous mile school record (Trestin Mancillas-Finnerty in 4:14.12, Chase Clark in 4:14.28 and Parker Hayes in 4:14.82). Brian Patrick broke the 3k school record in a time of 8:24.20, a 15 second personal best. The men also smashed the DMR school record. Chase Clark, Mason Phillips, Netunji Paige and Brian Patrick ran a time of 9:53.12, just missing qualifying for the NCAA Indoor T&F Championships and breaking the previous record of 10:11.61 by over 18 seconds. His men’s squad had at least one top-5 finisher at the GLIAC Indoor T&F Championships in every distance and mid-distance event. His men’s group had the #4 ranked 800 crew (with five men 1:53.71 or faster), the #10 ranked 5k crew and #12 ranked mile crew in the country.
Outdoors, the men’s group broke two school records. Dylan broke the 3k steeplechase record by almost 7 seconds in 9:15.59, just missing an NCAA Provisional mark in the event. Dylan also broke the outdoor 3k record in a time of 8:41.70, winning the event at the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University. The men had multiple scorers in every distance/middle-distance event at the conference meet with the exception of the 10k. This group broke seven school records in total in 2018-19 and graduated only one conference scorer.
In addition to coaching Northwood student-athletes to personal bests and school records, he also helped Jordan Chester to an Olympic Trials qualifying time in the marathon. She placed 30th overall at the 2018 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:44:16 (6:16 mile pace and over a 6 minute personal best), punching her ticket to the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February 2020.
In 2017-18, his young group of runners (which featured only four returners from the previous year) improved standing at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, earning USTFCCCA All-Academic honors in the process. Indoors, both Brian Patrick and Dylan Rocha broke the school record in the indoor 3k. Patrick broke it first at the GVSU Big Meet, then Rocha broke it again at the GLIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in a time of 8:33.99.
In his first season with Northwood and less than eight weeks working with the cross country team at Northwood, the team had a historic day at the Division II Midwest Regional Championships, as they saw six of the program’s top-25 all-time marks fall. On the men’s side, Tyler Jensen ran the #5 mark, Will Moench ran the #6 mark and Caleb Barker ran the #22 mark in school history for 10k in cross country. On the women’s side, Jennifer McKenna ran the #7 mark, Emily Murdoch ran the #20 mark and Jacqueline Reneaud ran the #24 mark in school history for 6k in cross country. 9 of the 10 runners that competed for Northwood ran lifetime personal bests at the meet.
During the 2016-17 indoor and outdoor track seasons, his group of 10 student-athletes produced 31 lifetime personal bests, seven school records and seven additional top-3 marks in school history. Jennifer McKenna progressed from 5:17 in the mile and 2:17 in the 800 in 2016, down to 4:58 in the mile and 2:15 in the 800 in 2017, scoring at the GLIAC Championships for the first time in her career. She is #2 in school history in both events, and also has the school record in the 1,000 with a time of 3:03.21 (16 seconds faster than the previous record). She also ran her first ever 3k in 10:01.11; just 4 seconds off the outdoor school record. Tyler Jensen broke two school records during the indoor season. He ran 14:48.75 in the 5k to break NU legend, Bob Gould’s 27 year-old school record of 14:55.46 by almost 7 seconds. He also dropped from 4:30 in the mile to run 4:15.68 in the event, breaking the school record in that event as well. Tyler had an outdoor season to remember; breaking the 3 more school records. He broke the outdoor 3k record by 10 seconds, the outdoor 5k record by 7 seconds (running 14:38.60) and the 10k record by 19 seconds (running 30:38.19, while provisionally qualifying for nationals for the first time). Two men also broke the previous school record in the men’s 1,000. Grant Harris broke the previous record by over 7 seconds.
Prior to Northwood, Wilk served as the Assistant Cross Country/ Track & Field coach and the Director of Operations for Ashland University. There, along with Head Cross Country coach Tom Scott, Wilk mentored and coached the distance and middle distance runners to much success. In 2015, both the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams ranked in the top 25 for NCAA Division II. The women placed fifth at the GLIAC Championships, their highest placement since 2011. At the 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional meet the men’s team just missed qualifying for the NCAA championships by just 16 points. That year, Steven Kapes and Emily Schumaker were named Division II All-Ohio Men’s and Women’s Freshman of the Year, respectively.
The distance and middle distance runners continued to see success both athletically and academically. Both Men’s and Women’s cross country teams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, with six earning Academic All-American honors for Cross Country, two individuals earned USTFCCCA Academic All-America honors.
The strong season continued with the indoor and outdoor track seasons. Indoors, redshirt Nick Hall ran 4:05.10 (mile) and 8:17.98 (3k) which would have been a school record if he had been in uniform. Freshman, Tyler Sievert was the GLIAC runner-up in the indoor men’s 800m with a track converted time of 1:53.57. Outdoors, Kylee Bernthisel broke the school record in the women’s 3k steeplechase by 10 seconds, running 10:55.74. David Knack qualified for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships with times of 14:06.56 (5k) and 29:41.74 (10k), good for #2 in school history for both events. Knack was the #2 5k collegiate 5k runner in the state of Ohio regardless of NCAA division. Indoors, the men placed 10th, and outdoors the men placed ninth at the NCAA Championships.
Wilk is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where he earned his B.B.A. in Finance and Marketing. No stranger to success, he competed for the nationally acclaimed GVSU cross country and track and field teams. He began his career as a walk-on and ended it as the school record holder in the outdoor 800m with a time of 1:49.40. At GVSU, he was a two-time All-American and three-time Academic All-American. After graduation, he continued to train in his first year at Ashland, running a new personal bests of 1:49.36 (800) and 4:10.43 (mile) indoors and qualifying for the 2015 USATF Indoor Championships in Boston. There he placed 12th in the 1,000m run.