Head Track and Field Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’12
Dakota Wesleyan University ’13
Derik Fossum’s name has been a part of the Dakota Wesleyan track and field team to some capacity for the past seven seasons, and he returns to the program for his eighth year in 2014-15.
Fossum competed on the Tiger track and field team for four seasons while obtaining his undergraduate degree, and since then he has returned to the program as a coach. He took over as head coach of the men’s and women track and field and cross country teams in early 2015 after four seasons as an assistant at DWU.
Fossum watched as five athletes recorded marks that are in the top 10 in Tiger track and field history in 2014, including his sister, Abby Fossum, who recorded the fourth-best triple jump mark in indoor school history (33-feet-11.5 inches).
The Canton, S.D., native was the GPAC indoor triple jump champion in 2010 and holds the second-best mark in school history in the outdoor (47-feet-11 inches) and indoor (46-8.75) triple jump. He qualified for the NAIA indoor and outdoor national championships multiple times, and finished just outside of All-American honors with a 12th-place finish at the 2012 outdoor national championships. He also took ninth at the indoor national championships.
Fossum earned a total of six All-GPAC honors in his career and was a three-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. He is also involved with South Dakota Special Olympics, and has been on several mission trips with Dakota Wesleyan.
He graduated in 2012 with a triple major in business administration, leadership and public service and religion, and received his master’s degree in educational policy and administration from Dakota Wesleyan in 2013. He lives in Mitchell with his wife, Jessie.
Graduate Assistant Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
Baker University ’13
Eric Larson begins his second season as the graduate assistant coach for the Dakota Wesleyan University cross country and track and field teams in the fall of 2014.
Larson, who completed his undergraduate degree at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., was a part of history in 2014 as distance athlete Nicole Court-Menendez became just the second athlete in Tiger history – regardless of sports – to earn four or more All-American awards. She took eighth in the race walk at both the indoor and outdoor national championships.
Larson, who graduated in August 2013 with a bachelor’s of science in exercise science, ran cross country and track at Baker. He was named his team’s most improved and most inspirational in his career, and he is part of the school record indoor 3,200-meter relay and outdoor 3,200, distance and 4X1-mile relay teams.
The Overland Park, Kan., native competed at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in 2011 and 2012 and helped his team to a 25th-place finish in 2011 and a 10th-place finish in 2012. He also competed on the Baker distance medley relay team that took 14th at the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
During summers throughout college, Larson coached the Blue Valley West High School cross country team. He attended high school at Blue Valley, and is part of the school record-holding 3,200-meter relay team.
Larson is pursuing his masters in educational policy and administration at Dakota Wesleyan.