Marlon Brink is in his 16th season (2015-16) as the head men's and women's track and field coach for Wayne State College. He has coached the Wildcats to three NSIC men's outdoor titles (2006, 2007, 2008) and a pair of indoor men's conference championships (2006, 2007).
Under Brink in 2015, the Wildcat women’s team recorded the best-ever finish in school history at an NCAA Championship finishing in a tie for eighth with 26 points at the outdoor nationals in Allendale, Michigan. Senior Sara Wells captured a national title in the shot put while placing third in the discus while sophomore Michaela Dendinger earned two All-American honors with a second place finish in the discus and seventh place effort in the shot put.
The WSC women had another national champion during the 2015 indoor season as Sara Wells reigned over the entire field to win the shot put in Birmingham, Alabama, becoming the first-ever indoor women’s champion for the Wildcats. As a team, WSC finished tied for 23rd with 10 points.
Both Wildcat track and field teams shine in the classroom under Brink. The WSC women earned a 10th straight USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Award with a 3.24 cumulative grade point average while the men’s team captured All-Academic Team honors for a sixth straight season ranking 19th in NCAA Division II with a 3.18 grade point average. Sophomore Derek Lahm collected Academic All-American Third Team honors with a 3.921 grade point average, marking the fourth straight year that the Wildcat men’s track and field team had an Academic All-American. (Mickey Doerr 2012-14).
The WSC women's team recorded a pair of top 20 national finishes in the 2014 season under Brink's coaching. The Wildcats placed 16th at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships scoring 12 points with three All-American finishers while the otudoor team tied for 16th with 14 points and two All-Americans. Carly Fehringer (weight throw- indoors/hammer throw- outdoors), Sara Wells (shot put- indoors and outdoors) and Emily Wells (weight throw-indoors) were Wildcat All-Americans in the 2014 season.
Under Brink in 2013, the WSC women had the second best finish in school history at an NCAA championship scoring 16 points and finishing in 18th place. The 'Cats had three All-Americans - Carly Fehringer (hammer throw), Lachel Milander (hammer throw) and Sara Wells (discus). The WSC women also placed sixth at the NSIC Outdoor Championships scoring 67 points with three individual champions - Carly Fehringer (hammer throw) and Sara Wells (shot put, discus). The men's team had senior Brad Wright qualify for both indoor and outdoor nationals in the weight throw and discus respectively.
In 2012, Brink coached the WSC women to a season best fourth place finish at the NSIC Outdoor Championships. The Wildcats had four conference champions while setting five new school records and one new NSIC meet record. The WSC women had three indoor national qualifiers and four athletes qualified in six events for outdoor nationals. Nicole Brungardt earned All-American honors in the 100 meter dash with an eighth place finish and career-best time of 11.70 seconds. A total of 19 new school records were set by the Wildcat women's team in 2012 (six indoor, 13 outdoor).
The WSC men's team placed seventh at both indoor and outdoor NSIC Championships. Senior thrower Ross Bunchek was an All-American during the indoor season in the weight throw and the outdoor season in the hammer throw. A highlight during the season was a career-best and Olympic Trials qualifying mark by Bunchek in the hammer throw at the Drake Relays with a mark of 217' 2". The Wildcat men's squad set five new school records during 2012 with two indoor and three outdoor new marks.
In 2011, the Wildcat women's indoor team made school history qualifying in six events with five All-American finisher at the National meet. Nicole Brungardt was fifth in the long jump and the 60 meter dash; Christina King was sixth in the 400 meter dash and Paige Pollard was sixth in the 800 meter run. The 4 x 400 meter relay team of Brungardt, King, Pollard and Erin Klein took eighth to give Wayne State 15 points for the meet, placing 13th nationally for the school's best ever finish at an NCAA Division II National meet.
Under Brink the Wildcats had 31 new school records during the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons (13 men 18 women). The men's team had its first indoor All-American since 2001 when Ross Bunchek placed sixth in the 35 pound weight throw. He also went on to earn All-American honors in the outdoor season with a sixth place finish in the hammer throw.
In 2009, Brink coached two All-Americans as Misty Rystrom finished sixth place in the high jump (5' 7 1/4"), marking the fourth straight season that the Wayne State College women's track and field team had an All-American. The WSC men's team also had an All-American during the 2009 season as Matt Schneider earned a fourth place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2009 NCAA Division II Men's Outdoor Nationals. Schneider was the first NCAA men's track and field outdoor All-American since James McGown in 1998 in the 10,000 meter run.
In 2008, the Wayne State women's squad recorded a pair of third place finishes at the NSIC indoor and outdoor championships. At the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships the Wildcats scored 18 points to finish in 17th place overall. WSC had three All-Americans with Katie Wilson posting a first place finish in the shot put to become the school's first-ever NCAA individual champion. She also placed fourth in the discus while Kylie Herian recorded a sixth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles to round out Wayne State's All-American performers.
Under his tenure, WSC athletes have won 61 (30 indoor, 31 outdoor) individual NSIC championships for men and 55 more for women (23 indoor, 32 outdoor) in track and field. In addition to the success at the conference level, WSC tracksters have also excelled on the national level. The Wildcats have had a total of 43 NCAA Division II national qualifiers in indoor track and field (seven men, 36 women) with two male All-Americans and 15 female All-Americans with another 49 national qualifiers (nine men, 40 women) in outdoor track and field with two male All-Americans, 14 female All-Americans and three National Champions – Katie Wilson (2008 outdoor/shot put), Sara Wells (2015 indoor/shot put) and Sara Wells (2015 outdoor/shot put).
In recent years, Brink has helped Wayne State host several conference championship events, including the 2004 NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships and the 2006, 2008 and 2009 NSIC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He has been awarded the NSIC Men's Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year three times (co-2004, 2006 and 2007) and has received the NSIC Men's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year award three times (2006, 2007 and 2008) after coaching the Wildcats to the team title in each season.
Before coming to Wayne State College, Brink spent six years at Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D. He spent his last five years at Mount Marty as the head coach of the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. He was an assistant coach with the Lancers during the 1994-95 season.
Brink was instrumental in building successful programs at Mount Marty. He took over the programs in their third year of existence and quickly turned them into one of the top teams in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference. He has coached 34 SDIC individual conference champions, 16 NAIA Scholar-Athlete award winners and 9 NAIA All-Americans. In addition, 72 school records have been set or broken during Brink's tenure.
The Lancer women's track team placed 20th at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. On the men's side, the cross country team placed second at the 1995 SDIC Championships, while the indoor track and field team finished second at the SDIC Championships in 1998.
Brink, a native of Atkinson, Neb., began his coaching career as an assistant coach at South Dakota State University. He spent two years with the Jackrabbits.
A 1991 graduate of Midland Lutheran College, Brink was a standout cross country and track and field performer for the Warriors. He qualified for the 1990 NAIA National Cross Country Championships, and he was a two-time national qualifier in the marathon. In 1991, Brink placed 12th at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. In addition, Brink earned three NAIA Scholar-Athlete awards.
Marlon and his wife Jeanne are the parents of five children - daughters Courtney (11) and Marissa (2) and sons Andrew (9), Lance (7) and Max (5) - and they reside in Wayne.