Melissa Mangen was named the Academic Advisor for Athletics in July of 2012 in addition to her role as the Head Cross Country and Track Coach.
Mangen was named Head Cross Country Coach on December 10, 2008 and is entering her sixth year as the Lions' head cross country coach. Saint Leo's Track teams first debuted in Spring of 2014.
The 2013 season was a major success for both the men's and women's cross country programs. The men made history by being the first Saint Leo program to compete in the NCAA Division II Championships, where they finished ahead of all South Region teams in 26th place. The men saw one South Region Runner of the Year (Valentin Lenz), one SSC Runner of the Year (Carl Dunne), three All-SSC Selections and four All-Region runners. In addition, the men rewrote the record books during the course of the season, notching four 10K records, ten 8K records, and all ten records for the 5K. The women's program also saw succcess, as freshman Jelena Tancic recorded one All-Region Selection, one All-SSC honor, and was named the SSC Freshman of the Year after earning her first trip to the NCAA National Championships.
After a successful 2011 season, the men's and women's cross country programs had a solid 2012 year. For the men's team, freshman Carl Dunne started the year off on a high note and finished with an impressive run at the D2 National Championship race. Mangen guided Dunne to Sunshine State Freshman of the Year honors, First Team All-SSC recognition, and was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-South Region team. In addition to Dunne's success, Mangen also led the men's squad to two SSC Runner of the Week nominees. Under Mangen's leadership, the Lions cross country teams stood out during the 2012 season, consistently ranking high in the region and finishing as one of the top-5 teams in the Sunshine State Conference championship race.
The 2011 season saw Mangen's most successful season in each program's history. On the women's side, Mangen guided one women's runner to the NCAA Division II National race for the first time in women's cross country history. The same runner, freshman Tereza Novotna, claimed Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year honors and All-Sunshine State Conference Women's Cross Country Team honors, in addition to claiming top five spots on the 5K all-time records list and and three of the top four 6K all-time records. While the women's team excelled on the course, earning three member's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-South Region team honors, the men's cross country team also saw success, as both teams were selected to the USTFCCCA All-Academic list.
The 2010 season for both the men's and women's cross country teams was a historic one. On the men's side, six individuals made their way on to the top-10 all-time list in the 8K, five of which happened at the SSC Championships. In addition, the men also recorded their highest team finish in team history with a second place showing at the flrunners.com Meet. It was just as successful on the women's side as four women cracked all-time 5K list. Andrea Maxwell recorded the fastest 5K time in Saint Leo history as she recorded a time of 19:11.38. Maxwell also recorded the highest finish at the SSC Championships by any Saint Leo runner as she finished seventh and was named to the All-Championship team. The women also recorded a season-best thrid-place finish at the flrunners.com Meet.
2009 was a fantastic season for the Lions, as both the men's and women's teams broke a combined six school records, including five by the women. Mangen's groups also excelled in the classroom once again as both teams were named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic list. A trio of women runners also earned All-Academic honors, as Luthman, Browne, and Egan earned GPA's over 3.25 for the year.
An assistant coach at Saint Leo for a year prior to being elevated to the head position, Mangen began the Lions' turnaround as they posted the best Sunshine State Conference finish in the program's history. Setting a school records in 2008, the Lions posted seven top-10 performances in Saint Leo history. Continuing a tradition of excellent academics under Mangen's guidance, the women's cross country team posted the highest GPA in the Department of Athletics in 2008.
Mangen came to Saint Leo after a two-year stint as assistant coach at the University of South Florida where she worked with both the Bulls' Cross Country and Track & Field Teams. During her time at the Division I school in Tampa, Fla., she helped coach nine USF runners to the Big East All-Conference Team while 11 posted all-time top performances. With her assistance, South Florida runners posted the top team GPA in Division I.
Her first crack at coaching came in 2005 when she was named assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Mich. For two seasons, Mangen help pilot a program that advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championships, ultimately posting a fifth-place finish. She coached an All-American, three NCAA Qualifiers and 32 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Performers and also had a GLIAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year while working for the Cardinals.
Mangen is a native of Portland, Michigan and earned her Master of Education degree from Saginaw Valley State in 2008. She earned her Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science and Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2005 where she was also a seven-time Mid American All-Conference honoree. Named the Chippewas' Track & Field Rookie of the Year in 2000, Mangen was also a four-time team champion and currently ranks in the top five all-time in best times for the indoor mile and 3000 meter races at Central Michigan.
Mangen serves in dual roles at Saint Leo as she is also an academic advisor for the school's Center for Online Learning located in Dade City, Fla.
Mangen currently resides in Wesley Chapel, Fla. with her husband, Paul, and their son, Jack.