Central Hires New Cross Country Coach John Mihalek John Mihalek Skip to content
John Mihalek

Central Hires New Cross Country Coach John Mihalek

Central Christian College of Kansas Athletic Director Kyle Moody is excited to announce the hiring of John Mihalek to be the head coach of the Men & Women Cross Country Program. Mihalek is a native from California, Pennsylvania and a graduate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he received his bachelor’s in psychology and nutrition, and is currently pursuing his master’s in kinesiology: Sport psychology at the University Of North Texas (UNT).

Coach Mihalek has had experience as an athlete and as an assistant coach at UNT. Mihalek said, “his running career has been a bumpy path that has helped him develop his philosophy and ideals of coaching.”

He considers himself an underdog that likes to be challenged and proving to others that he belongs. He got into running late in his life as he started his senior year of high school and wasn’t recruited anywhere until the coach at IUP let him try out. Despite not making it his first year, Mihalek didn’t give up and made the team his second year due to his hard work ethic and determination.

After making the team he placed All-Regional in 2016 and was part of the national qualifying squad in 2017. Following his undergrad, his main goals have been running marathons, including running the Boston Marathon last year, which got him selected for the elite in the Dallas Marathon. While at UNT, his main responsibilities were working with the distance coach and assisting him with practices and recruitment. They had an athlete go to Nationals last year and competed well with a young squad.

Coach Mihalek’s vision is to develop a competitive men’s and women’s program both on and off the course. Mihalek’s mantra from Kipchoge is “Live simple, train hard, be free.” He believes this can easily be used and adopted by Central’s team – and if they do, they can go far.

Cross Country plays a key part in Coach Mihalek’s life, but faith will be an essential part of his program as well. Mihalek had this to say about his faith: “I see God as very loving and caring for his children and wants us to learn and develop into well-rounded people. This is what I want for my athletes and the culture I hope to develop.” He also believes that the success of the program hinges on the spiritual, academic, and social growth of the runners.

When Coach Mihalek got the news of his hire he said “I really cannot put the news that I was hired at Central into a single thought or feeling. I just knew that I finally made it and am onto developing more goals to accomplish.”

The future looks bright for Central’s Athletic Department with this huge step forward for the Cross Country Program. Mihalek will be taking over the Cross Country duties effective immediately and start the recruiting process for the fall of 2020 season when he will officially be on campus to begin coaching.


Central Christian College of Kansas is a four-year collegiate institution that strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person through four core characteristics: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central, go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up. For all things athletics, go to ccctigers.com.

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