July 8, 2008
Collette Huffman, a former USA national champion as a professional runner, has been named assistant track and cross country coach at Butler University. She replaces former assistant Kaleena Bruckbauer, who left at the end of the 2007-08 school year to move with her husband to California.
Huffman (formerly Collette Liss) brings an impressive resume to the Butler position. She was a state champion distance runner in high school, an All-American runner in college and a three-time USA national champion as a professional.
"Having known Collette on both a personal and professional level, I cannot think of a better person to help lead this program," said Butler head coach Matt Roe. "She is a person of great character and work ethic, and her experiences as a national class high school, college and professional athlete will be invaluable for all of our student-athletes."
"As we re-shape our women's program, putting a renewed focus on recruiting top female athletes from Indiana and the Midwest, the addition of Collette to the program will be yet another great reason for top prospects to choose Butler," continued the second-year Butler coach.
Training in Indianapolis as a Nike-sponsored athlete from 2000-07, Huffman represented the United States eleven times on the international stage. She was a member of six IAAF World Championship teams for the U. S., three in cross country and three in track. She competed in the 1,500 meter run at the Olympic Trials in 2000 and 2004, and she won USA titles at the 1999 USA Fall Cross Country Championships (6,000 meters), the 2001 USA Indoor National Championships (mile) and the 2001 USA National Road Championships (5,000 meters). Known for her outstanding racing range, Huffman has clocked personal bests of 2:04.08 (800 meters), 4:09.10 (1,500 meters), 4:32.02 (mile), 15:28.32 (5,000 meters) and 33:04 (10K road).
Huffman graduated with honors from Valparaiso University in 1999. As an undergraduate, she set every Valparaiso distance running record from 800 to 10,000 meters. A five-time NCAA national meet qualifier, she earned All-America recognition in the indoor 3,000 meter run (1998) and the indoor mile (1999). Huffman was named Mid-Continent Conference Athlete of the Year in 1999, and she was inducted into the Valparaiso University Hall of Fame in 2004.
A standout distance runner at Valparaiso High School, Huffman won Indiana state titles in both the 1,600 meter run and the 3,200 meter run in 1991. She was inducted into the IATCC Indiana State High School Hall of Fame this past spring.