|Eric Schwab, a native of Nowata, Oklahoma, joined the Fresno Pacific University faculty in 1994, and has served as head coach for women and men for both cross country and track since that time.
Schwab graduated from Austin College, in Sherman, TX, in 1989 with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and physical education. While at AC, Schwab competed three seasons for the Kangaroo track team and one season for the swimming team. Schwab finished 12th in the marathon at the 1989 NAIA National Track and Field Championship. He then moved on to Azusa Pacific University, where he earned a master of science degree in physical education in 1991. While at APU, he served two seasons as the women’s head cross country coach and four years as an assistant coach in track and field.
Schwab has been active within the GSAC and NAIA coaching ranks, serving on the NAIA track and field jury of appeals as well as the track and field national standards committee. He also served as the NAIA Regional cross country rater for four seasons as well as chair of the GSAC Coaches Association for cross country and track for three years.
In 1995, Schwab guided the Sunbird women’s cross country team to a 21st place finish in their first-ever team appearance in the NAIA National Championship in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His 2001 women’s team finished eighth at the National Championship, the best finish in FPU history.
Over 125 of Coach Schwab’s athletes have qualified for, and competed at, NAIA National Championships. His FPU athletes have earned 41 NAIA All-American and 46 NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete honors. Three have earned the honor of All American in cross country and 38 All-American awards have been achieved in track. Since 2002, Schwab’s athletes have won six individual national championships. In 2004, Ben Bogdanof was named the Most Valuable Performer of the National Outdoor Track and Field Championship for winning the decathlon and the javelin competitions. His performances propelled the Sunbirds to a seventh place team finish at the national championship, the best in FPU’s long track history.
Schwab’s success has not escaped the notice of his peers who have honored him five times as the Golden State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and twice as the NAIA Regional Coach of the Year.
Schwab still trains on a regular basis and usually runs in 8-10 races each year. The 39 year old is single and attends Evangelical Free Church in Fresno.
THE SCHWAB PHILOSOPHY
Coach Eric Schwab has established a disciplined cross country and track program that balances academic and athletic success and encourages spiritual development of the athletes. Coach Schwab lives a disciplined life and expects the same from his student-athletes. He encourages accountability, promptness, responsibility, and a willingness to work, from all his athletes.
Coach Schwab’s definition of winning is giving one’s best effort to achieve full potential each time one competes. Good sportsmanship, respect for self and opponents, and a positive attitude, are expected of all of Schwab’s athletes. He believes character can be built during times of athletic success as well as times of disappointment. The lessons learned in training and competition prepare his student-athletes for challenges they will face in life beyond college.