The 2016-2017 year is the fourth for Lance Vanderberg as the head coach for the men’s cross country program at Taylor University and his 11th year on staff with the men’s track and field squad.
Vanderberg’s first season at the helm of the cross country program brought the Trojans back into the national spotlight, with TU posting a record of 89-23 and earning votes in the NAIA Top-25 Poll for the first time since the 2009 campaign. Taylor took second at the Crossroads League Championships, while sending a pair of runners to the NAIA National Championships.
The momentum continued in Vanderberg’s second season, as the Trojans cracked the NAIA Top-25 Poll for the first time since 2009, spending the entire year in the national ranking and ending with an 85-13 regular season record. Along the way, Taylor climbed as high as No. 13 nationally for its best ranking since 2000 and claimed a second-straight, second-place showing at the Crossroads League Championships. The season was highlighted by the program’s first trip to NAIA Nationals since 1999, where TU finished 15th overall.
In his third season at the helm of the men’s program, Vanderberg guided the Trojans to a 76-17 record, a third-straight top-three finish in the Crossroads League and a second-straight top-20 performance at the NAIA National Championships. The team posted the four-fastest times of the Vanderberg era and spent the entire season ranked inside the NAIA Top-25, while climbing as high as No. 9 for its highest spot in the national poll since the 2000 campaign.
Vanderberg’s teams have also found plenty of success in the classroom, as the 2015 squad led the NAIA with eight NAIA Scholar-Athletes, while ranking 10th in the nation with a 3.57 team grade-point average. The academic performance marked the program’s third-straight year with a collective GPA over the 3.0 mark under the watch of Vanderberg.
In addition to his role as head coach of the men’s cross country program, Vanderberg also serves as an assistant coach for the Taylor men’s track and field program, where he has focused on the distance squad since the start of the 2006-2007 campaign.
During his tenure on staff with the TU men’s track and field team, Vanderberg has helped Taylor student-athletes rewrite the program’s indoor and outdoor record books by notching a pair of indoor records, one outdoor record and 12 current top-10 marks in outdoor distance events. The performances have led to plenty of accolades, with the distance crew tallying five NAIA All-American honors for Vanderberg.
Vanderberg graduated from Taylor in 2006 with a degree in social studies education, before earning a master’s degree in higher education from TU in 2013.
Vanderberg excelled as a student-athlete with the Trojans as a three-time NAIA National Qualifier in both cross country and track. Vanderberg still owns top-10 marks for Taylor in the 1,500-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs and highlighted his standout career with a seventh-place finish and an All-American honor at the 2005 NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
Prior to his days at TU, the Muskegon, Michigan, native was a two-time All-Michigan performer in cross country at Mona Shores High and earned All-Michigan and Adidas All-American accolades as part of the 4x800-meter relay team during his senior season in 2002.
Along with his role as the head men’s cross country coach and assistant men’s track coach at TU, Vanderberg works as a Learning Specialist in the Academic Enrichment Center for Taylor University.
Vanderberg is married to his wife, Amy, and the couple currently resides in Upland with their two-year old son, Ezra and newborn daugher, Margo.