Gaels announce Head Coach for Cross Country and Distance Track

Mark Bomba has been chosen as the Queen’s Gaels new Head Coach, Cross Country and Distance Track, after a national search, according to a release from Queen’s University, dated Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Bomba will be joined by former Gaels cross country head coach Shane Lakins as assistant coach for the 2020-21 season. 

Previous coach, Steve Boyd, was dismissed in February for controversial comments he had made on social media. Read our coverage of his dismissal here.

According to the release, Bomba brings to Queen’s University 26 years of elite endurance coaching experience at the club, university, national and international level, including working with several Olympic and World Champion level athletes. He is a B.C. Athletics Coaching Education Facilitator/ Mentor Sport Coach, current Endurance/Post Collegiate coach for the Langley Mustangs Track and Field Club and has U SPORT experience as the Head Endurance Coordinator, Cross Country and Distance Track, at Trinity Western University (TWU) for seven years. While at TWU, the Spartans cross country teams captured four U SPORTS medals and eight Canada West medals, including five conference championships. Bomba also supported the TWU track and field teams to two U SPORTS medals and five Canada West medals, including three conference titles.

“My family and I are very excited to become part of the Kingston community,” says Coach Bomba. “More than anything, I am looking forward to getting to know and establishing successful relationships with our student-athletes, forming a coaching partnership with Shane to support our student-athletes, and continuing the strong legacy and tradition of cross country and distance track programs at Queen’s.”  

Mark is a seven-time Coach of the Year, Athletics Canada Development Coach of the year (2016), U SPORTS Women’s Cross Country (2015) and Canada West men’s (2016) and women’s (2013-2016) coach of the year, reads the release. He is a former elite athlete, selected to several Athletic Canada National Distance teams and a Canadian medalist in events from 1500 meters to the half marathon.  He was also a member of two IAAF World Cross Country Championship teams (2001, 2003). Bomba assumed leadership of the program on September 1, 2020. 

Returning to the Gaels program as assistant coach for the upcoming season is Shane Lakins. He led the Queen’s Varsity Cross-Country/Distance Track from 1995-2008, and is a former President of the CIS Cross Country Coaches Association. Lakins continues to coach as a Fit to Lead consultant for the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, working with top Canadian executives to develop and manage programs related to health and wellness, according to the release. He is also the owner/director of Kingston Body Management Inc., that offers a wide range of wellness-related programs and services to clients, including high performance training for elite athletes; rehabilitation and injury management, return to work programming and weight loss programs.

“Queen’s Cross Country and Track & Field has been a huge part of my life,” says Lakins. “I am excited to meet the student-athletes, and work with Mark to start a new chapter with the program.” 

Queen’s Athletics & Recreation would like to thank the members of the selection panel that included student-athletes from the men’s and women’s cross country/distance track programs, a Queen’s alumnus, representatives from Athletics Canada, an OUA Coach and A&R staff.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark and Shane to our coaching staff and to continue building the success of our Cross Country and Distance Track student-athletes and team. They each bring an extensive set of skills and history working with elite level athletes at all levels to achieve their goals and they both have a high degree of familiarity with the Canadian University system,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics & Recreation. “I am confident that our programs will flourish well into the future.”
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