CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte 49ers head track and field coach Robert Olesen has announced cross country and distance coach Ed Schlichter has decided to step down from his post to pursue other opportunities.
“I wish Coach Schlichter luck. I know he’s a passionate 49ers fan and will continue to be so as he pursues career opportunities outside of coaching,” said Olesen.
Spending the last five years as head coach of the 49ers men’s and women’s cross-country programs, Schlichter has continued the great tradition of cross country and track success as the 49ers have had two student-athletes earn All-Region honors in cross country, while six have earned All-Conference honors. In track, he has coached three NCAA Outdoor National Final qualifiers, eight Outdoor NCAA First Round National qualifiers, and one NCAA Indoor National qualifier during his tenure.
A 2005 graduate of Charlotte, Schlichter coached multiple relay teams that set school records along with many athletes who set top ten marks in program history. The 49ers have also performed well in the classroom during his time as head coach as the men’s and women’s cross-country programs have earned a combined nine USTFCCA All-Academic awards given for a team grade point average above a 3.0 The 2013 C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s cross-country was 49ers rising senior Zach Greth.
"This was an extremely tough decision for me as I have cherished my time here at Charlotte,” Schlichter said. “These athletes are the best kids a coach could ask for and we've had a great run over the past five years. For 12 of the past 14 years I've dedicated myself to this program as a student-athlete, assistant coach, and the past five years as the head cross country coach and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
“I'm extremely blessed for having this opportunity and I would like to thank athletic director Judy Rose and Coach Olesen for all of their support and guidance over the years. While I'm sad to leave the university and these amazing student-athletes, I'm excited for a new opportunity in the private sector. Even though I will no longer be coaching, I plan to stay involved within the athletic department as a fan and a supporter for I will always “Bleed Green!”
Assistant cross country coach Ashley Vaughn and Olesen will manage the team as a national search is initiated for a new coach.