Mitch Bentley enters his 15th year as a part-time Distance Coach.
During his first twelve years at Ohio, he had direct responsibility for coaching 9 NCAA Championship qualifiers (one in men's XC) who received a total of 5 All-American certificates (three first team and two second team). He has also been responsible for 2 NCAA Regional XC individual champions, 18 Mid-American Conference Champions (5 in XC), 5 Mid-American Conference individual title runner-ups (2 in men's XC), 41 All-MAC performers (29 first team), 39 Ohio University school records and 6 Mid-American Conference records.
One of his former student-athletes, Craig Leon, recently finished as top American in the Pan-Am Games marathon as well as 8th place in the 2015 New York City Marathon. Craig entered Ohio University as a walk-on and progressed to NCAA XC qualifier by the time he graduated.
Beginning with the 2015 season, Bentley has solely focused his attention on the men's cross country team.
As a former Bobcat distance runner under Elmore Banton, Bentley earned four varsity letters in both cross country and track. He also earned All-MAC honors twice in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
In 1984, Bentley set school records in the outdoor 10,000 meters (29:47.50) and in the indoor 5,000 meters. Those times are still records in school history.
After earning his bachelor's degree in geology from Ohio University in 1985, Bentley has been active in coaching both cross country and track since 1992, when he began coaching the Vinton County Junior High School boys' cross country team. He went on to become the head track and field coach at Athens High School for five years and head cross country coach for ten years.