Jose Larios - Head Coach - 4th Season
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Larios begins his fourth year as the head coach of cross country and track and field at Montreat College. Coach Larios has been instrumental in driving the Cavaliers toward the top of the Appalachian Athletic Conference. In hist first two seasons, Larios' teams have earned the AAC runner-up trophy, while qualifying six student-athletes for the NAIA XC Championships, as well as eight track & field national qualifiers. Most recently, Larios coached Montreat College's Talisa Bishop to a top ten finish in the NAIA Marathon Championships in 2009 (7th place). The Cavaliers have also recently won the distinguished Champions of Character Team Award three different times.
Larios comes to Montreat College after six years as the head cross country and track coach at Warner University. Larios also served as the Assistant Director of the Academic Skills Center and assistant English instructor.
A native of Frostproof, Florida, Larios excelled in a variety of sports. It was distance running however that led Larios to Warner University as a cross country runner. From 1993 to 1997, Larios was instrumental in WSC's two consecutive Florida Sun Conference titles and back-to-back NAIA National Cross Country Championship appearances. Upon earning his bachelors in English and Secondary Education, he began his coaching career as an assistant coach with Lake Wales High School's cross country and track programs, ultimately being named Head Coach of the Highlanders in 1997. From '97 to '00 Coach Larios led the Highlanders of Lake Wales to county, district, and regional championships.
In 2000, Larios began his coaching assignment at Warner University and immediately led the Runnin' Royals to a worst-to-first Florida Sun Conference Cross Country Championship, the first of four consecutive conference and NAIA Region XIV Championships. The Lady Royals also earned three consecutive cross country titles of their own. Larios' teams also garnered five track & field conference/regional titles. Within a short six year period, the Royals hit the national scene; Coach Larios' teams produced two NAIA National Outdoor individual titles and two national runner-ups. All in all, Larios' Runnin' Royals earned 23 All-American accolades, 96 All-Conference and All-Region awards, and earned a final 13th place NAIA National Ranking at the 2003 cross country finals.
Voted NAIA Region XC/TF Coach of the Year nine different times, Larios also earned one of the NAIA's National MONDO Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2003.
Jose Larios and his wife Heather currently reside in Black Mountain with their three daughters, Hannah (7), Emma (5), and Sara (3).