John Bergen | Head Coach
Alma Mater: Hanover '86
Office Phone: 474-2141
Dr. John Bergen is starting his fourth season as the head coach for the West Florida men's and women's cross country teams, after being named the head coach on July 1, 2008. Since becoming the head coach, the men’s and women’s cross country teams have finished in the top half of the conference in each season. Last season the women’s cross country team made it to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history after claiming the teams’ first GSC Championship in 16 years. For his efforts in 2011, Bergen was named GSC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. The men’s cross country team has finished runner-up in the conference for two straight years and has never finished lower than fifth in his tenure as head coach.
When named cross country coach, Bergen was no stranger to the UWF Field House, as he spent six years as an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science in the Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science department, which was housed for four of his years in the UWF Field House. Then, Dr. Bergen took over as the Interim Sports Information Director, a position that he held until taking over the Cross Country coaching position.
Bergen received a B.A. degree from Hanover College in Indiana, were he ran cross country and track and field. Bergen held the school record for a brief time in the 3000m steeplechase event. He earned the Most Improved Runner Award during his junior season for cross country, and was co-captain during his senior season. His senior year was capped off with a top 10 finish in the Panther Invitational five mile event, with a time of 27:20. Bergen helped lead the Panthers to a second place finish in the conference during his senior year.
Bergen also has a B.S. degree in Geography from Western Illinois University, where he was a walk on for the Leathernecks tennis team. He followed that degree with a Masters degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Sports Administration. At EKU, Bergen was the Graduate Assistant Tennis Coach for the Colonels men's program, while also coaching the Richmond Model high school tennis teams to the state tournament for two consecutive years.
The native of Macomb, Ill., has high school coaching experience in baseball, basketball, and track and field. Bergen guided the Southeastern High School track and field teams for two seasons, with great success in the distance and middle distance events. He coached two athletes to the state meet, one in the mile, and the other in the two mile event. Bergen also has two years of basketball coaching and four years of summer league baseball coaching to add to his experience.
In 1998, Bergen completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University. Bergen's dissertation was on carbohydrate replacement during high intensity intermittent exercise in the heat. Bergen's degree emphasis was on endurance performance, physiological adaptations and sports nutrition. While at FSU, Bergen was employed by the Athletic Department and assisted with sports information and sports marketing. Bergen was also the Director of the Lifetime Sports Complex at Tallahassee Community College in 1999 and 2000.
As an Assistant Professor at UWF from 2000-2006, Bergen taught courses in Sports Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Testing and Prescription, Measurement and Evaluation, and Physiological Basis of Strength Development. Bergen was also the founder and faculty representative for the Exercise Science Club, which sponsors a yearly 5k run on the UWF campus.
Bergen accepted the Interim Sports Information Director position in 2007-08 and held that position up until being named the cross country coach. Bergen is married to Shannan Bergen, and the couple has three children: Brett (6), Paige (5), Callie (2) and Brock (newborn).