Justin Akers has been named the first men’s golf coach in the history of Titan Athletics at IU South Bend. The announcement was made by Executive Director of Athletics and Activities Steve Bruce. Men’s golf will begin competing in 2015-16.
Akers comes to South Bend after a three year playing career at Ohio Wesleyan University. While at OWU, Justin helped the Battling Bishops to a second-place finish in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings during his senior season.
“We welcome Justin to our “Titan Family” and are excited to have him as our men’s golf coach,” said Bruce. “He is a high character person who will be invested in making a positive difference in the lives of young people. He has the “know how” and “do how” to be very successful as a coach.”
“It’s an exciting time for the university and my hope is to bring the best scholar-athletes both on the course and in the classroom to IU South Bend and firmly put the new tradition of IU South Bend golf on the map,” said Akers.
The Richwood, Ohio native earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management at Ohio Wesleyan and is currently pursuing his teaching certification.
Bruce also announced the hiring of IU South Bend’s first men’s and women’s head cross country coach, Rob Carrasco. Cross country will also begin competing in the fall of 2015-16.
Carrasco is currently a business, accounting, and computer education teacher at Marion High School in Mishawaka and the head cross country coach at John Glenn High School. In his five years at JGHS, Carrasco has turned the program into a contender in the South Bend area. His teams have ran to three Marshall County championships, as well as winning the Culver and Northwood Invitational. He led the Falcons to their first regional appearance since the 1980’s.
“Rob will be the perfect person to start our cross country program and climb it,” said Steve Bruce. “He is embedded in this area’s running culture, with a great reputation, not only as a former runner, but most recently as an outstanding coach. He will be able to recruit the type of scholar-athletes that proudly represent our athletic program.”
Carrasco was a two-time all-state cross country runner at Mishawaka High School. He was also a four-time all-conference selection as well as a sectional and regional champion. He is one of 14 high school runners in Indiana to break 15 minutes in the 5k with a time of 14:57. He made two appearances at the state meet, finishing as high as third place.
“I look forward to the challenge of building a team and competing in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, said Carrasco. “I will do my best to represent IU South Bend, the administration, faculty, students and alumni to the best of my ability in every endeavor.”
Carrasco earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his MBA from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa.