Coach Nate Browne has been the full-time assistant coach for the UC Riverside’s cross country team and track team since the summer of 2007. Since then, Browne has established himself as a successful coach here at UCR, helping coach the women’s cross country team back in 2008 to its first and only Big West Championship title and guiding both cross country and track athletes to awards and recognition at regional and national levels. However, Coach Browne himself has an impressive list of achievements as a collegiate athlete back in his years at Cal Baptist University, where he graduated with bachelor’s in business administration.  In fact, he was a national runner up in the indoor 800m.

But success was not easy, as Coach Browne explains, “I had a two tiered career at CBU.  I started off my first two years with limited success because of some poor personal choices in how I was living my life. Over my last three years of school, I cleaned up the way I was living, trained like an animal, listened to my coach and the success followed. We had a lot of fun being an ‘underdog’ and basically going from a program no one knew about to having great results across the board and winning a National team title. Individually I graduated with five national titles as part of relays and several other All-American awards.”

The experience as a top collegiate athlete has helped Coach Browne guide Highlander athletes to high levels.  Browne draws similarity from his experience and the experience of today’s athletes, especially when it comes to the mental aspect of the sport.

“It helps in almost all aspects of my coaching.  Most importantly the mentality of being somewhat of an underdog and overcoming people’s low opinions of you to achieve success. We would show up to meets and people would ask us if we were a high school team.  It was almost comical. I know based on my own experience young people are capable of so much more success than they envision having. However they don’t always recognize [that] your thoughts, words, actions and habits must match up with where you [are] trying to go [or] else you just have a wish and a prayer.  Those that understand that sooner rather than later have had and will continue to have success here at UC Riverside,” said Coach Browne.

Coach Browne was not always in the coaching arena. He became a volunteer coach in 2003 when asked by Head Coach Irv Ray to help out with the program. Browne was in the mortgage business at the time, and he would coach in the mornings with the distance athletes. From then on, Browne involvement grew, becoming a full-time coach in 2007, and now also serving as a recruiting coordinator.

“I really enjoy working with young people to help them reach their goals. The moment when someone realizes that they are much better than they ever realized is especially gratifying.  Pouring belief into our athletes and having them finally take ownership of their confidence is another,” said Coach Browne.

Interestly, the track coaches have found a very strategic way of utilizing social media, especially Twitter. While Coach Browne had trouble at the character limits at first, he and Coach Basler tweet often at @ucr_trackfield.

“I started with my personal twitter after Coach Basler started running with the UCR Track & Field twitter page.  When we’re at meets it allows us to show real time results with folks that aren’t at the competition.  If he’s at a field event I tweet the running results and then he retweets to all the UCR Track & Field followers. Other teammates, alumni, parents, staff, recruits and fans of the sport get on going results as they happen.  Due to the nature and location of our sport,Twitter has helped us self promote our program in a major way,” explained Coach Browne.

The biggest achievement besides the 2008 XC title for Browne is the surprising second place finish of the women’s team at the Big West Track and Field championship in the spring of 2008.

“Another highlight was finishing second in the Big West in track earlier that spring with the women. Again, no conference coaches saw it coming—so they were shocked we finished that high. I love the look on people’s face when you’re doing something they never thought you could. I want to have more moments like that in my UC Riverside coaching career. I hope we continue to have the opportunity to put together teams that can experience conference and national success on both an individual and team level,” said Coach Browne.