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LetsRun.com's Rojo to become NAU Track Coach
April 1, 2004, Flagstaff, AZ -

LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson was hired today to succeed the famed Ron Mann as the director of the cross country and track and field programs at Northern Arizona University.  In a press-release issued at 12:01 a.m. this morning April 1st, Northern Arizona interim athletic director Dave Brown made the announcement.

"We are very pleased to have someone of the caliber of "Rojo" running the ship here at NAU.  The most important thing that defined Ron Mann's teams here at NAU was their amazing consistency. I mean the men are year in and year out a consistent top-10 power in cross country. We wanted someone who had a proven track record of consistency," said Brown in the press release.

"Robert is clearly Mr. Consistency. I mean his track record is absolutely unbelievable despite the fact he's only been at Cornell for a short-time. I mean his teams there have been amazingly consistent - 8th in the Heps both years. You can't get any more consistent than that. 8th both years, despite the number of teams in the league changing.  Robert's record at Cornell proves without a doubt that he'll keep NAU a consistent top 10 program, just like Cornell was consistently a top 10 program," added Brown.

This morning when contacted by the press as he waited for a blizzard to blow through Ithaca, NY, before boarding a flight to NAU, "Rojo" made a startling announcement when he stated that he has hired the rest of his staff. "Rojo" stated that while he'll be director of the track and field program, he will not be the head cross country coach.  

"I'd like to say that I'm thrilled to be in charge of a program of NAU's caliber. It's quite an honor. It also carries with it a huge responsibility as I know the alums will call for my head if we don't remain a top 10 power. As a result, I'm resigning immediately as cross country coach and handling over the duties to my brother - the US's #4th ranked 10,000 meter runner. Wejo knows distance. And everyone on the NAU team knows Wejo had a meeting with Coach Mann about a month ago and the rumor was he was getting the job, so now he is.  I'm an awful xc coach.  Everyone knew when I came to Cornell that I was a mid-distance specialist. I mean it makes total sense given my marathon background and we've had great success in that area - a school record in the 4 x 800 this year as well as the nation's #3 time, the #2 and #4 times in school history in the 1,500, a fourth place showing at USATFs in the 1500. Having been an economics major in college, I'm very much into focusing on "comparative advantage" and this will give the program its best chance to accomplish 10% of what Ron Mann did.  Clearly, I'm an awful xc coach and would be a fool to continue to focus in that area so I'll handle the mid-d and Wejo can handle distance.

I can't wait to get to NAU. It's the opportunity of a lifetime."


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