Chris Kibler
Chris Kibler
Title: Head Cross Country Coach
Phone: 413-538-2562

Chris Kibler joined the Mount Holyoke staff as the Lyons Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field coach in August of 2017. He was named the head coach of the Track & Field Team in the Fall of 2018.

During the 2018 campaign, Kibler helped navigate the Lyons to a number of outstanding finishes, placing top-10 in six meets, while finishing 17th in the seventh race of the season. Highlighting the schedule was a third-place finish at the James Earley Invitational at Westfield State. The Lyons went on to earn fourth at the Seven Sisters Championship, aided by a 12th-place and All-Tournament Team finish by sophmore Simone Jacob. Following a sixth-place spot at the NEWMAC Championships, MHC posted 17th overall at the NCAA New England Regional Championship. In a field of 57 teams, the Lyons recorded their best finish in over a decade as five of the team's seven runners were in the top-150 in a field that featured over 400 runners. Academically, the Lyons continued to perform strong as seven student-athletes were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team.

In his first season at the helm, Kibler guided the cross country team to four top-10 finishes over six meets during the fall season. Highlighting the year was a seventh place finish at the Seven Sisters Championship (6k), followed by a 10th-place finish at NEWMAC's. MHC also took 39th overall at the NCAA New England Regional Championship. Academically, the Lyons shined as nine student-athletes were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, which was second-most among the conference schools, and just two honorees behind MIT.

Kibler came to Mount Holyoke after serving as the head cross country and track & field coach at Keystone College. He oversaw all aspects of coaching and team operations, including developing effective, individualized training plans and organizing all aspects of recruiting. Kibler also served as the strength and conditioning coach at Keystone during this time, designing functional training plans for all sports, as well as conducting assessments for athletes.

Prior to his time at Keystone, Kibler served as a volunteer assistant coach at Division I Wake Forest University. During his tenure in the spring of 2016 he helped lead and monitor practice and post-workout drills, as well as organizing all aspects of recruiting.

Kibler served four years as the associate head coach of cross country and track & field at his alma mater, Fitchburg State from 2012 till 2016. During that time, he created personalized training for each athlete, organized recruiting efforts, while also leading and supervising practice and strength workouts. In addition to his coaching role, Kibler has served as an adjunct professor in the exercise and sports science department at Fitchburg State since 2015.

From 2014 through 2016, Kibler also utilized his strength and conditioning skills at Power Source Training Center, where he led, supervised, and assessed athletes of all ages and created individualized strength and speed development cycles.

Kibler served as an intern in the Athletic Communications Office at American International College in 2014, and worked as an intern in strength and conditioning at the College of the Holy Cross in the spring of 2012.

A former All-American in the mile at Fitchburg State, Kibler continues to hold a number of Falcons' records, including in the 1500-meter, the mile, two-mile, 3k, 5k, DMR and the 4x800-meter relay. A seven-time Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) champion, he was the recipient of the Paul K. Waring '38 Athlete of the Year Award in 2014.

Additionally, Kibler was the 2012 MASCAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, the Fitchburg State Athletic Leadership Award recipient and a four-time MASCAC All-Academic selection.

In addition to being a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Kibler is also Level 1 certified by USA Track and Field. He is also a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine.

Kibler graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fitchburg State in 2012, earning his Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He was awarded his M.B.A. in management from FSU in 2015, while also earning his certificate in massage therapy from the New Hampshire Institute of Therapeutic Arts in 2013.

Coach Kibler's Personal Bests:

800m - 1:53.6
1 mile - 4:07.2
3000m - 8:28.9
5000m - 14:27.2

Steve Bruner
Steve Bruner
Title: Assistant Cross Country Coach

Bruner joined the Mount Holyoke staff as the Lyons Assistant Cross Country coach in August of 2018, bringing 30 years of experience as an athlete, coach, and mentor.

He competed in Cross Country and Track & Field (steeplechase and 1500M) at Swarthmore College.  Since then, he’s been an avid citizen racer, boasting podium finishes in races from one mile up to half marathons.  His twelve marathon finishes include eleven Boston Marathon qualifiers (his first marathon was a real learning experience), with a personal best of 2:43:49.

After graduating from Swarthmore, Bruner spent over a decade working in the outdoor industry, leading canoeing and backpacking trips throughout North America.  He earned an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, where, among other things, he co-founded the Darden Running Club and received the Kevin Bewley Memorial Award for community leadership and academic excellence.  His degree and interest led him to work for national parks in Alaska, Madagascar, and Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park), with a focus on strategic planning and implementation. 

While living in Bozeman, Montana, he owned a business selling green building materials, taught at Montana State University, and competed in running races throughout the state.  In 2010, he earned “All Montana” status at the annual Montana Cup cross country race.  During a year sabbatical in Oaxaca, Mexico, Steve trained with and coached Leah Frost, who went on to compete in the 2016 Women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Bruner moved to Amherst in the summer of 2014, when his wife, Leah Schmalzbauer, assumed a faculty position in Sociology/American Studies at Amherst College. Soon after arriving in Amherst, he joined the Springfield Harriers and got acquainted with the New England running scene.  During the 2017-18 academic year, he volunteered with the Amherst College Cross Country and Track & Field teams, which eventually led to his hiring at Mount Holyoke College.

When Bruner isn’t coaching, he is a stay-at-home dad who enjoys working with his hands, cooking, reading and running trails with his family’s Australian Shepherd.  The couple’s two children attend elementary school in Amherst.  Their 10-year-old daughter is a competitive swimmer, and their 12-year-old son is an avid cross-country skier and soccer player. 

In addition to coaching the Lyons, Bruner is the Head Coach of the Amherst Regional High School Nordic Ski Team.  Suffice it to say that when the cross country season ends, he will be hoping for snow!

Kate Edwards
Kate Edwards
Title: Assistant Cross Country Coach

Kate Edwards joined the Mount Holyoke Lyons as a first year volunteer assistant coach in August of 2018.

Edwards graduated from Bryn Mawr College in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Russian and Classical Languages. While at Bryn Mawr, Edwards competed in four seasons of Cross Country and eight seasons of Track and Field. As a student-athlete, Edwards was recognized both for her academic and athletic achievement. She was named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll nine consecutive times; she was also awarded USTFCCCA Academic Honors in Cross Country in the fall of 2016 and 2017.

Edwards’ athletic accomplishments include two First Team All-Seven Sisters Cross Country finishes and three Centennial Conference Championships scoring position finishes, as well as an All-Region Championship team finish in the 2017 NCAA Mideast Regional Championship. In the fall of 2017 she was named Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week for her win at Rowan University’s Bill Fritz Invitational. As a graduating senior she received Bryn Mawr’s Jenepher P. Shillingford Award for athletic excellence. She has had the privilege of racing against Division I and II schools and at such venues as the Armory Track and Penn Relays. However, Edwards considers her greatest achievement to be racing the 2016 Cross Country championship season with an undiagnosed stress fracture.

Edwards is a first-year PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Personal Records:

1500M: 4:58.61
3000M: 10:30.17
5000M: 18:05.53