Steve Pasche

Head men's cross country coach, assistant distance track coach, and skills instructor in orienteering and rock climbing

First year coaching at Luther: 2005

Recruiting habit: Working late at night from home on his laptop--he's been kicked off Luther's network (more than once) so administrators could perform maintenance.

Literary endeavor: With his wife, Yarrow Pasche, head women's cross country coach, he writes haiku for his runners at the end of the season, hoping to capture personality and achievement in each off-beat tribute.

Personal training: Runs often enough to keep pace with his team and Yarrow.

For Steve, coaching is more an adventure than a paycheck. "You can't put your finger on any one thing that makes a program successful," he says. "Here we're blessed with great natural environment, and we try to take full advantage of it. Not many other programs can boast training runs down four-wheel-drive tracks that cross creeks a half-dozen times in eight miles."

"Taking on northeast Iowa's rugged terrain helps keep runners balanced and versatile," Steve explains. The point is to make muddy, tough conditions be fun. If we end up racing in bad weather or on sloppy courses, it doesn't break our mental stride. We're prepared. There's nothing we'd rather do."

Outside coaching, Steve travels whenever possible, having trekked with Yarrow across Southeast Asia, hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail, and kayaked off the coast of Alaska prior to coming to Luther. In January 2008, the pair taught Fitness and Adventure in New Zealand, a course involving backpacking, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing.