Daligcon Steps Down as SPU Head Cross Country Coach
After 17 years at Seattle Pacific including five as the Falcons' cross country head coach, Erika Daligcon has resigned to spend more time with her family.
After 17 years at Seattle Pacific including five as the Falcons' cross country head coach, Erika Daligcon has resigned to spend more time with her family.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

SEATTLE – No matter what she's doing, Erika Daligcon believes in giving it her all. With 2-year-old daughter Jordan, and son Kai who was born in January, she says that's where her all needs to be given at this moment in time.

So after five seasons at the helm, Daligcon has stepped down as Seattle Pacific's head cross country coach.

“My philosophy is to honor your athletes, and I need to honor my family, too,” Daligcon said. “It was definitely a bittersweet decision. I love coaching, I love supporting the athletes, and it has been a real gift to spend time with some of these athletes almost every day of their college career.”

Added SPU athletic director Erin O'Connell, “Erika has been an instrumental part of our cross country programs from the time she was a student-athlete, to assistant coach, to head coach. We are sad to see her go, and have every hope she will stay connected with our Falcon family.”

The 38-year-old Daligcon has given a good chunk of the past 17 years to Seattle Pacific. She transferred here from Sacramento's American River Community College in 1995, and ran on the cross country and track teams for two years. She graduated with a degree in English literature in 1998, and eventually earned a masters in teaching.

“Erika is thoughtful leader and an insightful coach,” said SPU head track coach Karl Lerum, who had Daligcon as an assistant on his staff. “She will certainly be missed.”

Daligcon was a scoring runner on the Falcon cross country team that placed eighth in the 1995 NCAA meet.

After some time in western Japan doing teaching and missionary work, she became an assistant to SPU head coach Doris Heritage in 2002, then took over the head coaching role in 2008 after Heritage retired.

“I would not have anticipated that,” Daligcon said of her lengthy stretch of time at the school. “It has been a wonderful relationship, and I trust that it will continue. I really believe in SPU and what it brings to the students and to the student-athletes.”

Her first two women's cross country teams here – 2008 and 2009 – ran to fourth-place trophies at the NCAAs. Last fall, the women were back at nationals again for the first time since '09, finishing 17th among the 32 schools.

In addition to her degree and her coaching accomplishments at Seattle Pacific, she also met her husband here. Nate Daligcon was a Falcon men's soccer start and later served as the lead assistant coach before leaving for an assistant's job at Division I Seattle University after the 2012 season.

While her emphasis will be on her family in the foreseeable future, Daligcon isn't ruling out a return to coaching at some point.

“I've always been open to what God has laid out before me,” she said. “I'll be maintaining that openness on the road ahead.

“But I do anticipate it will include a stopwatch or two.”