Cross Country Coaching Staff
Forest Braden
Head Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Boise State '07
Experience: 7 Years

Forest Braden enters his seventh year with the Bruins and continues to serve as the primary cross country coach.

2014 marked a breakout season for the Bruins as both teams qualified for the NCAA Championships. The championship appearance for both squads in the same season was the first for UCLA since 1985. For the men it was the first trip to nationals since 2012 and 2004 for the women.

The Bruins earned their selection based on a stellar showing at the NCAA West Regional Championship. The men placed fourth overall while the women finished fifth. Five Bruins earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors. The fourth place finish by the men was the best since 2011 and the fifth place showing was the best since 2006 for the women.

Earning USTFCCCA All-Region accolades was Ferdinand Edman (13th), Lane Werley (16th) and Nick Hartle (22nd) for the men while Kelsey Smith placed ninth overall and Meghan Marvin was 14th. Smith also placed eighth overall at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships to earn second team honors. She became the first Bruin to earn back-to-back all-conference accolades in the history of the women’s program.

The 2013 season was highlighted by USTFCCCA All-Region selections Kelsey Smith and Nohe Lema. Smith placed 11th at the NCAA regional meet to mark the best finish for a female Bruin since 2006. Lema earned all-region honors for the second straight season. On top of her all-region selection, Smith was an all-Pac-12 performer with her seventh place finish, the best for a Bruin since 2005. Nick Hartle earned all-Pac-12 honors on the men’s side and 23 Bruins were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Team.

The Bruin cross country teams has seen much improvement under the guidance of Braden. In 2012, the Bruin men experienced their highest finish at the NCAA Championships since 1985, placing 13th overall. Lane Werley became the Bruins’ first Cross Country All-American in five years after a 25th-place finish at the NCAAs. The UCLA men also enjoyed a third-place finish at the NCAA Regional meet and had four runners earn All-West Region honors (Werley - 5th place, Nohe Lema - 21st, Dustin Fay - 22nd, David McDonald - 23rd). Werley also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after placing fifth at the Pac-12 Championships.

On the women’s side in 2012, the Bruins placed sixth at the Pac-12 Championships and seventh at the NCAA West Region Championships. They also ranked as high as 24th during the year in the coaches’ poll.

During the 2011 season, Kent Morikawa led the men’s squad for most of the year, earning All-Pac-12 honors with his eighth-place finish at the conference meet. The men’s team finished fourth at Pac-12s and tied for sixth at the West Region, while the women were 10th in the conference and 18th at regionals. During the regular season, the Bruin men claimed back-to-back team victories at the Nevada Chase and Aztec Invitational.

In 2010, both the men and women showed improvement from the 2009 season. The men moved up from fifth to fourth at the conference meet, while the women moved up to sixth at Pac-10s. At the Regional meet, the men finished eighth, and the women improved to 10th.

In Braden’s first year with the Bruins in 2009, UCLA sent Marco Anzures and Shannon Murakami to compete at the NCAA Championships. The men also finished fifth at the Pac-10 meet and seventh at the Western Regional. The women were seventh in the Pac-10 and 11th at the regional.

Before joining the Bruins, Braden served as a volunteer coach at at Gonzaga, where he worked closely with standout distance coach Pat Tyson in recruiting and facilitating training sessions.

Prior to his coaching stint at Gonzaga, Braden was a three-time All-American runner for coach Mike Maynard at Boise State from 2002-2007, earning accolades in indoor and outdoor track as well as cross country. He also won seven Western Athletic Conference titles as a Bronco.

Braden also ran for Team Indiana Elite for one year and placed in the top-10 in five USATF Championship meets. In 2011, he started competing again on the track, primarily in the 5000m.