Coach Mike DeWitt was an accomplished walker in his own right, representing the U.S. at events like the World Cup. However, Dewitt’s accomplishments as a coach are what landed the spotlight in his direction.
DeWitt is the women’s head track coach and race walking coordinator at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside. Taking the program over from Bob Lawson, DeWitt worked and continues to work with more elite race walkers in this country than anyone else. Over half the guys at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista participated in DeWitt’s program. Before there was a training center, Debbi Lawrence, Michelle Rohl, Jim Heiring, and Andy Kastner all graduated from DeWitt’s program going on to success at the Olympics.
Those who qualify get free tuition and fees. They must have running ability as well as the desire to walk, because the DeWitt program requires running a season of cross-country and for some the running of indoor track which improves leg speed.
While not a requirement, the pattern of academic excellence is well established, with most athletes making Dean’s List.