Coach Jose Larios comes to Emmanuel College after recently serving as the head coach of cross country and track and field at Montreat College. In four seasons, Larios led the Lady Cavaliers from last-to-second place in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Along with the AAC runner-up trophy, Montreat runners qualified to run at the NAIA Cross Country Championships eight different times, as well as eight outdoor track and field national qualifiers, including a male AAC Runner of the Year award. Most recently, Larios coached Montreat College's Talisa Bishop to a top ten finish in the NAIA Marathon Championships in 2009 (7th place). The Cavaliers also won the distinguished Champions of Character team award three different times.
Prior to Montreat College, Larios served as the head cross country and track coach at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida. While at Warner, Larios also served as the Assistant Director of the Academic Skills Center and assistant English instructor.
A native of Frostproof, Florida, Coach Larios excelled in a variety of sports. It was distance running however that led Larios to Warner University as a cross country runner. From 1993 to 1997, Larios was instrumental in Warner's two consecutive Florida Sun Conference titles and back-to-back NAIA National Cross Country Championship appearances. Upon earning his bachelors in English and Secondary Education, he began his coaching career as an assistant coach with Lake Wales High School's cross country and track programs, ultimately being named the head coach of the Highlanders in 1997. From '97 to '00, Coach Larios led the Highlanders of Lake Wales to county, district, and a regional championship.
In 2000, Larios began coaching at Warner University and immediately led the Runnin' Royals to a worst-to-first Florida Sun Conference Cross Country Championship, the first of four consecutive conference and NAIA Region XIV titles. The Lady Royals also earned three consecutive cross country titles of their own. Larios' teams also garnered five track & field conference/regional titles. Within a short six year period, the Royals hit the national scene; Coach Larios' teams produced two NAIA national outdoor track & field champions and two national runner-ups. All in all, Larios' Runnin' Royals earned 23 All-American accolades, 96 All-Conference and All-Region awards, and earned a final 13th place NAIA National Ranking at the 2003 cross country finals.
Voted NAIA Region XC/TF Coach of the Year nine different times, Larios also earned one of the NAIA's National MONDO Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2003. He also holds a USATF level I certification and is the director of the Cavalier Distance Running Camp in Montreat, North Carolina.
Coach Larios had this to say about joining the Emmanuel family, "I'm thrilled to be a part of Emmanuel's coaching staff. I believe the mission and direction of this department is very intentional. I hope the Larios family can add to the ministry that is being done here. This is a great conference and I'm excited to start recruiting to establish a competitive, Christ-centered program."
Jose Larios and his wife Heather have three daughters, Hannah (7), Emma (5), and Sara (3), with their first son (Gabriel Joseph) arriving in March!