Rick Wemple is in his seventh year at Brown as the women's middle distance/distance coach. In his first season (1998), he guided the women's cross country team to their best finish at Heps (2nd) in Brown women's history at that time. In 1999, he led them to their first Heps title and to the NCAAs for the first time in the history of the program where they finished 9th in the country. They followed that up with a 15th-place finish in the fall of 2000, and in a third consecutive trip, finished 27th in 2001. In his first track season, he coached Mary Hale '02, Nakia Thomas '00, Michelle Gross '01 and Sara Tindall '01 to a new school record in the DMR. Tindall set a new 3000 meter indoor school record in 2001 and his athletes have begun to rewrite the Brown top ten performance lists from 500 meters to 10,000 meters. Hale finished the 2002 track and field campaign as the school record holder in the 800 meters both indoors and outdoors, and Kim Thalmann '02 set outdoor records in the 3k and 5k. Most recently, Caci Cambruzzi '04, Katherine Kosub '04 and Kate Cushing '04 teamed with Anna Willard '06 indoors and Naja Ferjan '07 outdoors to win the Heptagonal League title in the 4x800 relay (2004). The outdoor squad set both the school record and the meet record in the process (8:47.45). Since Wemple's arrival, the women's distance group has become a stonger force on the track and field team and has contributed significantly to the success of the Brown women's team as a whole.
Wemple is a graduate of Yale University (1992) where he majored in biology and was an All-American in cross country (9th place in 1991). A 10-time All-Ivy athlete in cross country and track, Wemple won six Heptagonal titles in track and still holds the Heptagonal Championship record in the 1500 meters outdoors (3:42.09). Wemple also earned a master's degree in exercise science from The Ohio State University while he continued to compete post-collegiately. Before coming to Brown, Wemple was a volunteer assistant coach at Yale and worked as a research assistant in an exercise physiology lab where he participated in projects concerning temperature regulation and body fluid balance.
Wemple's philosophy of coaching is to approach each athlete as an individual when designing training programs, but to emphasize team unity when it comes to competition. He also stresses the four-year development of an athlete rather than pushing youngsters to be superstars at the risk of being injured and burned out. That philosophy has paid big dividends at Brown where new PRs are set every meet by athletes of all abilities and many of his graduates continue to run after college.