Smith-Cotton's head track & field coach is moving up to the JUCO level, becoming State Fair Community Colleges's first track & field, and cross country coach.

His new position comes as SFCC recently announced it is expanding its sports programs to include track & field, cross country, target shooting and Esports.

SFCC's track & field season will begin next spring, it was noted.

The college is searching for new coaches and recruiting student-athletes after gaining approval from the SFCC Board of Trustees at their last meeting. All of the new teams are coed.

According to the track & field page on Sedalia200.org, Hagedorn is a lifelong athlete, coach and teacher who believes in developing athletes who are caring, inspired and compassionate members of a world outside their own lives. Hagedorn is currently supported by six assistant coaches.

SFCC introduced Hagedorn as their new track & field coach on Wednesday afternoon. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.

“I think that the kids in the area are going to be very excited and grateful as well,” Hagedorn said during a press conference held on campus. “And when I came to Sedalia in 1999, I didn't think that this was ever going to be an opportunity, so to have it come to fruition is very exciting, and hopefully very rewarding.”

Hagedorn said it's been a while since he first approached State Fair about a track & field program. “There's been some back & forth commentary and figuring things out. Then a few weeks ago, everything started snowballing, and got real fast in a hurry, so I did all my paperwork,. And here we stand,” Hagedorn said during his remarks Wednesday.

One of the challenges for a new program like this is “there's never enough money,” Hagedorn stated.

The student-athletes he hopes to recruit will possess high-caliber character and exceptional athletic ability. That part of the job has already begun, Coach Hagedorn said. “I'm getting my feet wet and figuring that out."

Athletic Director Darrin Pannier said he feels that adding track & field at State Fair is a no brainer. “Some people disagree with me,” he noted, but added that in a few years, more JUCO institutions in Missouri will have their own track & field programs, as well as cross country.

SFCC will coordinate with Sedalia School District 200 to utilize Tiger Stadium for practice sessions, it was noted. Pannier said that State Fair has a very good relationship with Smith-Cotton. “It was a perfect fit for us, as was (Hagedorn's) willingness to work hard,” Pannier said. “We're impressed and very, very happy that he decided to come over from Smith-Cotton. It's going to be a great next three or four years.”

SFCC is one of 15 schools in the NJCAA, according to Wikipedia.

SFCC last expanded its athletic program with the addition of the coed golf team nearly two years ago, and prior to that, the college added men's and women's soccer, baseball and softball in 2015.

"I am very excited to add these three unique sports to our athletic program," Pannier said. "These sports are not offered by a lot of community colleges. I am hoping we can build something that will attract even more quality student-athletes to State Fair Community College.

"I believe there is local interest in these particular sports," said Pannier. "There are a couple of community colleges in Missouri that offer Esports. One or two community colleges that offer target shooting, three have cross county, one offers track without the field component, and two other community colleges are looking to start track and field."

Pannier believes SFCC is uniquely situated geographically to support a successful track and field program with local transfer opportunities for student-athletes.

"I like that we are between Columbia and Warrensburg where there are two extremely successful track and field programs at the University of Missouri and the University of Central Missouri," said Pannier. "Our location also provides several other colleges or universities that our student-athletes could go to finish their academic and athletic careers."

A quick check of SFCC's Roadrunners website shows a total of 14 sports.

Hagedorn noted that he made it clear at Smith-Cotton where is currently employed, that it is "business as usual" through the end of the season. Hagedorn's first day at State Fair was last Friday.