Craig Lake was named the Director of Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field at Brown University on August 16, 2005. Lake is no stranger to the Ivy League, coming to Brown from Columbia University, where she had spent eight years on the Lions cross country and track & field staff. Lake occupies the inaugural Alden Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Coaching Chair at Brown, the third Brown coaching position to be fully endowed.
"The opportunity for us to bring in someone like Craig to our University promises great things for the future," said Brown athletic director Michael Goldberger. "Her success at Columbia is really unsurpassed in terms of creating a program that is now one of the elite programs in the country and we're expecting the same great things to happen at Brown."
"I'm really excited about the prospect of taking the men's and women's programs to the top of the Ivy League," said Lake." In the 2007-2008 season, Lake guided the men's cross country team to a New England Championship, as Smita Gupta '08 and Ariel Wright '10 on the women's side ran the third and fourth fastest times in Brown history at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships.
During the indoor season, Brown had three First Team All-Ivy selections, as the women placed second at Heps. Lake had three student-athletes receive CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors, while Ryan Graddy '08 earned Second Team Academic All-America honors. In the last few seasons with the Bears, Lake has continued to improve both the Cross Country and Track & Field programs, while coaching five women All-Americans in 2006. She coached two-time All-American, Anna Willard '05, who is now the most successful woman distance runner in the history of the program, as she holds school records in the 800m, 1,500m, 3k, 5k, and the Steeplechase. Willard competed in the steeplechase in Osaka, Japan, at the World Championships in August, 2007, and competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the steeple chase.
Named assistant coach of cross country and track & field when she began at Columbia in 1997, Lake was promoted to head coach of women's cross country, and the associate head coach of men's and women's track & field two years ago. Over five seasons she led the women's cross country team to five top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including an 11th place finish in 2002 and 13th place finishes in 2003 and 2004. In each of those seasons, Columbia was ranked nationally most of the fall, rising as high as eighth. Before her arrival, the Lions had never qualified for the NCAA Championships.
In 2002, Lake was named the NCAA Northeast Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year after leading the Columbia women to their first ever Ivy League Heptagonal Championship. That same year, the Lions placed first at the NCAA Northeast Regional Cross Country Championship. The team went on to win three straight Heptagonal Championships from 2002-2004. With the middle distance and distance runners her focus, Lake coached two All-Americans at this past year's NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In all she has coached 21 Ivy League Heptagonal Champions, 39 Individual Metropolitan Indoor Track Champions, 59 Outdoor ECAC qualifiers, 15 Academic All-Ivy selections and six Academic All-Americans.
Prior to her arrival at Columbia, Lake spent one year at George Washington University as a men's and women's assistant cross country and track coach. That year, George Washington had its highest team finish in school history at the Atlantic 10 Conference Meet.
A native of Washington D.C., Lake has also coached at the high school level, serving as head coach of girls' cross country and track at Georgetown Visitation Prep in the spring of 1996. In 1995 she graduated cum laude from Princeton with a B.A. in psychology and pre-medical studies. A four-year member of the cross country and track team, she earned All-East and All-Ivy outdoor track honors. She received her master's in exercise physiology from Columbia's Teacher's College in 2001.