Ezekiel Koech serves as the Director of Operations at CanKen Sports Club. Koech, a native of Eldoret, Kenya and a US resident is the product of the American most prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Koech, a career accountant is an expert in operational systems, marketing processes, event management, and planning. Koech’s statistical analysis, data forecasts, and contract negotiations skill in business relationships are the core values at CanKen. He manages internal controls systems and generates annual reports for management review as well as writing grant proposals to clients and business partners. He is also a certified timing professional with broad experience in event timing, computer analytics, and programing such as Dreamweaver, and database design.
Koech began his collegiate career at Kenya Utalii College Nairobi (1998-2000) where he was an outstanding member of both Cross Country and Track & Field while obtaining an Associate Degree in Tourism and Travel. He holds the school records in the 3,000 meters steeple chase (8:52) and 5,000 meter run (14:39.04). He continued his athletic endeavors at FMU where he set school records in the (8K) and 10,000 meter track thus earning the most valuable player (MVP) in 2004 and 2005. Koech earned first team all-conference, all-region and national. Koech became the most decorated student-athlete all time and earned all-academic honors while making the Dean’s List three years in a row. Koech also holds a brown belt in Martial Arts (Karate) which he affirms that it contributed to the success of his speed and fitness.
Koech graduated from Francis Marion University with a bachelor’s of business administration (BBA) degree in 2005. Following his graduation, Koech remained at FMU to serve as the Assistant Coach for Cross Country and Track & Field programs. His primary objective is recruiting, training, coordinating, and conducting practices for the program. Koech guided Hillary Kiprop, the Peach Belt Conference Runner of the Year (2007) who went on to become academic All-American Honoree.
In 2008, Koech became the Assistant Coach for Cross Country and Track & Field at the University of South Carolina, Upstate. Koech recruited six top high ranking runners who went on to be the best in the NCAA DI athletic program and the A-Sun Conference.
In 2009, Koech debuted in professional athletics, hitting the roads across the globe. Within three years, Koech established himself as a road racer, and for his hardwork, sacrifice and determination was rewarded with a personal best time of 48 minutes for Ten Mile, 1 hour 5 minutes for the half marathon and 2:21.56 for the marathon and other ecolades. However, a nagging leg injury stalled his ambitious athletic career. But, hanging the books is for an sportsperson, he soldiered on on a different level by giving back to the sport he so love. Certaintly, collegiate athletics prepares the way for any athlete for a future opportunity when they earn a degree. A student-athlete status is a blessing and rewarding since provides a lifetime investment through earned education.
Koech has coached Gilbert Kemboi, a three-time A-Sun Cross Country Individual Champion, who became the first A-Sun student-athlete to win back-to-back individual meet titles. Kemboi has a career best of 23:22.28 for 8K from the Greater Louisville Invitation (2010). Kemboi is the most decorated athlete at USC upstate athletic history who is ranked best in 8K, and 10K Cross Country and 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters in Track & Field.
Koech guided Emily Tangwar who became the A-Sun Conference Most Outstanding Runner and Most Outstanding Freshman awards at the A-Sun Championships (2008) and won Gold medal in the mile run, the 3,000-meters and the 5,000-meters. He directed Emily who established school records in the 800 meters, 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and the mile run. He guided her to compete in the prestigious Penn Relays in the 5,000-meters (2009) posting a career-best. Emily is the first affiliated with the women's cross country and women's track & field programs to be inducted into the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Koech has coached Jemeli Sang who was named in the NCAA Southeast Region First Team (2011). He guided Sang who earned women's individual champion at the A-Sun Conference Championships in 2011. Sang is a three-time ASUN All-Conference performer, earning ASUN All-Freshman Team, in 2008, First Team honors in 2009 and Second Team in 2010. Sang holds the school record in the 6K with a time of 20:42.88. Sang is the second person affiliated with the women’s track and field program, and third with women’s cross country, to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame (2017).
Koech has coached Joan Tangwar, a two-time NCAA All-Southeast Region and ASUN All-Conference performer who holds school records in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:53.70, the 3000-meter with a time of 9:56.83 and the mile with a time of 4:57.39. Joan is the third women’s track an field athlete, and fourth women’s cross country runner, to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
Koech has coached Caroline Chelulei who was third at the historic 2012 ASUN Conference where the trio of Upstate runners completed a 1-2-3 podium finish. Chelulei has a personal best of 17:59.04 minute for 5k from (2009). She holds the school record in 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal-best time of 10:35.65 (2011).
Koech served at the USC Upstate athletic program from 2008 to 2011
Koech coaches three elite athletes: Philip Lagat a 2:12.19 Cleveland Marathon (2015), Benjamin Kosgei 1:3.44 Standard Chartered Half-Marathon (2017), Levi Kibor 30:01.09) Athletics Kenya Meeting (2017) and several prospective student-athletes seeking collegiate athletics in the United States.
Koech worked as a Sports Newscaster at KassFM (2008-2012) and Sports Panelist for www.labatet.com. In the weekly program, Kass Rwoiik, Koech educated and mentored countless prospective student-athletes on transition processes into collegiate athletics, and academics and primed them on how to prepare for standardized testings’ such as Scholastic Assessment Tests (SAT), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) including procedures for NCAA registration, compliance and regulations. He also tutored students on how to navigate the challenging process of assembling document portfolios and acquiring important documents such as I-20, and student visas that included acclimatization and acculturation in the diaspora as international students. Koech contributes as Columnist for The Standard and Nation Newspapers.
In 2016, Koech teamed up with his longtime friend Eliud Lagat who is the president of the club in nurturing talent and developing skills for the next generation of athletes. Both Koech and Lagat have similar athletic backgrounds and aspirations as well as vision for the organization. Koech stresses that CanKen Sports Club is the Foundation Home of Future Champions because it seeks youth talents and nurtures them into diverse opportunities such as collegiate athletics and professional running. He laments that they seek to uplift and train individuals to attain their athletic potential, compete at high level, and become health. CanKen’s objective is to see that athletes use their talent as a fall back into something such as receiving an education and earning an income.
Koech holds Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA-Plus) and Masters of Accountancy (MAcc) and is currently working on his doctor of philosopy degree (PhD).
Koech is certified by the United States Track & Field and resides in Durham, NC with his wife Emily and their two sons; Kipleel and Kipleting.