About Us

The Firetower Projects is organized by Appalachian State University Men’s Cross Country alumni and supporters.

Contact us at team@firetowerproject.org


Zachary T. Hollis


Class of 2002

Member of two Southern Conference Cross Country Championship teams (2000, 2001).

Triple Crown (2002)

Zack is currently a cardiac electrophysiologist. He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Diva, and their daughter.

Brian Deal

Class of 2008, (2003-2008)

Member of 2 SoCon Men’s XC Championship teams (2005,2007). (2X All SoCon XC, 1X SoCon XC Champ.)

Currently, day job is Nike innovation footwear director where I help create the future of Running footwear. Residing in Beaverton Oregon, with wife Jenn (née Povick), and two boys Davis & Austin.



James Slagle

Class of 2001

Member of two SoCon Cross Country Championship teams (2000, 2001).

Currently working for Red Hat and residing in Watauga County with wife Jen and sons Isaac and Luke.

Shawn Evans

Class of 2002 (1998-2002)

Member of two SoCon Cross Country Championship teams (2000, 2001). (2X All Conference - 2000 (10th), 2001 (4th)). 7th place team finish at NCAA Regionals 2001. Triple Crown 2001-2002.

Assistant City Attorney, Wilmington, NC (Zoning, Real Estate, Land Planning). Married to Katie, 2 sons Paul (5) and Aaron (3).

Mike Mitchell

Class of 2007 (2002-2007)

Member of two Conference Championship teams (2005 and 2006)

All SoCon 2005

Currently the Area President of Risk Placement Services in Charlotte, NC where we specialize finding insurance solutions for transportation businesses. Outside of the office you will find me with my wife Meghan who has a more impressive App State XC resume than myself and our four children: Logan, Emma, Colton, and Ellie.


Our era captains are supporting the project by organizing efforts with groups of alumni from different eras. The captains are:

  • Franklin Manchester

  • Brian Deal/Mike Mitchell

  • Brandon Hudgins

  • Chris Anderson

We are also supported by the following individuals who have been assisting the Firetower Project:

  • Ethan Dodson