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Meet Head Coach Greg Roy

University of Connecticut men’s track and field head coach Greg Roy enters the 2008-09 season with the Huskies hoping to continue with the same championship tradition that has been achieved over the last few years.

Roy enters his 24th year as head coach of the UConn men’s cross country team and his 20th at the helm of the men’s track and field squad. Along the way, he has been able to elevate a national caliber program to prominence at the conference, regional and national levels.  His squads have produced a remarkable 257-41-3 record in dual competitions during his tenure, along with six BIG EAST track and field titles. He has also produced 30 All-Americans during his tenure.

Throughout his tenure at UConn, Roy has established a solid foundation for the cross country and track and field programs. With top shelf indoor and outdoor facilities, the program has the tools to match the ambitions of Roy and his Huskies. The gradual improvement over the years and recent success should be a springboard for building an even greater tradition of success in the future.

Roy’s teams have been successful in the last 10 years winning five out of the six BIG EAST Championships Roy has under his belt during that time. During the 2007-08 season, UConn won the BIG EAST Indoor Championship for the fourth time in seven years and fell only 17.5 points shy of taking the Outdoor title as well. During the 2008 seasons, Roy coached six of his athletes to eight BIG EAST individual titles, five of which are returning for the upcoming season and for his efforts was rewarded for the fourth time in his career with the title of BIG EAST Indoor Staff of the Year. UConn continued on its hot streak after the BIG EAST Championships and under the direction of Roy, won its 14th New England Championship in the last 15 years qualifying three of its athletes for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

In 2006-07, UConn was unable to win a BIG EAST Championship but instead won the Sorlein Invitational, the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, the Harvard Select Meet and the New England Championship. Roy was able to guide Jake Radzevich to two pole vault individual championships, Sean Berg to an individual championship in the heptathlon, Brian Gagnon to the title in the outdoor 800-meter run, Andrew Dubs to an outdoor shot put victory and his 4 x 100m team to a relay championship. During the indoor season, Roy was named New England Coach of the Year.

During the 20005-06 season, UConn won its fifth BIG EAST Indoor Championship in school history, fourth under the direction of Roy and the third in the last five years. Roy also guided the Huskies to a pair of first place finishes and a 13-1 overall record during the outdoor season as well. Under Roy’s tutelage, seven Huskies were selected to compete in the NCAA Regionals following outstanding performances in the regular season.  In fact, senior Joel Legare finished third in the NCAA Regionals and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second time under Roy.  Sean Berg also appeared in his first NCAA Championships as the junior competed in the decathlon and finished in 18th place.     

In the 2004-05 season, the Huskies saw success across the board while some of the program’s greatest talents suffered injuries. Will Thomas advanced to the NCAA Championships in the decathlon for the fourth-consecutive season, but was injured during the competition and could not finish. UConn finished in ninth place at the BIG EAST Indoor Championship, with numerous athletes scoring points in different events. The Huskies also finished in a tie for seventh at the New England Championships. Outdoors, UConn finished fifth at the BIG EAST Championships and third at New Englands. With Roy’s assistance, Ellis Gaulden and Thomas both advanced to the NCAA Regionals, with Gaulden competing in the high jump.

Roy’s squad captured its fourth BIG EAST Indoor Championship in 2003-2004, its second in three years and won an 11th-straight New England Championship. The team took second at the IC4A Championships and saw two of its members take home All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships as Will Thomas finished fourth in the heptathlon to become a three-time All-American and Logan Jones earned All-America honors in the 800-meter run. The Huskies took third at the Outdoor BIG EAST Championships and Paul Pisano became the first-ever three-time javelin champion.  Joel Legare earned All-America honors at the outdoor NCAA Championships in the 800-meter.

In 2002-2003, Roy produced four All-Americans for the second consecutive year. Will Thomas earned the honor for a second time in the decathlon, placing second at the NCAA Championships. Thrower Paul Pisano also earned All-American status for the second straight year, as did Joe Mendel in the sprints. Mike Deibler earned his first All-America honor by placing eighth in the high jump. The indoor and outdoor teams took home second-place at both the BIG EAST Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Indoors, UConn saw its usual success at the New England Championships, bringing home their 10th consecutive title.

The 2001-02 season was one of the most successful in Roy’s career. His indoor and outdoor squads took home both of the BIG EAST Championships and Roy, for the eighth consecutive year, had his athletes reach All-American status as four athletes were awarded the honor. Dan Wilson garnered All-America status three times to become the first five-time All-American in UConn history. Wilson finished 14th at the NCAA cross country championships, eighth in the indoor track mile run and registered the fifth All-America title at the outdoor track and field championships, finishing ninth in the 1,500 meter run. Joe Mendel finished among the top eight in the indoor 400-meter dash to claim the honor, while Paul Pisano and Will Thomas earned their All-America status at the outdoor championships. Pisano earned a 12th place finish in the javelin and Thomas competed in the decathlon, finishing eighth with a school record 7,630 points. In addition, the team successfully defended the New England Indoor Championship title.

Along with a pair of New England titles in 1999-2000, Roy led the Huskies to an overall record of 21-1, a runner-up performance at the BIG EAST Outdoors and a third-place finish at the indoor edition of the meet. During the indoor season, four more All-Americans were added to the school list as the distance medley relay team of Haven Barnes, Elliott Blount, Kevin Jensen and Dan Wilson finished fourth at the NCAA national championships with a  time of 9:33.85. Roy added to his list of achievements by being selected by his peers as the United States Track Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year following both the indoor and outdoor seasons

In 1998-99, the Huskies captured their sixth-straight New England Indoor Championship and finished third in the BIG EAST Championships at both the indoor and outdoor meets. During the indoor season, Roy and his staff produced yet another All-American, thrower Ray Wilks. Under Roy’s direction, the Huskies recorded a regular season meet record of 21-3 (12-3 indoor and 9-0 outdoor) and Roy was named District 1 Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.

The first 13 years as the Head Coach of the Husky track squad began the tradition of excellence that Roy strives for today. Starting in 1990, the Husky squad began their dominance in both New England and NCAA competition. Over the next seven years, Roy produced his fifth and sixth cross country All-Americans in Andy Ball (1990) and Travis Landreth (1998) as well as mentored four-time All-American hurdler Dudley Dorival who went on to compete in the Olympics for Haiti in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and weight thrower Steve Santoli (1998). Roy’s squads finished 63-2-1 in dual meets from 1995 to 1997 for an outstanding .962 win percentage and their second Indoor BIG EAST Championship. Before the start of the 1998-99 season, Roy had accrued four NCAA Coach of the Year awards (1990-Cross Country, 1993-94-Indoor, 1995-96 Outdoor and 1996-97 Indoor) as well as, with his staff, back-to-back BIG EAST Staff of the Year awards (1995-96-Outdoor, 1996-97-Indoor).

In 1990, Roy brought his cross country squad were in the national spotlight, finishing 10th in the nation at the NCAA Division I National Championship meet while also winning the IC4A Championship. UConn ended the year ranked No. 12 in the nation. The 1993-94 season marked the beginning of an 11-year winning streak at the New England Championships and in 1996-97, before winning the BIG EAST Championship, Roy coached his squad to a perfect 15-0 dual meet record.

A native of East Brunswick, N.J., Roy earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1978, where he held the school record in the 220 and 440-yard runs. He added a master’s degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1982 and during his time at UMass he also worked as the assistant track and cross country coach from 1981-83.

Roy lives in Lebanon, Conn. with his wife, Natalie, their daughter Kathryn, a senior at UConn, and son Michael who is a sophomore at Lyman Memorial High School.

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