Golf, women's tennis and men's cross country honored for academic success
Greg Roy, University of Connecticut men's track and field head coach, enters the 2012-13 season with a strong returning group of Huskies and a skillful incoming class that will continue his winning traditions during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Roy enters his 28th season as the head coach of the men's cross country team and his 24th season at the helm of the track and field program. Year by year, 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 258-41-3 record in dual competitions during his tenure, along with nine BIG EAST track and field titles. He has also produced 31 All-Americans during his time at UConn, including 2011 graduate Husky Michael Rutt.
Throughout his career at UConn, Roy has established a solid foundation for the cross country and track and field programs. With top notch indoor and outdoor facilities, the program has the tools to match the ambitions that Roy and his Huskies set out to reach each year.
Under Roy, the Huskies posted a solid 2011-12 campaign with Jake Waruch and Noel James each bringing home indoor and outdoor BIG EAST Crowns. Behind James' outdoor and indoor high jump titles and Waruch's decathlon and heptathlon titles, UConn finished fourth at the outdoor conference meet and second at the indoor. Additionally, the team won its seventh consecutive New England Championship.
Roy guided the Huskies to one of their best seasons in 2010-11 as UConn earned both Indoor and Outdoor BIG EAST Championships along with claiming the triple crown of the indoor season with the BIG EAST title, New England and IC4A crowns. Roy was named the Northeast Region Indoor Track And Field Coach of the Year after UConn's success. The Huskies saw Mike Rutt earn All-American status in both the indoor and outdoor seasons under Roy's leadership. In addition to Rutt, nine Huskies qualified for the Outdoor NCAA East Regional. Roy and his staff were named the 2011 BIG EAST Indoor and Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year accolades.
During the 2009-10 campaign, Roy led his team to six first place finishes, including a fifth straight victory at the New England Indoor Championship and the first ever title for the Huskies at the IC4A Outdoor Championship. Following the 2010 outdoor season, Roy sent three athletes to the NCAA Championship, marking the first time since 2004 that the UConn men's team had more than one athlete at the event, with Michael Rutt, Brian Gagnon and Sean Smith representing the Huskies. For the 16th time, and second straight year, Roy had one of his athletes named the BIG EAST Championship Outstanding Performer, as Smith took home the honors of Outstanding Outdoor Field Performer for his accomplishments during the conference Championship.
In 2008-09, Roy earned the first back-to-back BIG EAST Titles during his tenure as head coach when the track and field team won the 2009 Indoor BIG EAST Championship. For his efforts, Roy and his coaching staff were honored with the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year award for the second season in a row and the sixth time during his coaching career. Roy produced three All-Americans in the indoor season as Michael Rutt and Brian Gagnon earned their second All-America honors in the 800-meter run and Marquis Thomas was named an All-American in the high jump. Roy also took home USTFCCCA honors for the fourth time as he was named the Northeast Indoor Track Coach of the year following his successful 2009 Indoor season.
During the 2007-08 season, UConn won the BIG EAST Indoor Championship 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. For his efforts, he 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, 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 2005-06 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. Senior Joel Lagare, one of the NCAA Regional finalists, 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 Championship 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 Championship. Outdoors, UConn finished fifth at the BIG EAST Championship 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 Championship and saw two of its members take home All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championship 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 Championship and Paul Pisano became the first-ever three-time javelin champion. Joel Legare earned All-America honors at the outdoor NCAA Championship 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 Championship. Thrower Paul Pisano also earned All-America 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 Championship. Indoors, UConn saw its usual success at the New England Championship, 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 championship, eighth in the indoor mile run and registered the fifth All-America title at the outdoor track and field championship, 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 championship. Pisano earned a 12th place finish in the javelin and Thomas competed in the decathlon, finishing eighth with a then 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 championship 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.
The first 14 years as the Head Coach of the Husky track squad began the tradition of excellence that Roy thrives for today. Starting in 1990, the Husky squad began their dominance in both New England and NCAA competition. Over the next eight 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 and 2004, weight thrower Steve Santoli (1998) and thrower Ray Wilks (1999). Roy's squads finished 81-5-1 in dual meets from 1995 to 1999 for an outstanding .934 win percentage and won their second Indoor BIG EAST Championship. Before the start of the 1999-2000 season, Roy had accrued five NCAA Coach of the Year awards (1990-Cross Country, 1993-94-Indoor, 1995-96 Outdoor, 1996-97 Indoor and 1998-99 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 into 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 worked as the assistant track and cross country coach from 1981-83 during his time at UMass.
Roy lives in Lebanon, Conn. with his wife, Natalie, their daughter Kathryn, is studying nursing at Chamberlain College, and son Michael is a sophomore at UConn and member of UConn track and field team.