Amy Yoder Begley, a former Olympian and 15-time All-American as a collegiate performer, has been named the women's cross country coach and assistant women's track and field coach at the University of Connecticut. In addition to her work with cross country, Yoder Begley will work with the distance and mid-distance runners in the track program with head coach Bill Morgan.
Begley brings a wealth of experience to Storrs as both an athlete and a coach. She has competed at the highest levels in the Olympics, college and high school.
In 2013, Begley led UConn to a third place finish at the inaugeral American Athletic Conference Championships.
"I am excited to be a Husky and build on an already successful program," said Yoder Begley. "With the experience of Coach Morgan and Coach (Clive Terrelonge), I am confident we can make UConn a national contender. With the support of the University, I will build a running community spanning from beginners to experienced runners to continue to excite people about UConn women's track and field."
A three-time Olympic Trials qualifier for the United States, Begley was a 2008 Olympian, where she competed in the 10,000-meter run in Beijing and finished 26th with a time of 32:38.28. Following her time in Beijing, Begley went on to finish sixth in the 10k at the 2009 World Championships. Additionally, the Kendallville, Ind., native has won six USA National Champion titles in her post-collegiate career.
"I am ecstatic to introduce Amy Begley to our team and everyone associated with UConn. This hire is a statement to the direction we are heading," Morgan stated. "Influenced by the support of our administration, the vision of our program, and the tradition we represent, I know our team waits with anxious anticipation to welcome her. As an Olympian and professional athlete, the values and character she presents are most impressive. She is a great addition to the staff."
Begley was an outstanding student-athlete at Arkansas. During her time as a Razorback, Begley was a two-time national champion and 16-time Southeastern Conference Champion. Her first NCAA crown came in 2000 on her home track, where she set the school record in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:46.89. In 2001, she capped off her distinguished career with a first place finish in the 10,000 meter run at the NCAA Championship.
"I am very happy to welcome Amy to the University of Connecticut and am excited for the student-athletes in our program," said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. "Amy brings world class experience on a number of levels to UConn and will be a major part in continuing the excellence our program has enjoyed."
In 2012, Begley founded a women's training group for both recreational and elite athletes, the Distance Divas, in Portland, Ore. At Distance Divas, she was also a coach and trainer. She also founded and is the CEO of Track is for Everybody Foundation, Inc. in Avilla, Ind. which is a nonprofit foundation providing youth educational and sports programs. From 2000-2010, Begley founded and directed the Youth Distance Camp in Anderson, Ind. She handled a multitude of responsibilities ranging from operations to coaching.
Begley has also gained invaluable coaching experience while working with runners from junior high, high school and post-collegiate distance runners.