Assistant Coach - Distance
Mick Byrne Photo Gallery
Head Coach - Men's Cross Country
The storied Wisconsin men's cross country program welcomed a new head coach in 2008, but the results were more of the same dominating success. In Mick Byrne's first season at the helm, the Badgers took their traditional spot atop the Big Ten and NCAA winner's podium adding even more hardware to an already impressive trophy case.
Byrne's debut season at Wisconsin featured a record-setting 10th-consecutive Big Ten championship, the school's seventh-straight NCAA Great Lakes Regional title and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championship. In guiding his team to conference and regional team titles, Byrne earned both Big Ten and Regional Coach of the Year honors.
In addition to the team success, Byrne's impact could also be seen in the individual development. Under Byrne's tutelage, junior Landon Peacock enjoyed a breakout campaign, finishing first for the Badgers in all four of his meets. Peacock vaulted to All-American and first-team All-Big Ten status for the first time in his career.
Prior to his arrival in Madison, Byrne spent 24 years in the Division I coaching ranks at Iona College. After taking over Iona's head coaching duties in 1989, he built the Gaels' men's cross country program into not only a conference powerhouse, but also a consistent national contender. The Gaels' tradition of excellence produced an astonishing 17 consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) titles and 12 trips to the NCAA Championships.
Over his final five seasons at Iona (2003-07), few schools experienced success on the level of Byrne's squad. With four NCAA podium finishes in five seasons, Iona registered the highest finish in school and conference history by placing second in the 2007 NCAA Championship. The Gaels also earned a third-place finish in 2006 as well as fourth-place showings in 2003 and 2005. The runner-up finish in 2007 marked the sixth-straight top-10 finish at NCAAs for Iona and its third consecutive appearance on the winner's podium.
Byrne, who was inducted into the Iona Goal Club Hall of Fame in 2008, has been named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in five of the last six years. He piloted the Gaels to NCAA Northeast Regional Championships in each of those seasons. In all, he owns seven regional coach of the year honors.
Individual success has followed Byrne, as well. Last season he guided three runners to All-American status, five earned all-region honors and five were named to the Big Ten first and second teams. Under his tutelage at Iona, the Gaels captured 15 MAAC individual cross country titles, 13 men's cross country All-America honors (28 including track athletes), 29 IC4A champions and 163 All-East selections (includes track).
In addition to his team's strong showing in competition, Byrne has also proven his ability to develop student-athletes in the classroom. Iona was named the NCAA Division I All-Academic Men's Cross Country Team of the Year in both 2006 and 2007. Including last season at UW, his cross country teams have combined to register 95 academic all-conference honors from 2001-08.
Byrne began his coaching career as an assistant at Iona in 1984 and held that post for five seasons until being promoted to head coach prior to the 1989 season. He also piloted both the men's and women's track and field teams and developed the Iona women's cross country program from its inception in 1991. In just over a decade he catapulted the women's cross country team to three MAAC titles in 2004, 2006 and 2007. In 2006, his women's team also finished second at the Northeast Regional and 20th at the NCAA Championships.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Byrne competed collegiately at Providence College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international marketing. A four-year cross country standout for the Friars, he helped elevate the program to national prominence in distance running. Byrne still holds a school record as a member of Providence's 1977 four-mile relay team.
Byrne and his wife Mary Jo have two sons, Aidan and Cian.
Byrne's last 12 years have resulted in the following men's cross country finishes:
2008: Wisconsin - 4th in NCAA; 1st in Region
2007: Iona - 2nd in NCAA; 1st in Region
2006: Iona - 3rd in NCAA; 1st in Region
2005: Iona - 4th in NCAA; 1st in Region
2004: Iona - 7th in NCAA; 2nd in Region
2003: Iona - 4th in NCAA; 1st in Region
2002: Iona - 10th in NCAA; 1st in Region
2001: Iona - Did not compete in NCAA or Region*
2000: Iona - 15th in NCAA; 2nd in Region
1999: Iona - 9th in NCAA; 1st in Region
1998: Iona - 23rd in NCAA; 3rd in Region
1997: Iona - 13th in NCAA; 2nd in Region
*Did not compete, top three competitors were redshirted
NCAA PODIUM FINISHES: 1
GREAT LAKES REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1
BIG TEN CONFERENCE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1
GREAT LAKES REGIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS: 1
BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS: 1
ALL-AMERICA HONORS: 3
ALL-GREAT LAKES REGIONS SELECTIONS: 5
ALL-BIG TEN SELECTIONS: 3
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN SELECTIONS: 5
NCAA PODIUM FINISHES: 4
NORTHEAST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 6
METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (MAAC) TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 17
REGIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS: 6
NCAA DIVISION I ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM OF THE YEAR HONORS: 2
ALL-AMERICA HONORS: 28
MAAC INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS: 15
IC4A CHAMPIONS: 29
ALL-EAST SELECTIONS: 114
ACADEMIC ALL-MAAC SELECTIONS (since 2001): 89