UW Health Sports Medicine 

Mick Byrne
Mick  Byrne

Director of Cross Country and Track & Field

Mick Byrne
Byrne by the Numbers
Coach of the Year Honors: 34
Track and Field Honors
2014 Big Ten Confernece (Indoor)
Big Ten Conference (Outdoor)
Cross Country Honors
2014 Great Lakes Regional
Big Ten Conference
2012 Great Lakes Regional
Big Ten Conference
2011 National
Great Lakes Regional
Big Ten Conference
2010 Big Ten Conference
2009 Big Ten Conference
2008 Great Lakes Regional
Big Ten Conference
2007 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
2006 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
2005 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
2004 MAAC Conference
2003 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
2002 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
2001 MAAC Conference
2000 MAAC Conference
1999 Northeast Regional
MAAC Conference
1998 MAAC Conference
1997 MAAC Conference
1996 MAAC Conference
1995 MAAC Conference
1994 MAAC Conference
1993 MAAC Conference
1992 MAAC Conference
1991 MAAC Conference
Cross Country Championships
• 19 NCAA appearances
• 8 Podium Finishes
• 23 Team Conference Championships
• 12 Team Regional Championships
Individual Awards
• 51 All-America Honors
• 156 All-Conference Honors
• 24 Conference Champions
• 4 Big Ten Freshmen of the Year
Academic Awards (since 2001)
221 Academic All-Conference Honors

Mick Byrne Photo Gallery

Director of Cross Country and Track & Field
Eighth Season


Entering his third season of leading the combined Wisconsin cross country and track and field program, Mick Byrne has the keys to the one of the nation's proudest programs. The men's and women's cross country teams have captured seven national championships and seven individual national titles, while the men's and women's track and field squads have 12 NCAA trophy teams to their credit.

Leading the Badgers
During his first two years as the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, the Badgers have captured three Big Ten titles and have had 13 first-team All-Americans. 

During his second year leading UW, Malachy Schrobilgen won his second-straight Big Ten title to lead the men's cross country squad to the team title. It marked the sixth time during Byrne's seven years at Wisconsin the men's squad won the Big Ten title. The women also finished second at the Big Ten meet thanks to a runner-up showing by Sarah Disanza. Disanza finished second at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championship to lead the UW women to a 10th-place showing, while Schrobilgen finished 10th to collect All-America honors as the men also placed 10th. 

On the track, Michael Lihrman rewrote the national record books in the weight throw with a toss of 83-11 1/4, which ranks third in world history. Lihrman won his second Big Ten and NCAA weight throw crown and ended his collegiate career undefeated in the event. Disanza broke the Big Ten indoor 5000 meters record in 15:20.57 and collected first-team All-America honors, while Kelsey Card became only the fourth in Big Ten history to sweep the shot put and weight throw titles at the conference meet. 

A number of Badgers shined during the 2015 outdoor season as Card finished second in both the shot put and discus at the NCAA outdoor championships to help the women tie for 14th at the national meet. Card set Big Ten records in both the shot put and discus during the outdoor season. Joe Hardy was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after winning the 1500 meters at the Big Ten outdoor meet and Malachy Schrobilgen earned first-team All-America honors in the 10,000 meters after winning the Big Ten title in the event. 

In his first year as the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, the men's track and field program won both the Big Ten indoor and outdoor track titles, marking the first time since 2007 that the Badgers swept the track titles. UW won four individual titles at the Big Ten indoor meet, and enjoyed a 1-2-3 finish in the 5000 meters to propel the Badgers to the team title. At the outdoor meet, Wisconsin tallied 49 points in the 5000 and 10,000 meters to run away with the title. 

On the course, Malachy Schrobilgen earned All-America honors at the NCAA championships after winning the Big Ten title. Emma-Lisa Murphy became the first UW women's runner to earn All-America honors, as the sophomore placed 35th at the national meet. 

Michael Lihrman became the Badgers' first NCAA champion since 2007, winning the indoor weight throw, while Zach Ziemek earned first-team All-America honors in the heptathlon and decathlon. Mohammed Ahmed earned two-first team All-America honors at the NCAA outdoor championships and Reed Connor was named an All-American at the indoor championships. 

On the women's side, Deanna Latham won the Big Ten title in the pentathlon en route to earning All-America honors in the event, while Georgia Ellenwood and Molly Hanson each earned second-team All-America accolades at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Distance Dominance
During his seven seasons leading the men's cross country team at Wisconsin, the Badgers have continued their dominance with four NCAA championship podium finishes under Byrne's direction, including three straight top-three finishes from 2010-12. That includes the program's fifth national championship in 2011. 

Spanning his time at Iona College and UW, Byrne has been named conference coach of the year a remarkable 23 seasons. In the last 10 years, Byrne's Iona and Wisconsin teams have finished on the NCAA podium eight times.

The Badgers' distance crew on the track has been dominant as 11 Wisconsin athletes have been named All-America and combined for 19 honors during Byrne's seven-year tenure. The women's cross country team has produced an All-American during his first two years of leading the program, including Sarah Disanza's runner-up finish at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championship. 

At Wisconsin
In 2012, the men's cross country squad claimed its fourth podium finish in Byrne's first five seasons. Three runners earned All-America honors to power the Badgers to a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Championship, with the senior trio of Mohammed Ahmed, Reed Connor and Maverick Darling recording top-12 finishes. Wisconsin extended its dominance in the Big Ten by winning a conference-record 14th-consecutive championship and then went on to extend another record streak by claiming its 11th-straight NCAA Great Lakes Regional title. For his efforts, Byrne was named Big Ten and USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region coach of the year.

On the track in 2013, Austin Mudd set the school record in the indoor mile en route to a third-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships. Mudd also achieved All-America status outdoors with a fourth-place showing in the 1500 meters at the NCAA championships. Maverick Darling earned All-America honors in the indoor and outdoor 5000 meters, while winning Big Ten titles in the indoor 3000 meters and the outdoor 10,000 meters. Ahmed placed ninth in the 10,000 meters at the 2013 IAAF World Championships and was an indoor All-American. Connor was an All-American in the outdoor 5000 meters and Alex Brill won the 3000 steeplechase at the Big Ten championships.

The 2011-12 season was one to remember for Byrne, as the men's cross country program won its fifth national title. Ahmed, Elliot Krause, Ryan Collins and Connor earned All-America honors to give their coach his first national championship. For his efforts, Byrne was named the 2011 U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's National Coach of the Year along with being named the Big Ten and Great Lakes Region coach of the year.

Ahmed continued his brilliant season on the track as he set the Big Ten record in the 10,000 meters and won the Canadian national title en route to qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, where he placed 18th. He followed that performance with an eighth-place showing in the 10,000 meters at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

At the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Ahmed, Krause and Rob Finnerty all garnered All-America accolades.

The 2010 cross country season was the start of three straight podium finishes for the Badgers as the trio of Ahmed, Darling and Landon Peacock paced the Badgers to a third-place finish. During the 2011 track season, Darling and Zach Beth each earned indoor All-America honors.

Ahmed earned All-America honors in cross country in 2009 to pace the Badgers to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA championships. During the 2010 indoor campaign, Zach Mellon and Craig Miller earned All-America honors at the NCAA championship in the 800 and 3000 meters, respectively. Jack Bolas and Miller were fourth and seventh in the 1500 meters while Ahmed claimed fourth in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor championships

In Byrne's debut season, the Badgers scored a fourth-place finish at the NCAA men's cross country championships. Peacock enjoyed a breakout campaign, finishing first for the Badgers in all four of his meets. He vaulted to All-American and first-team All-Big Ten status for the first time in his career. Miller also had a stellar season, finishing second in the mile at the NCAA indoor meet, and ninth in the 1500 meters at the NCAA outdoor championship.

Coach of the Year Honors
While his teams have produced year after year on the course, Byrne has been recognized by his peers earning 36 coach of the year honors, including the 2011 National Coach of the Year award from the USTFCCCA.

Byrne was honored as conference men’s cross country coach of the year an impressive 22 straight season from 1991-2012. He earned 17 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors while at Iona, and in each of his first five seasons at Wisconsin. In his first year of leading the track program at Madison, Byrne was named the Big Ten Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, and in 2014 Byrne was named the Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

He has also been honored with regional coach of the year accolades by the USTFCCCA 10 times.

Academic Success

In addition to his team's strong showing in competition, Byrne has also proven his ability to develop student-athletes in the classroom. Since 2001, his teams have combined to garner 221  academic all-conference honors. In 2013, Krause was named a Capital One Academic All-American for the third-consecutive season while being named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic squad for the fourth time in his career.

While Byrne was at Iona, the Gaels were named the All-Academic Men's Cross Country Team of the Year by the USTFCCCA in 2006 and 2007. His Badgers team achieved the same elite distinction in 2011.

Building a Dynasty
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 MAAC titles and 12 trips to the NCAA championship.

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 podium.

Byrne, who was inducted into the Iona Gael Club Hall of Fame in 2008, was named the USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in four of his final five seasons at Iona. He piloted the Gaels to NCAA Northeast Regional championships in each of those seasons. In all, he owns nine regional coach of the year honors.

Individual success has followed Byrne, as well. In his final season at Iona, he guided three runners to All-America status, while five earned all-region honors and five were named to the MAAC 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, 15 track All-America honors, 29 IC4A champions and 163 All-East selections.

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.

About Byrne
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Byrne competed collegiately at Providence College and earned a bachelor's 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.

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