UW Health Sports Medicine 

Gavin Kennedy
Gavin  Kennedy

Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach - Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field
Third Season

Gavin Kennedy, who specializes in coaching cross country and distance runners, begins his third season on the University of Wisconsin men's and women's track and field and cross country coaching staff in 2015-16.

In his first two years in Madison, Kennedy has helped the Badgers win three Big Ten team titles and his athletes have won eight individual conference titles.

During Kennedy's second season coaching the Badgers, Malachy Schrobilgen enjoyed a stellar sophomore campaign, as he won his second-straight Big Ten cross country individual title to help Wisconsin win the 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Championship. In addition, freshman Morgan McDonald earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors at the conference meet. The men's cross country team also reclaimed the NCAA Great Lakes Regional title as seven Badgers finished in the top-25 to earn all-region accolades. Schrobilgen finished 10th at the NCAA cross country meet to capture All-America honors as Wisconsin also finished 10th as a team. The UW women also flourished during the 2014 cross country season, finishing second at the Big Ten meet as Sarah Disanza was second overall. Disanza took second at the NCAA championship, the school’s best individual finisher since 1999, helping Wisconsin finish 10th, its best finish since 2006.

Schrobilgen continued his success on the track, winning the Big Ten title in the 10,000 meters and earned first-team All-America honors in the event. Joe Hardy won the Big Ten crown in the 1500 meters to be named the 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year and also advanced to the NCAA championships in the 1500 meters. Disanza also had a standout indoor season, earning first-team All-America honors in the 5000 meters and broke the Big ten record in the 5000 meters. Junior Molly Hanson collected second-team All-America accolades in the 1500 meters for the second-straight year. The women’s program finished fifth in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year standings, while the men were 11th as Wisconsin was one of seven schools to have both programs ranked during the 2014-15 season.

The Kennedy File
Name: Gavin Kennedy
Hometown: Waterford, Ireland
Alma Mater: DePaul, 2006
Coaching Experience
University of Wisconsin
• Assistant Coach, Cross Country and Track & Field, 2013-Present
University of Mississippi
• Assistant Coach, Men's Cross Country and Track & Field, 2012-2013
University of Illinois
• Head Coach, Men's Cross Country, 2011-12
Iona College
• Associate Head Coach, Cross Country and Track & Field, 2010-11
• Assistant Coach, Cross Country and Track & Field, 2008-10
Kennedy by the Numbers
Elite Athletes
• Mohammed Ahmed - First-team All-American in the 5000 and 10,000 meters at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Big Ten record-holder in 10,000 meters
• Reed Connor - 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, 2014 first-team All-American in 3000 meters
• Heidi Gregson - Finalist at 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships in mile, finalist at 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1500
•Leonard Korir - 2011 NCAA Indoor Champion in 5,000 meters, 2011 NCAA Outdoor Champion in 10,000 meters
• Malachy Schrobilgen - 2013 & 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Champion, two-time cross country All-American, 2015 Big Ten 10,000 meters champion, first-team All-American in 10,000 meters in 2015

In his first year at Wisconsin, Kennedy helped the Badgers to a pair of Big Ten team titles as the Wisconsin men's squad swept the Big Ten indoor and outdoor track titles for the first time since 2007. Reed Connor won a pair of Big Ten track titles and earned All-America honors during the indoor season, and ran the nation's best time in the indoor 5000 meters of 13:37.42. Mohammed Ahmed also won two Big Ten titles and finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 10,000 and 5000 meters at the NCAA outdoor championship. In addition, Alex Brill earned second-team All-America honors in the steeplechase at the NCAA outdoor meet. Hanson also excelled on the track for UW, earning second-team All-America honors in the 1500 meters in her first season at UW.

On the cross country course, Schrobilgen won the Big Ten cross country title as a redshirt freshmen as the Badgers finished third at the Big Ten meet. Schrobilgen went on to earn All-America honors at the NCAA cross country championships as Wisconsin finished ninth. In addition, Emma-Lisa Murphy earned All-America honors on the women's side, becoming the first UW harrier to do so since 2010.

Prior to Wisconsin, Kennedy spent a year at Ole Miss as an assistant coach.

A native of Waterford, Ireland, Kennedy is no stranger to the Big Ten. He served as the head men's cross country coach and distance coach at Illinois in 2011, when the Illini sent two men to the NCAA cross country championship for only the second time in school history. Illinois also sent Kyle Engnell to the NCAA outdoor championships in the 3000 steeplechase. In addition, Joe McAsey finished fourth in the 800 meters at the USA junior championships.

Kennedy followed in the footsteps of Byrne at Iona College, arriving in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 2008 as Byrne left after 24 years to join the staff at Wisconsin. During his tenure at Iona, Kennedy led the men's cross country team to three consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA championship, including a runner-up finish in 2008. The Gaels also claimed three straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles on both the men's and women's sides.

During the 2010-11 season, Kennedy served as associate head coach as the men's team finished sixth overall in the 2010-11 USTFCCCA Division I Program of the Year standings. While Kennedy was at Iona, the Gaels earned a total of 11 All-America honors.

In 2010, Heidi Gregson advanced to the mile final at the NCAA indoor championships and the final of the 1500 meters at the NCAA outdoor championships.

Leonard Korir became Iona's first national champion in any sport by winning the indoor 5000 meters title and the outdoor 10,000 meters championship in 2011. He also went on to achieve the Olympic "A" standard in the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

Kennedy has an extensive background as both a distance performer and an assistant coach, having served in both capacities at his alma mater, DePaul.

During his time as an undergrad at DePaul, Kennedy served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and on the DePaul University Captains' Council. He broke the two oldest records in DePaul history in the indoor mile and outdoor 1500 meters. For his efforts, Kennedy was named MVP of the men's indoor track team in both 2004 and 2005 and was named all-conference in all four of his years on the team. In addition, he was named to Conference USA's All-Academic Team in 2005 and the Big East All-Academic squad as a senior in 2006.

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