Oct. 30, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- For the fifth time in as many seasons, Wisconsin head coach Mick Byrne has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
The conference announced its men’s cross country awards two days after Byrne led the Badgers to a 14th-consecutive Big Ten title. Senior Maverick Darling also was honored as the Badgers’ Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.
Byrne has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in each of his five seasons as the Badgers’ mentor. Combined with the 17 consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors he compiled from 1991 to 2007 as the head coach at Iona, Byrne has earned a league coach of the year award in each of the last 22 seasons.
Byrne’s award marks the 12th-consecutive season a Wisconsin coach has won the Big Ten’s annual coaching honor.
Overall, Byrne has won 22 straight conference titles, a streak that began with the first of 17 consecutive MAAC championships in 1991.
In leading the Badgers to the 46th Big Ten championship in school history, Byrne saw Wisconsin extend its Big Ten-record winning streak to 14 consecutive seasons. He also helped guide runner-up Darling and third-place finisher Mohammed Ahmed to become just the seventh and eighth athletes in league history to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors in four consecutive seasons.
The Badgers, ranked No. 6 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, host the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 9. UW has won nine straight regional titles, including four in a row under Byrne’s leadership.
Wisconsin will look to advance to the NCAA championship, where the Badgers seek to defend their national title on Nov. 17.