Nov. 25, 2011
• Byrne Reflects on NCAA Championship
MADISON, Wis. -- On the heels of his Badgers claiming the team title at the 2011 NCAA Championship on Monday, Wisconsin head coach Mick Byrne has been named Bill Dellinger National Men’s Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA.
The award gives Byrne a clean sweep of coaching awards this season. He also earned Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors from the U.S. Track & Cross Country Coaches Association for the third time in four years and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth-consecutive season.
“I’m certainly proud of the honor, but the award is really a reflection of the fantastic job our athletes did this year, from the start of training all the way to holding that trophy at the NCAA meet,” Byrne said.
In his fourth year at the helm of the Badgers’ program, Byrne led UW to the fifth national championship in school history and its first crown since 2005. Four Wisconsin athletes were named All-Americans in recognition of top-40 finishes at the NCAA meet.
Byrne also guided the Badgers to a 10th-consecutive NCAA Great Lakes Regional title earlier this month, with six UW athletes earning All-Region honors from the USTFCCCA.
In October, Byrne led UW to its 13th-consecutive Big Ten Conference championship, with the Badgers amassing a team score of just 17 points -- the second-lowest total in Big Ten meet history. Junior Mohmmed Ahmed claimed the league’s individual title and was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year.
Dating back to his run as head coach at Iona College, Byrne has won a conference championship and earned league coach-of-the-year honors in each of the last 21 seasons.
“This year was truly a special season for myself and our guys on this team, but I also think back on all the athletes I’ve coached here and back at Iona,” Byrne said. “They’re the ones that kept the fire in my belly through the years to keep pursuing a championship.”
Wisconsin also won each of the regular-season meets in which its full roster competed this year, the Bill Dellinger Invitational at Oregon and the Badgers’ own Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
Byrne becomes the third Wisconsin coach to be named National Men’s Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA, joining former UW mentors Martin Smith (1985, 1988) and Jerry Schumacher (2005).