DIRECTOR OF CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK & FIELD
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Conference Championships: 19 / All-Americans: 5 / NCAA Champions: 1
Ron Grigg continues to raise the level of the Dolphins’ success. Grigg became the director of track and field and cross country at JU in 2002 after serving as the associate head coach under former head coach Becky Motley for a year. Grigg originally came to JU in 1998 before leaving to serve as an assistant coach at Kansas State from 1999 to 2001.
Grigg has made the Dolphins track program a beacon in the Atlantic Sun Conference by winning the A-Sun Indoor and Outdoor Championships in each of the last eight seasons – earning “Coach of the Year” in all 16 of those titles, as well as, earning the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association South Region Women’s “Coach of the Year” in 2008. Since taking over as head coach, Grigg has directly coached 124 conference champions in track and 253 all-conference performances. The program has also produced 313 Atlantic Sun All-Academic performers during that time.
Last season, the Dolphins would sweep the indoor and outdoor titles for the eighth straight year – extending their conference record. The Dolphins have won every indoor title since the conference added the sport in 2006, while JU’s outdoor team holds the record for the most consecutive titles in A-Sun history.
Senior Bienna Freeman became the fifth athlete in JU history to earn All-American honors after her performance in the 800m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. During the season she shattered the school record in the event by three seconds and nearly matched her record setting time in the semifinals of the NCAA’s where she finished with a time of 2:04.71 which was the 10th overall time for the event.
In addition to Freeman, senior Joane Pierre and sophomore Shanique Walker also advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships giving the Dolphins a program best three representatives. Walker enjoyed a breakout season for the JU culminating with her record setting performance at the A-Sun Outdoor Championships in which she set the meet record for the 100m hurdles en route to earning 32.5 team points and Most Valuable Performer Honors.
Fellow senior Charlene Charles added to her storied JU resume by becoming the first athlete in A-Sun history to win the long jump three times at the Indoor Championships. She also was just one of 16 people in the country to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the heptathlon before she had to withdraw due to sustaining a serious injury. After missing the entire outdoor season due to the setback, Charles returned for the conference meet where she gutted it out in the heptathlon to win and end her career on a high note.
The 2012 cross country season saw history made when Pierre became the first Dolphin in program history to win the individual conference title. She won with a time of 17:17.5 to win and secure first team all-conference honors for the third time in her career. Pierre went on to finish seventh at the NCAA South Regional and advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championships and finished her career as the program record holder in the 5K (17:17.5) and 6K (20:22.1).
In 2009-10, the Dolphins became the first A-Sun school to win the Triple Crown after securing the cross country, indoor and outdoor track championships.
The JU women’s cross country built on its second place finish in 2008 by claiming six of the top 14 runners in the conference meet to win its first A-Sun Championship in 2009. They also produced a program-best ninth place finish at the NCAA South Regionals and were ranked as high as eighth in the USTFCCCA South Region Polls.
The Dolphins ended the year by setting points records at the indoor (212) and outdoor (247) meets to secure their fifth straight conference championships. Due to the success, both JU relay teams and runners in the 400 and 800-meters earned spots to the NCAA East Preliminary Round. Charlene Charles was one of two freshmen to earn a position to the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships.
From 2006-09, Grigg worked with Natasha Harvey, who finished her career as one of the best athletes in school history. Harvey earned a school-record five All-America honors in the long jump, secured seven berths in the NCAA Championships, produced 18 NCAA regional qualifying marks, won 22 individual conference titles and recorded 35 all-conference honors. She also won “Most Outstanding Performer” meet honors at the A-Sun Championships nine times and competed with Team USA twice (2006, 2008).
Harvey got it done in the classroom as well, earning JU female “Student of the Year” honors and becoming the first female athlete in school history to be named A-Sun “Student-Athlete of the Year” for the 2008-09 school year.
Grigg also recruited and coached Monique Tubbs, the school's first national champion (60-meter dash, 7.29) and a four-time All-America honoree; and Andrea Pressley, who finished fourth in the heptathlon at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Besides the five All-America honorees and the 17 NCAA Division I Championship qualifiers, school records have been set in 20 of 23 outdoor events and 19 out of 21 indoor track events during Grigg's tenure as assistant and head coach.
His teams have also shown success in the classroom, receiving the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team award for 12 consecutive years (2002-13). Since his return in 2001, the Dolphins have had more than 200 academic all-conference selections among the cross country and track teams.
Also, the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams have received NCAA Public Recognition for having APR in the top 10% nationally.
While at Kansas State, Grigg served as the team's recruiting coordinator, sprints and hurdles coach and assistant meet director. In 2001, he helped lead the Wildcats to a Big 12 women's outdoor track championship. Grigg also coached 100-meter All-America selection and Big 12 indoor and outdoor champion Terence Newman, now a cornerback with the Dallas Cowboys.
Prior to coming to Jacksonville in 1998, Grigg was an assistant coach at Division III power Wheaton (Mass.) College. Under Grigg's tutelage, nine Wheaton athletes earned a total of 21 All-America honors while capturing two individual NCAA championships and two national titles in the 4x400-meter relay. In addition, the 1997 men's team finished seventh in the nation and the women's squad finished as NCAA runners-up in both indoors and outdoors in 1998.
Grigg began his coaching career at Carver High School in Baltimore, Md., in 1994 as the head cross country and track and field coach for one year before assuming an assistant coach position at Coppin State College in 1995.
Grigg earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 1993. He holds USATF Level II coaching certifications in sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws and multi-events, and instructs USATF Level I and Level II schools regularly.