Ron Grigg continues to bring the Dolphins to new heights as he begins his 11th season as the director of track & field and cross country and his 14th overall at JU.
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 seven seasons – earning “Coach of the Year” in all 14 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.
In 2012, the Dolphins locked down their seventh A-Sun indoor title, while JU’s seventh outdoor championship passed UCF (2000-05, 6) for the most consecutive titles in A-Sun history.
Junior Charlene Charles became JU’s fourth All-America honoree after earning second team accolades for her performance in the NCAA Championship heptathlon. Freshmen Courtney Walker and Shanique Walker also represented JU at the US Junior Championships.
Along with the A-Sun title sweep in 2011, the Dolphins secured four of the top five individual honors at both meets. Senior Ronnisha Hall earned “Most Outstanding Performer” at both meets, while junior Stacey Young (outdoor) and Charlene Charles (indoor) each received “Most Outstanding Performer” accolades. Charles also got the “Most Outstanding Field Performer” at the indoor championship and sophomore Joane Pierre (indoor) and senior Unique Singleton (outdoor) earned “Most Outstanding Track Performer” for their efforts.
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 team build 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 18 NCAA Division I Championship qualifiers, Grigg has coached more than 100 A-Sun Conference champions and 200 all-conference performers. 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 11 consecutive years (2002-12). JU earned two Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public recognition award honors in the 2012 summer as the indoor (997) and outdoor (997) teams tallied near perfect 1,000 point scores to finish in the top 10 percentile following a four-year submitted data from 2007-08 through 2010-11. Since his return in 2001, the Dolphins have had more than 200 academic all-conference selections among the cross country and track teams.
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, a former cornerback for 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.