DIRECTOR, TRACK AND FIELD, JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY
Ron Grigg continues to raise the level of the Jacksonville University Dolphins’ success as he starts his 12th season as the director of track& field and cross country and his 14th overall at JU.
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. 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.
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.
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 four All-America honorees and the 17 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 10 consecutive years (2002-11). Since his return in 2001, the Dolphins have had more than 200 academic all-conference selections among the cross country and track teams.
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 4×400-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 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.