Andy Ronan enters his fourth season as the head coach of the menís and womenís cross country and track and field teams at Stony Brook in 2003-04.
Ronan has put together one of the most successful programs in Seawolves athletics in three short years at the helm. Last season, he received his second consecutive Stony Brook Coach of the Year award. Honored as the top menís coach in 2001-02, he received Womenís Coach of the Year accolades in 2002-03.
Ronan was acknowledged for good reason. He led several Seawolves to individual records and saw two of his cross country athletes earn honors never before received in Stony Brook history. Jenny Payne became the programís first NCAA qualifier and achieved All-America status, while sophomore Leonora Joy became the schoolís first ECAC individual champion.
In addition, the womenís team as a whole grew its reputation both regionally and nationally. The team climbed to as high as fifth in the Northeast Regional poll released by the Womenís Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association, while receiving as many as six votes in the NCAA national poll.
Ronan stresses success in the classroom as well. Jonathan Brims was named as a first team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2002-03, while Payne was named as a second team Academic All-American in addition to receiving an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and a Chancellorís Award for Student Excellence. For her tremendous efforts on and off the track, Payne was honored as the Stony Brook Female Athlete of the Year in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
In just his second year at the helm in 2001-02, Ronan received Stony Brook Male Head Coach of the Year accolades after leading the Seawolves to a stellar campaign. Not only did the menís team set eight new school records under Ronanís tutelage, but several individuals broke their own records more than once during the season. He also helped Stony Brook qualify for the esteemed Millrose Games for the first time ever in both the menís 4x800m relay and the menís 3,000m. The relay team of Chris Hunt, Mike Thompson, Dale Summerville and Jonathan Brims placed second in the relay by just eight-tenths of a second. In addition, he Seawolves recorded their best-ever team finish at the ECAC/IC4A Cross Country Championships.
During Ronanís first year at the helm in 2000-01, he pushed Stony Brook to a successful season despite a thin roster. The Seawolves broke eight school records and competed at both the indoor and outdoor ECAC/IC4A Championships. In addition, the menís distance medley relay team recorded its best-ever finish for a Stony Brook squad at the IC4A Indoor Championships.
Prior to joining the Stony Brook staff, Ronan spent six years at Providence College as the associate head coach for the menís cross country and track and field programs, while taking on assistant coach duties for the womenís programs. Known for his expertise in middle and long distance running events, Ronan assisted the Friarsí programs in winning six Big East cross country titles. The menís team won back-to-back conference championships in 1995 and 1996 and captured another title in 1998, while the womenís program won three straight Big East rings from 1995-1997. The 1995 womenís cross country team garnered the Division I national championship.
During the 1999-2000 season, the Providence womenís program won the NCAA regional, defeating 34 teams at the meet, and secured a 10th place finish in its 11th consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships. The menís team finished second regionally and finished in 19th place in its fifth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships.
While at Providence College, Ronan was associated with the development of two NCAA individual champions, two Olympians, 37 All-Americans and six Big East champions. Ben Noad won the 1998 Big East cross country championship, posting the second-best performance in the conferenceís history with a time of 23:37. In 1996, Marie McMahon posted a time of 16:36, which still stands as the third-best womenís time in Big East history.
Before his time with Providence, Ronan spent 1994 as the assistant coach of the menís and womenís track and field program at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and served as head coach of the menís cross country/track and field team at Our Lady of Providence High School from 1986-1988.
A 1986 graduate of Providence, Ronan was an outstanding cross country and track and field athlete. He was among the first All-Americans in Friarsí history, receiving the honor in 1983 and 1985. A native of Wexford, Ireland, Ronan won four Big East titles, capturing the 5,000m indoor title twice and the 10,000m outdoor championship twice.
Ronan competed at a world-class level after graduation, finishing third at the 1991 Boston Marathon (2:11.27) and fourth at the 1989 Twin Cities Marathon (2:13.49). He also represented his native Ireland in the marathon at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and competed in the World Cross Country Championships in 1982 and 1989.
Ronan was a 1986 winner of the Mel Brown Award at Providence, honoring his leadership, dedication and commitment to excellence in athletics and academics at the college. He was inducted into the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
After earning his bachelorís degree in accounting from Providence in 1986, Ronan went on to earn his masterís in business administration in 1990. He currently resides in Port Jefferson Station with his wife Francine and their two children, Sean and Claire.