DIRECTOR, TRACK AND FIELD, JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY
Conference Championships: 24 / All-Americans: 16 / NCAA Champions: 1
Ron Grigg continues to raise the level of the Dolphins’ success as he enters his 19th season at the helm in 2020. Grigg became the director of track and field and cross country at Jacksonville University 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 ASUN Conference by winning the ASUN Indoor and Outdoor Championships in each of the last 11 seasons – earning “Coach of the Year” in all 22 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 more than 130 conference champions in track and more than 300 all-conference performances. The program has also produced greater than 300 ASUN All-Academic performers during that time.
In 2020, the ASUN Conference released its All-Decade Teams from both of the century’s first two decades, and 25 Dolphin athletes were featured on the two lists combined, by far the greatest number of any school in the league.
The last few years have featured program records in 18 different events across the indoor and outdoor seasons. In the shortened 2020 season, the Dolphins set ASUN Indoor Championship meet records in the 200m (Savyon Toombs), the Triple Jump (Adja Sackor) and the 4x400m relay. Shalah Smiling added a gold medal in the 60m.
The 2016 season saw the Dolphins reach unprecedented heights and sweep the indoor and outdoor titles for the 11th-straight year to 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 ASUN history. In total, the Dolphins earned 17 ASUN titles and 47 All-ASUN accolades between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
The 2012 cross country season saw history made when one of Grigg’s athletes became the first Dolphin in program history to win the individual conference title. She went on to finish seventh at the NCAA South Regional and advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She finished her career as the program record holder in both the 5K and 6K.
In 2009-10, the Dolphins became the first ASUN 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 ASUN 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 and outdoor 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.
From 2006-09, Grigg worked with another student who ultimately finished her career as one of the best athletes in school history. She 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 ASUN Championships nine times and competed with Team USA twice (2006, 2008).
Grigg also recruited and coached the school’s first national champion and four-time All-America honoree.
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.
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 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 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 a Bachelor of Science in political science from Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 1993.
Grigg holds USATF Level II coaching certifications in sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws and multi-events, and has instructed both USATF and USTFCCCA Coaching Certification courses with regularity.
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