CONWAY - Coastal Carolina University interim director of athletics Matt Hogue announced today that the University's Board of Trustees has conferred the honor of "Head Coach Emeritus" to former women's track & field and cross country coach Alan Connie, who announced his retirement this past spring after 28 years with the Chanticleers.
"Emeritus status within a university community is reserved only for those individuals who have achieved the most distinguished careers, and we are honored to confer this distinction to Coach Connie for his remarkable championship record of teaching and coaching at CCU," said Hogue.
Connie, who will be inducted into CCU's Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, won 33 Big South Coach of the Year honors, including 13 for women's cross country, 10 for women's indoor track & field and 10 for women's outdoor track & field. He was also voted the Big South's Coach of the Decade in women's cross country for the 1990's and 2000's, in women's indoor track & field for the 2000's and women's outdoor track & field for the 2000's.
Connie started the women's cross country program in 1986 and the women's indoor track & field program in 1998. He has been with the women's outdoor track & field program since its inception (1994) and took over as that program's head coach in 1999.
In his 28 seasons, Coastal Carolina won a total of 28 Big South titles in the sports of women's cross country, women's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field. In addition, the programs won the Big South's Triple Crown four times, including during his final season at Coastal Carolina.
His women's cross country teams won a Big South-best 13 conference championships, while 85 student-athletes earned All-Conference selections, 15 won individual champions and were subsequently named the Big South's Runner of the Year, 17 earned NCAA All-Southeast Region selections and nine qualified for the NCAA National Championship. Julia Viellehner (2006) and Diana Jepchirchir (2007) went on to earn NCAA All-American honors, being the only Big South women's cross country runners to receive the honor.
In track & field, Connie coached student-athletes to 10 All-American honors, including two-time Olympian Amber Campbell, as well as 91 Big South Indoor Champions, 115 Big South Outdoor Champions and a combined 543 indoor and outdoor All-Big South honors.
His cross country program earned 17 consecutive Academic All-American Team with distinction honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The track team earned 12 consecutive All-Academic Team honors as well. Four of his student-athletes earned Academic All-America honors. Most notably, Felicitas Mensing earned the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year Triple Crown during the 2007-08 season.