- Virginia head coach Jason Vigilante has been named the 2008 Southeast Region Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, as announced today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The honor marks Vigilante’s fifth by the organization, but first as a head coach.
Vigilante led the Cavalier women in an impressive performance at the Southeast Regional, upsetting Wake Forest and Duke for the title. Virginia placed three Cavaliers in the top-10 of the 6k race for a 105-126 win over Kentucky, while the men’s team finished runner up to instate-rival William & Mary by one point, 66-67. Seven Cavaliers earned All-Southeast Region honors, as Virginia advanced both its men’s and women’s teams to the NCAA Championships for just the third time in the same season. It also marked the first time that both teams have advanced together by automatic qualification.
Earlier this season, Vigilante guided the men’s team to its second-straight ACC cross country title and third in four years, while the women finished tied for fourth with then-No. 30 Duke. Sixth-year Ryan Foster became the program’s first-ever men’s individual conference champion at the event and Vigilante was voted the ACC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Vigilante has led four Cavaliers to individual titles this year, led by fourth-year Lauretta Dezubay’s back-to-back championships at the Lou Onesty and George Mason Invitationals. Third-year Trey Miller won the men’s race at the Lou Onesty and second-year Emil Heineking won the George Mason Invitational. The men’s and women’s squads have earned team championships on six occasions this year. Both the men and women won the Lou Onesty and George Mason Invitationals, while the men won the ACC Championship and the women won the Southeast Regional. The men are currently ranked No. 15 nationally, while the women entered the national rankings for the first time this week, debuting at No. 28.
While at Texas, Vigilante was honored by the USTFCCCA as the 2008 National Assistant Indoor Coach of the Year and the South Central Region Coach of the Year. In 2005, he was named the National Assistant Outdoor Coach of the Year and the Midwest Regional Coach of the Year for distance.
Virginia will conclude its season on Monday at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The women’s race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m., followed by the men’s race at 12:48 p.m. Both championship races will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports Network and streamed online via NCAA.com.