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MGoBlue.com gets to know head coach Alex Gibby, who will enter his fourth season at the helm of the men's cross country program at U-M this fall.
Men's cross country coach Alex Gibby previews the 2012 season
Alex Gibby is in his fourth season as head coach of the University of Michigan men's cross country program. He was announced as the eighth head coach in program history on July 29, 2010, and also serves as an assistant coach with the Wolverine men's track and field team.
Most recently during the 2013 cross country season, he directed the Wolverines to their best season during his tenure, as they finished runner up in the Big Ten and clinched the NCAA Great Lakes Region team title. In U-M's third consecutive team appearance at the NCAA Championships, the Maize and Blue placed 21st. Under his direction, Mason Ferlic became Michigan's first All-American since 2004 (22nd place). Ferlic also went on to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, where he took fourth to garner All-America first team honors.
In 2012 season, Gibby guided Michigan to its best Big Ten Conference and Great Lakes Regional finish since 2008, where it earned second place in both meets. The Maize and Blue secured a trip to the NCAA Championships as a team for the second straight season, finishing 23rd overall. Gibby directed transfer Dan Lowry to All-Big Ten first team honors in cross country, as well as a new school record in the indoor 5,000-meter run and All-America second team recognition.
In just his second year at the helm of the program in 2011, Gibby guided Michigan to its best season in three years, which was highlighted by the team's first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2008. The Wolverines' 20th-place finish at the national meet came after taking third at the Great Lakes Regional and Big Ten Championships.
Under Gibby's direction, Craig Forys, a 2011 All-Big Ten second team cross country runner, went on to win the 2012 Big Ten steeplechase title and finish runner up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Forys' conference-winning time also earned him a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where he advanced to the finals.
During his tenure, Gibby has helped produce 10 All-Big Ten and 14 All-Great Lakes Region performers in cross country. Off the course, his student-athletes have earned 21 Academic All-Big Ten and two Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors.
Prior to arriving at Michigan, Gibby served as head coach of the William and Mary men's cross country and track and field programs for seven seasons (2003-10). During his tenure, William and Mary registered four straight top-16 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, captured three NCAA Southeast Region and seven Colonial Athletic Association cross country titles and placed second or better at five NCAA Track and Field Championships, winning the 2004 event.
In 2009, Gibby was honored as the Southeast Region Coach of the Year for the third time in his career (2005, '08, '09) after leading the Tribe to fifth place at the NCAA Championships -- the second-best showing in William and Mary program history -- and three individual All-Americans. He is also a seven-time CAA Coach of the Year recipient.
Gibby guided his William and Mary student-athletes to nine NCAA All-America citations, including six in cross country, as well as six CAA Athlete of the Year accolades and 39 individual CAA titles. Seven of Gibby's runners have represented the United States in international competition, most notably Dave Mock, who captured gold at the 2007 NACAC Junior Cross Country Championships, and Ed Moran, a two-time World Cross Country Championships competitor (2008, '09), who captured 5,000-meter gold at the 2007 Pan-American Games and, most recently, won his first-ever road title at the USA Men's 10K Championships.
Before his appointment at William and Mary, Gibby guided the Stephen F. Austin men's and women's cross country and track programs from 2000-03, leading the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks to four team titles and 18 individual conference championships. In 2002, he was named the Southland Conference Men's and Women's Coach of the Year after his teams completed an unprecedented sweep of both the team and individual cross country championships. He earned his start in coaching as an assistant coach at William and Mary (1997-99), contributing to the Tribes' three straight top-13 NCAA finishes.
A 1997 graduate of William and Mary, Gibby was a four-time All-CAA honoree in cross country and track, a CAA champion in the 5,000m, IC4A qualifier in the 5,000m and 10,000m, all-east in 10,000m and an NCAA provisional qualifier in the 10,000m. He was also a member of two NCAA-qualifying cross country squads in 1994 (18th) and 1995 (17th).
Gibby was married to Kathy Newberry in the summer of 2005. Newberry served as head coach for William and Mary's women's cross country and track programs for five seasons (2005-10), guiding her teams to 10 CAA titles, including five in cross country, while garnering seven CAA Coach of the Year awards. She has represented the United States in five World Cross Country Championships, finishing a career-best 24th at the 2008 event, and a year later, serving as the U.S. team captain. On the track, Newberry competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters; she also contested the 5,000m at the 2004 Trials.
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