With A-10 Championships around the corner the men's cross country team will compete in the Rothenberg Race as their last meet prior to the championships.
Both the men and women will compete the first two weeks of their season on their home turf in 2012.
Sean Duncan ends his cross country career having led UMass in every race he competed in this fall.
This Saturday will mark the seventh and final meet of the 2011 fall campaign for the Minutemen.
Sean Duncan paced UMass for the fifth time this season.
Ken O'Brien enters his 48th year as head coach of the UMass men's track and field and cross country programs. He is the fourth head coach of track and field in the school's 111-year history of the sport that dates back to 1897.
In O'Brien's 48 seasons coaching cross country and track and field at UMass, the Minutemen have won 19 conference titles (Yankee, Atlantic 10 and Eastern), four New England crowns, two IC4A titles and have had seven All-America performers.
During the 2008 cross country season, O'Brien was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, as the Minutemen finished first in the league. This was the second-ever Minutemen A-10 Cross Country title, the first coming in 1995.
In 1999, O'Brien was named NCAA District 1 Track and Field Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, and the fourth time he has won the award in track and field to go along with District 1 Coach of the Year honors for cross country on four different occasions in his 42-year career at UMass.
A long time contributor to the sport of track and field, O'Brien has served numerous regional and national associations. He served as secretary of the NCAA Cross Country Coaches Association from 1975-80, has been president of the IC4A coaches association and was re-selected to the coaching staff of the National Olympic Development Distance Runners Training Center at Lake Placid, N.Y.
O'Brien started his first full-time coaching job at the University of Bridgeport (Conn.) in the fall of 1965. Nine months later he guided the program that had never scored a single point in the Collegiate Track Conference Meet to a second-place team finish. He returned to his alma mater in 1966 and served as an assistant coach for 18 months under Bill Footnick before taking over as head coach in 1968.
While an undergrad at UMass, O'Brien won six letters in cross country and track. He competed as a top performer on a cross country squad that won three consecutive Yankee Conference titles and the 1961 New England championship. An outstanding competitor in track and field, his 1:52:70 conference half-mile record remained unbroken for 10 years.
O'Brien, the co-recipient of the ECAC Merit Award in 1963 to the outstanding student-athlete at UMass, graduated with honors from the school of physical education in the same year.
Upon graduation, he served two years as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio University. He worked under the legendary coach, and member of the Track and Field Hall of Fame, Stan Huntsman, earning his Master's degree in 1964 from the Athens, Ohio, institution.
A native of Foxboro, Mass., O'Brien won 10 letters in football, basketball, baseball and track and captained all four sports his senior year at Foxboro High School.
In his spare time, he is a golf and baseball enthusiast and coached a Little League team in Amherst for 23 years.
Last updated 8/5/14
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