Head Track and Field Coach Greg Metcalf
• Led the women's cross country team to its first National Championship in school history in 2008, and back-to-back Pac-10 Championships in 2008 and 2009, winning with the first perfect score in conference history in `08. Named 2008 National Coach of the Year at season's end.
• Over Metcalf’s eighteen seasons as cross country coach and twelve seasons as head track & field coach, Washington has placed in the Top-25 at the NCAA cross country, indoor, and outdoor championships a total of 41 times.
• The Huskies have made five appearances in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year rankings since the rankings began in 2009. Three times, the Washington women’s team has placed in the top-15 in the rankings, including finishing as the No. 3 Program of the Year in 2011-12. The men ranked fifth nationally in 2009-10 and No. 10 in 2008-09. The rankings combine NCAA team finishes at all three championships over one academic year.
• Men's track and field finished in the Top-25 at 11 out of 12 NCAA Championship meets, counting indoors and outdoors, between 2006 and 2011. In 2008 the men scored their most points at NCAA Outdoors in 25 years, finishing 16th. The women’s team posted the best finish in program history at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, scoring 23 points to finish eighth overall.
• The 2008 men's outdoor track and field team, and the 2008 women's cross country team were both named National Scholar Team of the Year by the USTFCCCA for having the highest combination of athletic and academic success.
• Metcalf's distance runners have combined for five NCAA track titles, 16 Pac-12 titles, and 91 All-America awards in 18 years with the program. His athletes hold nineteen of the twenty Washington school records for middle distance and distance events.
Over the past two decades, Greg Metcalf has come to epitomize Washington cross country and track. A product of Ephrata, Wash. near the center of the state, Metcalf made his mark as a Husky All-American distance runner from 1990-93. His boundless passion for the sport led him into coaching, and soon he was back at his alma mater working with the distance program.
On Aug. 13, 2002, having served five years as assistant coach, Metcalf was named Washington's 12th head track and field coach, and just the fifth since Clarence "Hec" Edmundson took the helm in 1919.
An energetic presence, Metcalf immediately installed a new set of expectations that the team has already taken steps towards reaching. NCAA championships are the goal, and Metcalf's successes thus far have been nothing short of remarkable.
Metcalf's work with the men's and women's cross country teams have developed each into national contenders in recent years, with historic finishes for each team over the past decade, highlighted by an undefeated season for the 2008 women's team and the program's first NCAA title. The women’s squad also reached the podium in 2009, taking third, and again in 2011, finishing as the NCAA runner-up.
The 2008 Husky women's cross country team rewrote the history books, racing to the school's first National Championship in dominating fashion. Washington stunned the cross country world with a sweep of the top six spots at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships, recording the first perfect score in conference history while going against No. 2 ranked Oregon on its home course. Washington went on to win NCAA's by 52 points.
Metcalf and his team racked up the awards and accolades during the 2008 season, starting with a staggering five All-America awards for Amanda Miller, Katie Follett, Mel Lawrence, and freshmen Christine Babcock and Kendra Schaaf. Schaaf was the Pac-10 individual champion, UW's first in 26 years, and was named Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, while Babcock was Newcomer of the Year, and Washington monopolized six of the seven spots on the All-Pac-10 First Team. Metcalf was named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year as well as Pac-10 Coach of the Year. The team as a whole would be inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 2014.
The women had a stellar showing in 2009 as an encore performance to their national title. Ranked No. 1 for much of the season, Washington ran to third at the NCAA Championships, with Schaaf crossing the line second overall to tie the best finish in UW history, en route to being named a Honda Award finalist. In the fall of 2011, Washington captured a fourth-straight NCAA West Region title, and came just eight points away from pulling off a surprise second NCAA title, as the Huskies finished second just behind Georgetown, led by the seventh-place finish from Katie Flood and 18th-place finish from Megan Goethals. Flood had captured the Pac-12 individual title a couple weeks prior.
The women's cross country squad has now reached the NCAA Championships in 16 of Metcalf's 18 seasons, including twelve top-20 finishes. The UW men, meanwhile, have placed in the top-20 five times in the past twelve years. In 2014, both Husky squads qualified for NCAAs for the first time since 2010, and Aaron Nelson and Tyler King became the first UW men’s duo to earn All-America honors in the same year. On the women’s side, junior Maddie Meyers cemented a breakout year with a 27th-place individual finish for her first All-America honor.
Metcalf also continues to direct a renaissance of the track and field program. In 2009, the USTFCCCA began new Program of the Year standings to measure combined success at the cross country, indoor, and outdoor NCAA meets, and Washington was one of just six programs to have both its men and women place in the Top-10 in that first year. In the 2009-10 season, both Husky programs once again among an elite group of six to have both men's and women's teams in the rankings, with the men moving up to the No. 5 spot, and the women coming in 15th. The 2011-12 year saw the women’s program rise to No. 3 nationally, after a runner-up finish in cross country, a 23rd-place finish indoors, and an eighth-place outdoor finish.
That eighth-place finish for the women’s team at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor meet was the best finish in program history. It included one of the greatest single hours in Husky track, as Katie Flood won the NCAA title at 1,500-meters, and less than an hour later, Megan Goethals just barely missed adding a win in the 5,000-meters, as her late charge fell .03 seconds short of first. Flood’s win capped an amazing year that saw her win the Pac-12 cross country title, go top-10 at NCAA cross country, then anchor the Husky distance medley relay to a victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships, a first in UW history.
Recent years has seen the men’s squad produce All-Americans up and down the roster in every event area. In 2014, Derrick Daigre captured the Pac-12 title at 800-meters and went on to make the NCAA Outdoor final. Quinn Hale became the third different men’s javelin thrower to score at NCAAs since 2009 with his fifth-place finish at the 2014 championships. Jeremy Taiwo developed into one of the best decathletes in America, capping his senior year off in 2013 with a runner-up finish at NCAAs and a spot on Team USA for the World Championships later that summer. James Alaka burned up the track to three Pac-12 sprint titles over his four-year career that wrapped in 2012, and the Husky men’s pole vaulters have continued as a national force, with four different vaulters winning Pac-12 titles over the past six years, one of the four being Scott Roth, a three-time NCAA Champion winning indoors in 2010 and 2011, and outdoors in 2011.
At the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Husky men finished in a tie for 20th, marking six straight years with a top-25 finish at the outdoor meet. One year earlier, the men finished 15th with 16.5 points, matching the 2007 squad for the best team finish since 1985. Prior to 2006, the Huskies had gone without a top-20 finish for twenty years and had just two since 1980. Highlights for the distance crew in 2010 included All-America honors for Katie Follett and Mel Lawrence both indoors and outdoors, with Follett running the NCAA's top time at 1,500-meters, breaking the school record with a 4:10.66 run.
In 2009, Lawrence broke the Pac-10 record in the steeplechase, finishing third at NCAAs, and Anita Campbell also placed third at nationals in the 10k. Senior Austin Abbott broke longstanding school records in the mile and 1500-meters, and earned his sixth career All-America award with a seventh-place finish at NCAA's in the 1500m. The Dawgs also took home an impressive five individual Pac-10 titles for the first time since 1998. Follett repeated her 1500m title, becoming the first Husky woman ever to win back-to-back Pac-10 titles.
In 2008, the men's team scored its most points at the NCAA Outdoor meet since 1983, finishing 16th. That marked the fourth-consecutive NCAA meet where the UW men placed in the Top-20, something that had not happened since 1974-79. The men racked up eight All-American honors indoors and out, with Norris Frederick earning four that year alone, scoring in the long jump and high jump both indoors and out. Jordan Boase also placed top-four indoors and out in the 400-meter dash. Austin Abbott was seventh outdoors at 800-meters, and Carl Moe capped his career with an eighth-place steeplechase finish.
Follett, Amanda Miller, and Michelle Turner all finished in the Top-10 in the mile run at 2008 NCAA Indoors, all earning All-America honors. Washington was the only school to have three All-Americans in one event. Follett then proceeded to win the Pac-10 1500-meter title, the first by a UW woman on the track since 2001. Turner followed that up by winning the NCAA West Region title at 1500-meters, and Miller capped off her track career with her fourth All-American award, placing 11th in the 1500m at NCAA Outdoors.
In 2007, Washington's men earned its all-time best finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships (7th) and had its best NCAA Outdoor finish (15th) in more than twenty years, while half-miler Ryan Brown captured his second NCAA 800-meter title and led 10 total Huskies to top-10 NCAA Championships finishes. Washington's men also earned their second-straight MPSF Indoor conference title, placed among the top-four teams at the NCAA West Regional for the second-straight year and handed cross-state rival Washington State its worst Husky Stadium defeat in 85 years.
Metcalf was recognized for his coaching excellence in 2007 with his second-straight MPSF's Men's Coach of the Year honor, and was honored by his coaching peers as the 2007 West Region Indoor Men's Coach of the Year.
All that came on the heels of a 2006 season in which two UW distance runners won NCAA track titles, while an additional 17 Huskies earned All-America honors. That total of 19 All-Americans was a UW record. The wins by Ryan Brown (800m) and Amy Lia (1,500m) at the 2006 NCAA Championships were truly representative of Metcalf's coaching prowess. A former walk-on who competed just one year of high school track, Brown blossomed under Metcalf's tutelage into a two-time Pac-10, two-time Regional and two-time NCAA Champion, and won nine-career All-America honors.
Lia, meanwhile, developed into one of the nation's premier distance runners, placing 55th at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships and earning back-to-back All-America honors in the 1,500 meters in 2005 and 2006. Her time of 4:14.63 in the 2006 NCAA final was seventh-best in Pac-10 history, and the fastest in the nation during the 2006 college season.
Another indication of Metcalf's success lies in how his athletes have performed in the professional and international ranks.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials featured former Huskies Katie Follett and Mike Sayenko, while then-sophomore Katie Flood came up just one spot short of the final in the 1,500-meters. All told, ten current or former Huskies competed at the 2012 Trials. In 2008, the Trials saw several Husky distance runners in action, including the trio of Follett, Amanda Miller, and Michelle Turner, who all competed in the 1500-meters alongside new freshman Christine Babcock. Ryan Brown also advanced into the semifinals of the 800-meter run.
Ryan Brown would break through as a pro in the summer of 2009, as he placed third at the USATF National Championships at 800-meters to make Team USA and compete at his first ever World Championships in Berlin. Mike Sayenko, a 2007 grad, would also develop into an elite marathoner, earning top-15 finishes at both the Chicago and New York marathons, and he represented the U.S. at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea.
Recently, Katie Follett has excelled professionally competing for Brooks. The eight-time All-American and two-time Pac-10 Champion was third in the 1,500m at the 2014 U.S. Championships, earning a spot at the first ever IAAF World Relay Championships on the 4x1500m squad. She took second in the mile at the 2015 U.S. Indoor Championships as well.
In addition to their athletic prowess, Metcalf's teams have been among the brightest at a school renowned for its high academic standards. His teams are eight-time recipients of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honor, including the men's track team being named the 2008 Outdoor Scholar Team of the Year, and the 2008 women's cross country national champs also earning USTFCCCA Scholar Team of the Year. Seven UW individuals have earned Academic All-America.
Washington is the second head coaching position for Metcalf, who served in 1996-97 as the head cross country and assistant track coach at Auburn University. His Tiger athletes accumulated four All-America awards and seven NCAA Championship berths. The Auburn men took second at the 1997 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships during Metcalf's tenure. He received a bachelor's degree in geography from UW in 1993 and completed necessary coursework for a master's of science in exercise physiology at Auburn.
A four-time Academic All-Pac-10 honoree at Washington, Metcalf placed 10th at the 1992 NCAA Championships in the steeplechase and followed that up with a sixth-place finish as a senior in 1993 to earn All-American honors. His best collegiate mark of 8:41.17 ranks fourth all-time among Husky steeplers. He also was a steeple finalist in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. As a prep, Metcalf won a state title in cross country in 1987 as a senior at Ephrata High School.
Metcalf resides in Seattle with his wife Kristin, a former Husky distance runner and assistant track coach at Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High School, and their daughter, Mackenzie.