CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte 49ers men’s track and field coach Robert Olesen announced Thursday the hiring of Alex Gibby as the new cross country and distance coach.
Gibby comes to the Queen City after spending the last four seasons as the head men’s cross country coach and men’s track and field assistant coach at the University of Michigan.
“I am very excited to add Coach Gibby to our staff. One would be hard pressed to find any coach in the nation who has had such consistent success advancing teams to the national level in cross country over their careers, Olesen said. "His coaching methods and strategies have proven highly effective at a variety of institutions and I’m confident that he will apply these here at Charlotte to our significant benefit. Coach Gibby’s leadership in cross country and distance events will be instrumental in establishing ourselves as a top ranked program in Conference USA and also in making our mark in regional and national level competition.”
“I appreciate the opportunity offered by Coach Olesen and (associate athletic director) Kim Whitestone to work with the Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country programs as well as the distance and middle-distance runners on the track side, Gibby said. "I think Charlotte has tremendous potential with the support offered the program combined with the local training venues and I am excited to see what we can do as a program both in Conference USA and at a national level.”
Running in the competitive Big Ten Conference, the Wolverines had great success under Gibby’s direction. He helped lead the men’s cross country program to a pair of Big Ten Conference runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2013 as well as the 2013 NCAA Great Lakes Region team title as he was named the 2013 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. The Wolverines also qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a team in each season from 2011-13, finishing in the top 25 on all three occasions. Individually, he led ten runners to All-Big Ten accolades, including two first-team performers. Under his direction, Mason Ferlic became Michigan’s first All-American in cross country since 2004 as the sophomore finished 22nd overall at the NCAA’s.
In addition to cross country, Gibby also coached distance runners on the track. In his four seasons with the Wolverines, he helped guide 14 student-athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, two to the NCAA Indoor Championships and five to NCAA Outdoor Championship appearances. In addition to Ferlic's achievement in cross country, a number of other Michigan runners set schools records on the track, including Dan Lowry in the indoor 5000 meters (13:42.48) and Craig Forys set the Big Ten meet record in the 3000m (8:28.90) steeplechase. Forys was the runner-up at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 3,000m steeplechase and Mason Ferlic placed fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Along with the success on the track, Michigan was strong in the classroom as twenty-one cross country student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and one runner was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V first-team.
Prior to his arrival in Ann Arbor, Gibby spent seven years (2003-10) as the head coach of the William and Mary men’s cross country and track and field programs. In his time with the Tribe, he was honored as the Southeast Region Coach of the Year three times (2005, ’08 & ’09) as he led his team to the regional title all three seasons. He helped guide his student-athletes to nine All-American citations, including six in cross country, as William and Mary made seven straight national cross country team appearances. Overall, he has guided a team to nationals ten of the last eleven years. The Tribe finished fifth at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country National Championships and eighth in 2006, while averaging 20th in the country over a four-year period.
Before his time at William & Mary, Gibby spent three years at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas where he helped guide the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs to four team titles along with 18 individual conference championships.
Gibby earned his start in coaching as an assistant coach at William and Mary from 1997-99, guiding W&M to three straight top-13 NCAA finishes in cross country. Gibby earned his undergraduate degree from William and Mary in 1997. He ran track and cross country for the Tribe earning four-time All-CAA honors, including a conference championship in the 5,000 meters, along with being a member of two NCAA-qualifying cross country squads in 1994 and 1995.
Gibby is married to his wife Kathy Newberry and the couple has two children, Anson and Cora. Newberry served as the 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. She has represented the United State in five World Cross Country Championships, at the 2011 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in the marathon, and competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials in the 10,000m and the 5,000m at the 2004 Trials.