NEW ORLEANS, La. - University of Portland men's cross country head coach Rob Conner has been named the West Region Coach of the Year, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday.
This is the second regional honor for Conner in the last three years and fourth overall. He took the honor previously in 2012, 2007 and 1993. Conner is one of only 11 coaches in the region to be honored since the USTFCCCA began regional recognition in 1987 and his four awards are tied for the second most in the region with Bill Dellinger (Oregon).
Conner guided the Pilots to a second place finish at last Friday's regional, hosted by Stanford, and an automatic entry into the 2014 NCAA Championships.
Under Conner's direction Portland has developed into one of the elite cross country programs in the nation. The Pilots have finished in the top 14 of the last seven NCAA meets, a feat that only three other programs in the nation have matched - Wisconsin, Northern Arizona and Oklahoma State.
Portland is ranked No. 7 nationally entering the NCAA meet, which will be hosted by Indiana State on Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The men's race begins at 10 a.m. (Pacific), while Pilot women's standout Tansey Lystad was an individual qualifier and will race in the 9 a.m. women's championship meet.