Following 33 years of success as a head coach, the last nine at the University of Louisville, director of cross country and track and field Ron Mann on Tuesday announced his retirement effective at the end of the season.
“After 33 years of collegiate coaching, it’s time for me to spend more time with family and more time in the social activities with my wife, Charlene, and kids,” Mann said. “Our goal is to have our primary home in Louisville and spend time training marathon runners.
“I am extremely grateful to the University, to athletic director Tom Jurich, who I had the pleasure of working with on two different occasions, and my wonderful coaching staff and student-athletes. I am confident this program will continue to move forward and we’re excited about direction of Louisville cross country and track and field.”
Associate head coach Dale Cowper has been elevated and will assume head coaching duties for cross country and track and field.
Since Mann’s arrival on July 2, 2004, the Cardinals’ cross country and track and field programs have reached unparalleled success.
Under his direction, the Cardinals have achieved eight BIG EAST team titles, including five-straight outdoor titles on the women’s side, more than 90 individual conference championships, and he was awarded the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year award six times.
“Ron has done an amazing job leading our track and field and cross country programs,” Vice President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said. “He has won eight BIG EAST titles and had a number of national champions during his nine years with us, and has laid a tremendous foundation for Dale to build upon.
“I appreciate how far Ron has taken the program and his impact in the community. He is a long-time friend going back to our time together at Northern Arizona, and I am thrilled he will remain actively involved in this program in many different ways.”
On a national level, Mann’s teams have registered three top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (seventh at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships, ninth at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships, and 10th at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships). Individually, he oversaw the program’s first four national champions in Matt Hughes (two-time 3,000m steeplechase champion), D’Ana McCarty (two-time weight throw champion), Andre Black, and Tone Belt. He also has helped direct the Cardinals to All-America distinctions on 47 occasions.
Academically, Louisville’s women’s track and field team has been recognized eight-straight years by the U.S. Track and Field and Coaches Association as an all-academic squad, while the men’s team has achieved that status three of the last four years. Fifty-one times a Louisville student-athlete was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, including academic All-America recipients Emily Turland (2006-07) and Holly Knight (2011-12).
"I look forward to watching Dale to continue to build upon this program that has already achieved so much success and am excited for what’s to come.”