Chris Solinsky Joins Florida As Assistant Cross Country And Track Coach

Image of Sport Chris Solinsky

Chris Solinsky will take his coaching talents to Gainesville as the new assistant coach for cross country and track at the University of Florida, the program announced on Thursday. Solinsky joins the Gators after three years at William & Mary, two years as an assistant, and one year as the head men's distance coach.

"Chris obviously made a name for himself as a runner, but what he's done as a young coach is impressive as well," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said in the program announcement. "He's a fiery competitor, and he's a winner. We think those two things will enable Chris to bring a lot of passion and a lot of intensity back to our distance group."

nullSolinsky joins the Gators weeks after the men secured the team title in an exciting showdown at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. The performance marked the program's second consecutive outdoor championship and fourth outdoor national title in the last six seasons. 

On the distance side, Florida is aiming to return to prominence at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this fall. The last time the men's team qualified for the championship was in 2013, while the women qualified as a team in 2012. At the 2015 NCAA South Regional, the men's team finished third, and the women finished ninth. In 2016, the women finished sixth overall, and the men finished eighth.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity Coach Holloway's presented me with at the University of Florida," Solinsky said. "With everything the University of Florida has at its disposal and the atmosphere of the team right now, I'm excited to pitch in my part to make sure the distance runners are contributing just as much to that success and culture."

While at William & Mary, Solinsky brought the Tribe back to the national ranks with several standout performances. As the head men's cross country coach, Solinsky was named CAA Coach of the Year after guiding the Tribe to their 17th straight conference title. As an assistant track coach for the men and women, Solinsky coached his runners to sweeps in the 1500m, 5000m, 10K, and steeplechase at the CAA Championships. At the 2015 NCAA Southeast Regional, the men's cross country team finished 11th and the women secured a fourth-place finish. In 2016, the Tribe men finished eighth while the women finished ninth, and Regan Rome earned an individual spot to compete at NCAAs with a sixth-place finish.

As a professional runner, Solinsky solidified his place in history as the former American-record holder in the 10K. He broke the record at the now famous 2010 Payton Jordan Invitational by blasting a 26:59.60 winning time, which broke the previous American record by more than 14 seconds. He also became the first runner not born in Africa to break the elusive 27-minute barrier. Prior to breaking the record, Solinsky competed at the 2009 World Championships and finished 12th in the 5K final. He still ranks third all-time in U.S. history in the 5K and 10K.

As a collegiate athlete, Solinsky competed at Wisconsin and earned five NCAA titles. He contributed to the Badgers' 2005 NCAA cross country team victory and was also recently inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame.

Solinsky replaces Paul Spangler, who coached at Florida for 5 1/2 years and recently accepted the cross country and distance coaching job at Boston University. Spangler's departure is one of the many notable coaching changes that have been announced prior to the start of the fall cross country season.

Matthew Centrowitz Moving To D.C., Still With Nike Oregon Project


Matthew Centrowitz announced on Instagram that he is still with the Nike Oregon Project, but has relocated back to the Washington, D.C. area. The 2016 Olympic champion in the 1500m attended Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Oregon and remained in Oregon for his professional career. 

All The Best Things That Happened In The NCAA This Weekend

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Three collegiate records highlighted NCAA action this weekend, as UTEP sophomore Michael Saruni, Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp, and Georgia senior Keturah Orji set standards in their respective events.

Keturah Orji Breaks American, Collegiate Indoor Record For Triple Jump

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Georgia's Keturah Orji broke her own American and NCAA indoor records in the triple jump on Saturday with a leap of 14.53m/47-8 at the Clemson Invitational.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K


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Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener


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Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

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Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

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On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.  

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid


Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal


Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon


Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.