Head Coach Alonzo Webb sits down to talk about the 2011 Cross-Country season.
In the last eight years, Head Coach Alonzo Webb has brought a winning tradition back to Pitt Track and Field, garnering three Big East Conference titles. Last year, six of his student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Throughout his tenure at Pitt, Webb has produced ten NCAA All-Americans, 44 NCAA qualifiers, 30 ECAC/IC4A champions, 35 Big East champions and 76 all-conference honorees.
"This is tremendous for me," Webb said. "To be back in my hometown as the head of a track and field and cross country team at a major university like Pittsburgh is very exciting. The University of Pittsburgh has shown a commitment to excellence throughout the athletic department and I am happy to be a part of that."
In the six years since becoming the head coach at Pitt, his men's team has climbed from the bottom of an expanded conference to the top half of the Big East. The women's team moved from eighth in the Big East to first and along the way won four ECAC team titles in a row and it's first ever outdoor title in the 23 year history of the women's program. Also under Webb's guidance were four Big East Outstanding Performers including Justin Clickett, Kim Lyles, Maureen McCandless and Amanda Walker. Elizabeth Bayne, an NCAA qualifier in the 400 meter hurdles, was also selected as the NCAA Mondo Mid-Atlantic District Female Athlete of the Year in 2004.
For these accomplishments, Webb was named the United States Track Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic District Coach of the Year in 2003, and repeated that honor in 2004 and 2005 to become one of only two coaches in the country to achieve that distinction, the other being John McDonnell of Arkansas.
In a vote by the Big East coaches, Webb was elected to serve as President to the Big East Track and Field Championship and Competition Committee for 2006. From 2004-06, Webb served as the Vice President of the Championship and Competition Committee while also serving on the Seading Committee and Big East Standards Committee. "With the Big East being one of the most respected conferences in the country, I feel it's an honor and a privilege to be elected by my peers to serve them in this capacity."
Webb's coaching talents were recognized in 2006 when he was asked to coach the North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships. Webb was able to coach Pitt student-athlete Julianna Reed to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles.
Prior to being named head men's and women's track and field coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002, Pittsburgh native Alonzo Webb helped direct Kent State University to two Mid-American Conference track and field championships in three years as the program's associate head coach.
Webb, a 1972 graduate of Peabody High School, boasts over 30 years of track and field coaching experience on the collegiate, club, high school and junior high levels. He was also a standout performer himself, competing in the jumps and decathlon at Western Michigan, where he helped the Broncos to the 1976 MAC championship.
Webb joined Kent State in 1999 as an assistant coach and was promoted to associate head coach in 2000. He worked with both the men's and women's programs, focusing on the sprints, hurdles, jumps and multi-events.
During his Kent State tenure, Webb helped the men's team capture the 2000 outdoor MAC championship, the program's first conference title in 25 years. In the 2002 outdoor season the Golden Flashes' women's team won its first MAC title ever.
During his final two years at Kent State, Webb's athletes achieved 16 school records, 14 MAC titles, two All-America citations, two MAC records, four NCAA provisional qualifying performances and two NCAA automatic qualifying performances.
Prior to Kent State, Webb served as the head track and field coach and interim cross country coach at Woodland Hills High in 1999. While with the Wolverines, he coached former University of Pittsburgh football players Lousaka Polite (javelin) and Shawntae Spencer (long jump), both finalists at the '99 Pennsylvania State Championship meet and current NFL players.
He has also been very active on the club level and served as the head coach and president of the River City Elite Track Club in Pittsburgh from 1993-99. The club won 33 national AAU Junior Olympic medals, the most of any club in the country in 1999. Among the athletes he tutored was Cassy Richards, who was Track & Field News' No. 1-ranked women's high school indoor long jumper and also set a sophomore class national record in that event.
In his final two years with River City Elite Track Club, Webb's athletes won 27 medals at the Pennsylvania outdoor championships, including six state champions and five runners-up.
Every year since 1994, athletes under Webb's tutelage have advanced to the USATF Junior National Meet, including two who earned Junior All-America honors. He coached Munhall native Heather Hanchak to the Pan-Am Junior Team in Chile (1995) and the World Juniors in Australia (1996). He also helped Oliver High's Talise Manuel to the IAAF World Youth Championships in Poland (1999). Additionally, Webb coached Mike Sanford, a Pine-Richland High product, who was a Footlocker Cross Country National Finalist.
Webb has also served as Youth Chair of the Three Rivers Association USATF and meet director of numerous associations, regional and Junior Olympic meets.
Webb earned his bachelor's degree in art from Western Michigan in 1979. He and his wife Noel have four children: Tanisha, Crystal, Justin and Alonzo III, a former member of the Pitt track and field team. He also has four grandchildren Dejuan, Terrance, Tearra and Cailah.
THE WEBB FILE (Accomplishments of student-athletes under the guidance of Coach Webb) Track and Field News All-Americans USATF Junior National All-Americans National Scholastic All-American Gatorade Circle of Champions Athlete of the Year Nike Indoor Classic All-Americans Footlocker National Cross Country All- American National Scholastic Indoor Champion and Outdoor Runner-up USATF World Junior team members High School Record Holders IAAF Pan Am Junior team members USATF Junior Olympic National Champions AAU Junior Olympic National Champions Golden West Meet Champions Pennsylvania High School State Meet Champions NCAA All-Americans Conference Record Holders Conference Champions NACAC U-23 USA team member