GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman’s Rita Gary has been named the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Southeast Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year, as announced Friday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Selections were voted on by member coaches from each division.
Gary, who is in her sixth season at as a member of the Paladin coaching staff, becomes the first Furman coach to win this award. Under Gary’s guidance, the Furman women qualified five athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary and a program-best four of those women advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon — Allie Buchalski and Savannah Carnahan in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Kristlin Gear and Gabrielle Jennings in the 5,000-meter run.
Four Eugene qualifiers is the most among schools in the East in distance events. At the Southern Conference Championship, the Furman women took four of the top five spots in the 1,500-meter run, three of the top four spots in the 3,000m steeplechase, and six of the top seven spots in the 5,000m.
“Rita and the rest of the staff have done an incredible job building a great culture of pursuing excellence at Furman,” said Furman head coach Robert Gary. “She has done a tremendous job, and we are all proud of her achieving this well-deserved honor.”