Golden Gopher women’s cross country coach Gary Wilson, a 24-year Minnesota veteran and the dean of the league coaches, was named the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, the Conference officials announced today. Wilson guided his Gophers, who are currently ranked seventh in the nation, to their second Big Ten cross country title in as many seasons last weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“This is really a program of the year honor,” Wilson said. “Because without having my assistant coaches in Sarah Hesser and Kallie Suske and various support people helping our team, none of this would be possible.”
The conference honor is the third in four seasons for Wilson, who was also named the Big Ten Outdoor Track Coach of the Year in 2006, his final season as head track & field coach.
Senior Gabriele Anderson, an All-Big Ten Second Team performer, was honored as Minnesota’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes, one honored from each school, are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The student-athlete must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside the sports-competition setting.
Michigan State’s Nicole Bush, the Big Ten champion, was honored as the Athlete of the Year. Wisconsin’s Caitlin Comfort was honored as the Freshman of the Year.