On July 19, 2007 Matt Roe was hired to direct Butler’sTrack and Field/Cross Country programs. Roe came toIndianapolis after quickly developing strong distance programs atLong Beach State (2004-2007) and Western Illinois (2001-2004).While furthering Butler’s strong international ties, Roe aten time conference coach of the year, has developed a successfulprogram model firmly committed to advancing regional and nationalrecruiting, academic achievement, team culture, and overall programdevelopment.
The culmination of Roe’s vision and commitment to programdevelopment came to fruition with a 3rd place finish forthe Butler women at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The women’s historic run in the fall of 2013, signalingthe end of Roe’s first full recruiting cycle, revealed adramatic and historic rise through the NCAA ranks. Thewomen’s NCAA podium appearance was bested in Butler Athleticshistory only by Men’s Basketball NCAA runner-up finishes in2010 and 2011.
A telling sign of the programs progress under Roe is in thebooks. The most dominant record breaking era in Butler history, 28school records have been set in every area on the track and in thefield. Eclipsing and adding to an already stout distancerecord board, Butler’s all-time list now ranks competitivelyagainst the nation’s top distance programs. Themajority of Butler’s middle and long distance records, 18 intotal, have fallen under Roe’s direction. Included in these marks are the first two Butler menunder the four minute mile barrier.
Under Roe’s direction the program has enjoyed success atthe NCAA national level in both track and cross country. Nationally, the program had produced 19 NCAA finals qualifiers, 14All Americans, and one NCAA team podium finish. In 2009, Roeled Butler to its best Men’s NCAA finish in Outdoor Track(40th). During the 2009 championships, Butlerjoined Stanford and Oregon as one of three programs in the countryto produce a male qualifier at 1500, 3000 meter steeplechase, and5000 meters. In the 2010 indoor season Roe led Rob Mullett toButler’s first sub four minute mile. Mullet’s7th place in the NCAA mile final led Butler to its2nd best NCAA indoor finish in school history(56th). At the 2011 NCAA Championships,Butler earned distinction as one of six schools nationally to placea male and female qualifier at 1500 meters. Outdoors in 2013Butler had its first female multiple event NCAA finalist, as wellas the first female to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in2014. Butler was one of six schools nationally to qualify afemale in both the 1500 and 5000 meters at the 2014 OutdoorChampionships.
From 2008-2014 Roe has advanced 44 Butler athletes to NCAA firstround of track competition. At the 2011 East Preliminaryround, Butler was the only school to qualify a male competitor inthe 800, 1500, 5000, and 10,000 meters while simultaneously placingwomen in the 1500, 5000 and 10000. In 2012, Butler was one offive schools in the NCAA East Regional Championships to have a maleand a female to qualify for the 1500 meter final. In 2013,Butler placed three women in the NCAA first round 5000 meters afeat bested nationally only by Iowa State and Providence.
At the Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Championships,Roe’s men have placed 6th or better five timesincluding a school best (tie) 3rd in 2008. The women have four top ten finishes including the best twoyear run in school history, culminating with a 2nd placefinish in 2013 and the first automatic qualifying spot to the NCAAChampionships in school history. Individually, Roe has had aBulldog finish in the top 3 or better in four times. In 2011sophomore Callum Hawkins was named Great Lakes Regional Athlete ofthe Year becoming the 2nd athlete in school history towin a regional individual title. In 2013 Roe producedseven all region athletes including all five of female scoringrunners. In total, Roe has mentored an impressive 25 AllGreat Lakes Regional harriers during his time in Indianapolis.
Butler’s first year in the Big East Conference proved thatthe Bulldogs were willing and able to compete against some of thenation’s finest athletes. In the fall both the men andwomen placed 3rd at the Big East Cross CountryChampionships. School records and time all-time marksdominated the Bulldogs performance at the Indoor and OutdoorChampionships as Bulldogs achieved one of the most prolific programefforts in school history. The Bulldogs earned an impressive25 All Big East honors throughout the 2013-2014. Amongstthese marks were Butler Athletics first two Big East Championscrowned at the Outdoor Championships. Junior Nicole Hudectook the Triple Jump, while Senior Kirsty Legg ran away with the1500 recording the second fastest winning time in Big East history(4:16.73).
Butler’s lone year in the Atlantic 10 (2012-2013) was arousing success under Roe. In 2012, the Bulldog Cross Countryprogram brought Butler athletics its only two A10 team titles indramatic fashion. The men’s 83 point margin ofvictory was the largest in conference history. Not tobe outdone, Roe’s women led by individual champion KatieClark, unseated defending champ La Salle by a 33 point spread. During the indoor and outdoor campaigns Butler proveddominant on the track. The Bulldogs collected eight A10individual titles, one relay title, and two championshiprecords. In total, Butler athletes earned 26 All A10 honors,three Rookie of the Year awards, and one Athlete of the Yearrecognition in 2012-2013.
From 2007-2012 as a member of the Horizon League, Roe’sathletes were nothing short of dominant. In just five years,Roe’s athletes achieved a staggering 171 All Horizon Leaguehonors, 66 Individual and Relay titles, 16 Athletes of the Year, 14Horizon League Championship records, nine Cross Country teamtitles, and eight Newcomer of the Year awards. Whilefurthering conference dominance in Cross Country, significantstrides were made on the Track. At the 2010 IndoorChampionships, the program had its best combined finish in schoolhistory with a pair of runner-up finishes. For the women itwas the best team finish in school history, while ranking secondall time for the men.
In the classroom Roe’s athletes have consistently raisedthe bar, annually ranking as on one of top Division I programs. Butler’s NCAA APR ratings improved immediatelyunder Roe’s leadership. The Bulldogs are nowconsistently awarded 10%APR recognition through the NCAA. TheBulldogs are also a consistent recipient of USTFCCCA All AcademicRecognition.
In the 2009 track season, Roe’s women ranked secondnationally (3.547), while the men were finished the year ranked4th (3.347) in overall team GPA in Track andField. For their combined effort the Bulldogs led the nationas a program in team GPA, outpacing Yale for the top spot. In2012, Butler’s women cross country team was one of only thethree schools nationally to qualify for the NCAA Cross CountryChampionships while achieving a top 20 NCAA ranking in team GPA. The women followed up their cross country accolades with theninth best team GPA nationally on the Track in 2013. During the2013 Cross Country season Butler was the only school nationally tohave three women earn a 4.0 on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team. During Roe’s tenure the program has earned anunprecedented 13 All- District, seven Academic All Americanawards. In 2014 Mara Olson became the first Butler female towin the prestigious NCAA Elite 89 award winner for Indoor Track andField.
Prior to taking the reigns’ at Butler Roe engineered oneof the top turnarounds in Division I distance running at LongBeach State from 2004-2007. With their finishes at the Big WestConference meet, the 2006 cross country squad completed the besttwo year run in school history. The women’s2nd place conference finish in 2006 was best in schoolhistory. In 2005 both cross country teams leapt from6th to 3rd at the Big West Conference meet,marking the best 49er finish in 17 years. At the WestRegional meet, the women vaulted from 20th in 2004 to10th in 2005. The men climbed from 15thto 10th place matching the women’s teamfinish. Collectively, Roe’s squads combinedconference and regional improvements were unmatched by anycompetitive Division I school in the country from 2004-2005.
On the track the 49er’s were equally successful underRoe. Roe’s men played a vital role in the firstconference track title in 30 years. At the 2006 Big WestChampionships, Roe’s men tallied an all-time 49er distancebest of 34 points to help secure the conference crown. Not tobe outdone, the women recorded 33 points at the Big West meet, alsoan all-time 49er best. The women’s distancecontribution helped guide the team to a 3rd place finishand the best two year conference run in school history.
At LBSU Roe’s athletes did more than improve they did soat impressive rates. Most notably, Jim Grabow becamethe first male distance runner in school history to earn AllAmerican honors finishing 11th at the 2007 NCAA IndoorChampionships. Grabow, a 14:50 5000 meter junior collegetransfer in 2004, clocked personal bests of 13:44.04 in the 5000meters and 7:59.40 at 3000 meters in his final season underRoe’s guidance. Grabow ended 2007 ranked6th on the U.S. indoor list at 5000 meters.
In less than three years at The Beach, Roe’s runnersrecorded 51 All-time top 10 marks, 14 All Big West Selections, 12school records, four NCAA National Qualifying marks, a Big WestConference Champion, one All American, and one Academic AllAmerican.
Prior to his appointment at The Beach, Roe made Western Illinoisone of the most improved Division I distance programs in the nationfrom 2001-2004. In his first year, Roe also helped theLeatherneck men gain their 2nd Conference Outdoor Tracktitle in school history in 2002, coaching the first individual maleconference distance champion in a decade. At the 2003 Mid ConOutdoor Championships Roe’s men and women continued to gainmomentum combining for a school record 98 distance points. Their collective performance stood in stark contrast to the 27total distance points in 2001Outdoor Championships, just monthsbefore Roe’s hire.
As the Head Cross Country Coach at Western, Roe led both themen’s and the women’s program from the bottom to nearthe top of the Mid Continent Conference. In only hissecond season, Roe’s women went from sixth to second at theConference Championships, establishing one of the top one- yearturnarounds in Division I from 2001-2002. The women’sfinish was best in school history. Roe’s men improveddramatically at the conference meet jumping from seventh in 2001 tofourth in 2002 to third in 2003. All tolled in Roe’sthree years at Western he produced 24 All Mid Continent athletes,nine runner-up conference finisher, three conference champions, andtwo school records.
Prior to coaching at Western Illinois, Roe served as anAssistant Track and Cross Country Coach at the University ofMontana from 1999-2001. Roe helped guide the Grizzlies to 11individual Big Sky titles, eight NCAA appearances, and two AllAmerican honors. Roe assisted the 2000 Lady Grizzlies totheir best all-time Big Sky (second) and Mountain Regional (fifth)cross country finishes. The 2000 season was capped offby Sabrina Monro’s runner-up finish at the NCAA Cross CountryChampionships.
A standout on the track and trail for Division I nationaldistance power University of Portland, Roe was a three-time AllWest Coast Conference harrier. A three-time WCC scholarathlete honoree, Roe earned degrees in English (1997) and History(1998) from Portland. A USATF Level II certified coach, Roeearned his M.S. in Physical Education (Sport Psychology) fromWestern Illinois in 2003.