July 19, 2007
Matt Roe, who served as Distance Coach/Assistant Track Coach at California State University-Long Beach for the past three years, has been named Men's and Women's Track/Cross Country coach at Butler University. The new Butler coach, who fills the position formerly held by current New Mexico track/cross country coach Joe Franklin, will begin his duties with the Bulldogs on August 6.
"We're excited to have Matt joining our coaching staff," said Butler Director of Athletics Barry Collier. "He has a proven record of success, and we look forward to a continued high level of achievement by our track and cross country athletes."
Roe began his position at Long Beach in August of 2004, and he immediately engineered a remarkable turnaround in the distance running program for the 49ers. His men's and women's cross country teams completed the best two-year run in Long Beach history in 2006 with a pair of 12th place finishes at the NCAA West Regional. In 2005, both Long Beach cross country teams placed third at the Big West Conference meet, marking the best performance by the 49ers in 17 years, and both went on to place 10th at the West Regional. One year later, the Long Beach women tied a school record with a runner-up finish at the Big West meet, while the men's squad placed fourth.
In his initial season at Long Beach, Roe saw every one of his runners record a lifetime best performance. He also guided the 49ers to their first individual and first team titles in a decade!
The 49ers experienced similar success in track and field. The 2006 Long Beach men's track squad won the school's first Big West title, and in 2007 the program recorded its first NCAA Division I All-American (Jim Grabow in the indoor 5,000 meter run). During Roe's three seasons, Long Beach had nine individual and two relay school records broken, 12 All-Big West selections, one Big West individual champion, one Academic All-American and one All-American.
Prior to accepting his position at Long Beach, Roe helped build a solid distance running program at Western Illinois University. In three seasons as head cross country coach/assistant track coach with the Leathernecks (2001-04), he helped Western Illinois produce 24 All-Mid Continent Conference athletes, three conference champions, two individual school records and two All-American with Distinction Academic Teams. Western Illinois won the 2002 Mid Continent Conference men's track title.
Roe also served from 1999 to 2001 as assistant track and cross country coach at Montana, helping the Grizzlies to 11 individual Big Sky titles, eight NCAA national meet appearances and a pair of All-Americans, including 2000 cross country national runner-up Sabrina Monro.
A native of Seattle, Roe was a five-time state medalist in track and cross country at Kent-Meridian High School. He went on to compete in track and cross country at the University of Portland, where he was a three-time All-West Coast Conference runner. He earned degrees in English (1997) and history (1998) from Portland and a master's degree in physical education (sports psychology) from Western Illinois (2003).