Byrne-ing up cross country scene

first_imgBefore taking over the Wisconsin program in 2008, Byrne coached 24 seasons at Iona College, leading the Gaels to 17 consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles.[/media-credit]The University of Wisconsin’s men’s cross country coach Mick Byrne recently won … his 22nd consecutive Coach of the Year Award.Upon initial review, one might be tempted to believe this number is a typo, but it’s not. Before coming to Wisconsin, Byrne spent 24 seasons at Iona College, leading the Gaels to 17 consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) titles and 12 trips to the NCAA Championships where his teams placed second (2007), third (2006), and fourth (2003 and 2005).Byrne’s arrival to the Badger state pinned him in a situation where he had zero of his own recruits. To go along with the challenges of coaching an unfamiliar group of faces, Byrne faced the pressure to extend Wisconsin’s streak of Big Ten Championships to a record-setting 10th consecutive season.But Byrne was up to the challenge, and he hasn’t looked back since.“When I came here there was a lot of success and for me it was just, get off one bus and get on another and keep rolling with it,” coach Byrne said of the transition from Iona to Wisconsin. “The guys knew that I was successful back at Iona and they even knew that some of my teams had beaten some of their teams so it was like ‘OK, he must know something,’ and they kind of bought into it.”But it wasn’t just about what happened on the track.“They saw my passion for winning,” Byrne said. “For them being successful in the classroom, and for them learning how to live the correct lifestyle, they jumped on board real easy.”Ask any coach who has ever switched programs, and rarely will there be one who puts it as simply as Byrne. There is something to be said for having one’s own recruits and – at the very least – for allowing time for chemistry to settle in between everyone involved with the team.“He didn’t recruit me,” senior runner Maverick Darling said, “but on the first day of practice he told me, ‘We’re going to win a lot of national championships and a lot of Big 10 championships and we want you to be a part of that,’ and he has kept true to that message my entire career.”Darling quickly realized his relationship with Byrne was extraordinary.“His ability to relate to his athletes and his ability to really understand what we are going through sets him apart and [is] what allowed for that instant-chemistry.”When it came to those he actually recruited, Byrne was equally as persuasive.“I’m from Texas so it took a lot to get me here and he’s the main reason,” senior Reed Connor said. “Madison is a great place, but I didn’t really know what it was besides the cheese.“Listening to him on the phone in high school, I knew he was a great coach and he hasn’t let me down since I’ve been here. I knew that he cared, that he was passionate about his team and about winning and that’s what makes him a great coach.”The phone calls back in his high school days were the beginning of a special relationship that Connor said he believes will serve as a positive influence for the rest of his life.If there were one word to describe coach Byrne in Connor’s eyes, it would be “passion” hands-down, he said.“He’s passionate about what he does, passionate about his athletes and passionate about winning,” Connor said. “It translates over into the team and you can see it grow each year. Twenty-two straight Coach of the Years is not something you win on accident … and passion is the way he’s gotten it done.”“I don’t think hip would be the right word, but if there was a different word to describe that then that’s what coach would be,” Darling said with a smile on his face.Whatever it is this “hip” coach is doing, it’s undeniably working and has been recognized with 22 consecutive Coach of the Year awards, an unprecedented feat that has gone unnoticed by many.While winning so often and on such a consistent basis can lead to complacency, Byrne stressed he always feels motivated going into each season.“I have a saying, that ‘If you surround yourself with good people, good things happen,’” Byrne explained. “That’s part of the success – us having good athletes who want to be successful and who want to do what it takes to be successful. They motivate me and when I see them excited, I get excited.“I get excited about kids that not just perform well on the track, but when you look at the whole person it’s about the development over the four years. The number of kids that I’ve had in school and seeing their growth, I get excited by that and it’s kind of fun to see that light switch go on whether it has to do with their performance, schoolwork or lifestyle. It’s just fun to see a whole person come together.”The word “fun” gets thrown around a lot with this historically successful cross-country team, and for good reason. Coach Byrne highlighted the importance of making his athletes feel comfortable and not succumb to the pressure of being a Division I athlete.“When you think about it, some of our kids got into this by accident in high school because of them running on the basketball court or the soccer field or whatever, but when you ask our athletes, it just happened,” Byrne said.“When you bring them back to that time, when they got excited about it, they have fun and they love to do it. They love winning and I like to keep it simple like that. I think sometimes, as coaches, we just have to step back and, as I say, ‘Keep it simple, and keep it country.’”last_img read more

WHISTLEBLOWER’S IDENTITY WILL REMAIN A SECRET, JUDGE RULES

first_imgJudge KellyA WHISTLEBLOWER who tipped off Donegal County Council about allegations of illegal dumping by the county’s biggest waste collection company will be allowed to remain anonymous, a judge has ruled.Judge Paul Kelly made his decision at a sitting of Letterkenny District Court in a case being brought by the council against Manorcunningham man Jim Ferry, owner of Ferry’s Refuse. Mr Ferry is facing 12 illegal dumping charges dating back to 2010 and 2011.A barrister for Mr Ferry had asked the court for the identity of the person whose information led to the allegations. He also wanted to know if the person was a disgruntled former member of staff.Patrick McMullin, solicitor for the council, said releasing the name of the whistleblower would damage the council’s relationship with members of the public who were the eyes and ears of the council.Judge Paul Kelly agreed and ruled the identity of the informant should remain secret. He also refused to make comment on whether or not the person was an ex-employee of Ferry’s Refuse.WHISTLEBLOWER’S IDENTITY WILL REMAIN A SECRET, JUDGE RULES was last modified: February 6th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ferry’s refusejim ferryJUDGE RULESWHISTLEBLOWER’S IDENTITY WILL REMAIN A SECRETlast_img read more

Jewellery shop raided after gang break into shopping centre through roof

first_imgGardai say they are keeping an open mind if the same gang is behind a spate of robberies are the same gang which raided a jewellery shop in Letterkenny last night.The gang broke into the Letterkenny Shopping Centre and targeted McCullagh’s Jewellery Shop between 12.30am and 2.30am.The gang gained entry through the roof of the building but an alarm was triggered and Gardai were on the scene in minutes. The gang fled and dropped a number of pieces of jewellery but did get away with other items.This is the fifth major break-in to businesses in Donegal in the past month.Four out of the five robberies have occurred in the early hours of Monday morning.In three of the previous four robberies, the gang have broken in through the roof of the premises and then stolen the CCTV systems to cover their tracks. However, Gardai say they are still trying to determine if the same gang is behind the latest raid.Sgt Paul Wallace said “It is early days but they did get in through the roof but were disturbed by Gardai and fled.“We are still examining the scene. A hatchet was left at the scene and this kind of tool was left at the other robberies but we are still keeping an open mind to see if they are connected,” he said.Jewellery shop raided after gang break into shopping centre through roof was last modified: October 3rd, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:gangLetterkenny Shopping Centre.riadlast_img read more