IRVING, Texas – University of Dallas cross country and track & field head coach Matt Barber announced his resignation for September 1, as he pursues other career endeavors. Barber served as the men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s track & field coach for the past five seasons. A national search will begin immediately.
Barber finished his tenure building up the cross country rosters to the largest amounts on both sides during his watch with 18 on the women’s and 15 on the men’s in 2018. With Barber’s guidance, Ryan McAnany and Thomas Hogan claimed the current school records respectively in the 5,000 Meters and 8,000 Meters. Clare Myers and Angela Moore set the 6,000 Meters record each under Barber’s tutelage. Myers and McAnany qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division III South Regionals.
The women’s team placed third at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship a trio of times when Barber was at the helm. The 2014, 2015, and 2018 teams achieved the highest team finish at the league championship. On the men’s side, Barber led the 2014 squad to the program’s one top-three finish at the SCAC Championship.
Barber had three different women’s United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-Americans and two women’s cross country runners earn All-SCAC. He also had three All-SCAC men’s cross country runners and one All-American.
Academically, Gabe Vazquez was named 2019 UD Scholar-Athlete of the Year and one-of-nine on the USCAA National All-Academic Team over the last five-year span for the men’s team. The women’s team has 10 USCAA National All-Academic recipients. The teams have garnered U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Academic Awards in 2014 with Myers and McAnany claiming individual honors that year. Both programs were awarded the academic accolade again for 2018.
Barber also guided the men’s and women’s track and field teams with two SCAC Champions on the men’s side with Prince Giadolor (100m – 2016) and Kevin McGuirk (400m Hurdles – 2019), and one on the women’s side with Diana Hassink (Shot Put – 2018). Giadolor was named USTFCCCA All-Region and SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year after the dual sport men’s basketball player excelled in his first spring. Hassink was another dual sport athlete with volleyball that would notched 2nd in Shot Put at the SCAC Championship in her debut season before winning and shattering several throw records her senior season that followed. McGuirk broke the 400m Hurdles record five consecutive meets – peaking at the SCAC Championship with the fastest time in the league all spring.
In all, there have been 25 combined records for the programs (14 women’s, 11 men’s) with Barber at the helm. The Crusaders had 12 reach All-SCAC teams (top three event finishes) for the men’s and 10 for the women’s squad.
The women’s team had championship success at the USCAA in 2016 where Bridget Kennedy won the 3,000 Meter Steeplechase with a USCAA Record 12:25.34. Katie McIntyre won the 200m, 400m, and was part of the winning 4x100m Relay. Ellen Jennings, Cora Keil, and Audrey Zohorsky also ran in the relay.
Altogether there have been 151 runners that made the SCAC Academic Honor Roll, which included both cross country programs placing their highest individual totals in the league last fall.
Barber claimed the most wins in program history with all four teams: 150 (women's cross country), 124 (men's cross country), 95 (women's track & field), and 61 (men's track & field). These numbers reflect the amount of teams the Crusaders finished ahead of in the overall standings for Barber's career. He also matched Harry Hall for most seasons as a coach of the track and field programs at UD with five. However, Barber completed his quintet of seasons in a row while Hall was the first coach from 1998-2000 and returned in 2005 and 2007. His five seasons at the helm of cross country are second to Hall.
Barber was a 2013 graduate at Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, he lettered two years with the track program and still holds the record for 400 Meters-Dash and was on the Distance Medley Relay record-setting team.