Following three seasons of overseeing both cross country programs for the Bearcats, Sam Burroughs heads into a 2016 campaign in which he will focus his attention on the men’s program alone, looking to return the distance corps to the top of the standings once more. Burroughs also will continue to work with the men’s distance and middle distance runners on the track following the cross country season.
In the three years at Cincinnati, Burroughs’ men have fared well in cross country, capturing the Queen City Invitational team title in 2015 and a pair of Top 10 showings at the All-Ohio Championships. On the conference level, the men finished as runners-up in the American Athletic meet in both 2013 and 2014 and added a fifth-place finish in 2015. Individually, Burroughs has guided four men to all-conference accolades (Top 15 at the conference meet), including Toby Loveridge in 2015, who finished seventh overall in the 8,000m race. Other men that have earned the honor included 2013 recipients Evan Baum (sixth), Kevin Fink (13th) and Oliver Book (14th) and Fink (fifth) once again in 2014.
On the track, Burroughs’ athletes have accounted for 40 marks that rank in the program’s all-time Top 10 individual times and eight more on the relay charts. In 2016 alone, he fielded four relays outdoor (three school records) and two relays indoor (two second-ranked marks) that all now rank among the Top 5 all-time in program history. Individually, Vanessa Robinson twice broke the school’s freshman record in the 3,000m steeplechase, clocking a time of 11:07.05 to finish 10th in the conference meet and qualify to the USATF Junior Championships.
Several men also fared well on the conference level in 2016, including Dan Huben, who raced to a third-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase to earn all-conference accolades and six team points. A pair of his teammates, Fink and Greg Sanders, both scored in the Top 8 in the 10,000m run at the American Championships, placing fifth and eighth, respectively. Several other runners also made the finals in their respective distance events, just missing out on Top 8 placements.
Burroughs comes to UC after a three-year stint at North Texas. During his time with the Mean Green, he saw a complete transformation of their distance programs. He coached six All-Conference performers in cross country: Patrick Strong (2010), Sara Dietz (2010, 2011), Ingrid Mollenkopf (2010, 2011), Jo Adams (2012), and Troy Taylor (2012).In 2011, Burroughs was named the Sun Belt Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The success in cross county spilled onto the track for North Texas. Burroughs coached multiple athletes to a number of school records: Sara Dietz broke a 31 year old record in the indoor 800m and 3000m, Ingrid Mollenkopf rewrote her own school record in the 10,000m, Josephine Adams broke Dietz's 3000m and took down two 1980 records in the indoor mile & outdoor 1500m, Charlotte Wilson chopped 30 seconds off the 3000m steeplechase record, and Matt Russ to rewrote the oldest North Texas indoor school record from 1974 in the 800m.Point contributions from the distance events was a key factor when the North Texas women's program won back-to-back Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Prior to North Texas, Burroughs spent two years in the same position at Abilene Christian University, where he collected two Lone Star Conference Championships, a South Central Regional Championship and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championship meet in men's cross country. He was named the 2008 South Central Regional Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association as well as the Lone Star Conference Men's Coach of the Year in 2008 and '09. In 2010, Burroughs coached Amos Sang to first place finishes in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs at the NCAA Championships as well as leading Sang and Cleophas Tanui to first and second place finishes, respectively, in the 10,000 meter run at the prestigious Penn Relays in 2009.
Before joining the ACU staff, Burroughs was the assistant cross country coach and an assistant track and field coach at Iona College (N.Y.) for three seasons. Burroughs helped lead the Gaels to unprecedented success from 2005-07 as he was part of a program that posted three straight top-four finishes at the NCAA Division I national cross country championship meet, 4th in 2005, 3rd in 2006, and NCAA National Runner-ups in 2007. While at Iona, Burroughs helped coach the Gaels to three straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) titles and helped the women's program to its third straight MAAC title.
Additional coaching stops include Manhattan College and Boston University.
Burroughs, who earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology in 2000 from the University of Buffalo, competed as a top member for their programs. Burroughs remained at Buffalo for graduate work, earning his Master of Science in Human Performance in 2002.