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Track & Field Announces Coaching Staff for 2017-18
Aug. 3, 2017

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The complete coaching staff for the Villanova track & field and cross country teams was announced on Thursday morning by Marcus O'Sullivan, who begins his 20th season as the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track & Field Coach. O'Sullivan announced the hire of Matt Valeriani as a new Wildcats assistant coach. Also joining the staff in 2017-18 are familiar faces Patrick Tiernan and Angel Piccirillo in the capacities of volunteer assistant coach and graduate assistant, respectively.

"I am really excited to have Matt, Patrick and Angel join our staff," O'Sullivan said. "They are all young, and their energy will foster a creative and inspiring environment for all of our student-athletes. Matt will oversee our recruiting efforts in addition to coaching. We all help each other, and having two alums in Patrick and Angel join the staff is going to help support both the men's and women's programs."

Valeriani comes to Villanova after spending two years as a volunteer assistant coach at Iowa State, where he worked specifically with the women's distance runners. Working under assistant track coach and head women's cross country coach Andrea Grove-McDonough, Valeriani was a part of the women's cross country team's Big 12 title during the 2016 season. The Cyclones also returned to the NCAA Championships for the eighth consecutive season.

During the 2015-16 campaign at Iowa State, Valeriani was part of a coaching staff that assisted distance runner Kelly Naumann in an impressive freshman season on the track. Naumann qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the 3000 meter steeplechase and also earned a bronze medal in the steeplechase at the Big 12 Championships with a personal best time of 10:26.95. She went on to represent Team USA at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in July 2016 after previously tallying a runner-up finish at the USATF Junior Championships.

 

 

Valeriani was a collegiate distance runner himself at North Carolina, where he competed in the longer distance events on the track and in cross country. He was a part of the Tar Heels cross country lineup in 2013 when the team finished 17th at the NCAA Championships. Valeriani was also in the lineup for the ACC Championships and the NCAA Southeast Regional that season prior to the national meet. During his collegiate track seasons, Valeriani competed primarily in the 5000 meters and the 10000 meters. He ran the 10K at the outdoor ACC Championships four straight years and advanced to the NCAA East Preliminary in 2013. He graduated from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science, concentrating in sport administration.

With the additions of Tiernan and Piccirillo to the staff, the Wildcats will continue to benefit from having two of the top performing student-athletes in school history -- both athletically and in the classroom -- continuing to work with the members of the current team.

Tiernan was last year's NCAA cross country champion and he concluded an incredible collegiate career as an eight-time All-American and an 11-time BIG EAST champion. He is the second Villanova men's runner to be a national champion in cross country, and he also became the first BIG EAST runner ever to win four straight conference cross country titles. Tiernan is the indoor school record holder in the 5000 meters and also set the Wildcats existing standards in the 10000 meters and at several cross country distances. He has already made a name for himself on the international scene, having competed for his native Australia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Tiernan also became the 40th member of Villanova's exclusive sub-four minute mile club in July 2017 when he recorded a time of 3:57.59 at the Cork City Sports meet in Ireland.

Piccirillo wrapped up a record-breaking collegiate career with the outdoor season that just ended. She was a nine-time All-American and an 11-time BIG EAST champion for the Wildcats, and is one of only 12 women in program history with at least nine career All-America honors. Piccirillo was a part of two all-time collegiate records during her career, first when she was a part of the Villanova lineup in the 4x800 relay which set the existing American collegiate record of 8:17.45 on April 27, 2013 at the Penn Relays. Piccirillo would also break the collegiate record in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:40.82 on February 27, 2016 at the BIG EAST Championships. That time still stands as the Wildcats school record. Piccirillo is the all-time collegiate women's record holder with nine career Penn Relays watches. Along the way to setting the record in 2017 -- when she helped lead Villanova to a rare triple with Championship of America titles in all three distance relays -- Piccirillo first tied the old record of seven watches jointly held by fellow Villanovans Michelle Bennett and Kathy Franey.

The Wildcats track & field and cross country programs are led by O'Sullivan and Gina Procaccio, who are in their 20th and 18th seasons as head coaches, respectively. O'Sullivan has coached 16 national champions and 106 All-Americans during his years as a head coach, and led the women's cross country team to a national title in 1998 when he was also named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coach of the Year. He has been a USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year seven times and a BIG EAST Coach of the Year 12 times. His teams have won a dozen BIG EAST titles and produced five top-10 team finishes at the national championships. O'Sullivan, a four-time Olympian and one of three athletes in history to run more than 100 sub-four minute miles, was inducted to the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2001. He was an eight-time All-American, 10-time BIG EAST champion and six-time Penn Relays champion for the Wildcats, and was a part of indoor national championships in the distance medley relay (1981) and the two mile relay (1983).

Procaccio has taken the Villanova women's program to new heights in her time as head coach. Her 2009 and 2010 women's cross country teams won consecutive national championships, and she was named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year in each of those seasons in addition to being a six-time Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year and a nine-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year. Procaccio had two previous stints as a Wildcats assistant coach prior to being named head coach of the women's program in 2000, and in her combined years at Villanova has mentored 19 individual national champions and 147 All-Americans. She has also coached the Wildcats to 21 Championship of America titles at the Penn Relays, including 12 in the last six years alone.

VILLANOVA TRACK & FIELD / CROSS COUNTRY COACHING STAFF

Marcus O'Sullivan (Villanova '84 -- 20th Season)
Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track & Field Coach (Director of Men's/Women's Programs)
Head Coach, Men's Track & Field/Cross Country
Distance Events

Gina Procaccio (Villanova '87 -- 18th Season)
Head Coach, Women's Track & Field/Cross Country
Distance Events

Anthony Williams (Mississippi '90 -- 24th Season)
Associate Head Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field
Sprint Events

Ali Smith (Villanova '11 -- Fifth Season)
Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country

Matt Valeriani (North Carolina `14 -- First Season)
Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country

Talen Singer (West Chester '99 -- 12th Season)
Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field
Jumps

Mauro Medina (Fourth Season)
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field
Throwing Events

Monique Morgan (Villanova '07 -- Fourth Season)
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field
Sprint Events

Patrick Tiernan (Villanova '16 -- First Season)
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country

Angel Piccirillo (Villanova '16 -- First Season)
Graduate Assistant, Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country

Schedule