Thursday, November 1, 2012

Adrian Blincoe Leaving Villanova for Kiwi Coaching Position
Fond Farewell & Best Wishes in New Zealand

All the best to Adrian Blincoe as he returns to his homeland in New Zealand. He is to assume a new position in Auckland with Sport New Zealand as a high performance ambassador and mentor. We're sure that he will provide athletes there with the level of excellence he displayed at Villanova since his arrival over a decade ago. His 13 year stay at Villanova witnessed glory as both an athlete (he won 3 NCAA championships, set a school record, and was a 7-time All American) and as a coach (he recruited doggedly in Australia and New Zealand, helping bring several top-notch runners to Villanova -- think Gibney, Mildenhall, Mackenzie, Beamish, McEntee, Williamsz, Guest, Jenkin, and so on). We at Villanova Running selected him the Villanova male runner of the decade for the 2000s (click HERE to re-visit that selection). In doing so, we highlighted his tremendous accomplishments as a student-athlete at Villanova:

Adrian Blincoe was a three-time NCAA champion and seven-time All American. He was the 2002 NCAA indoor champion at 3000 meters, and was NCAA runner-up at that distance in 2003. He also anchored two NCAA champion DMR teams (in 2002 and 2003). Blincoe also holds two school records: his 7:47.50 3000 meter time, achieved in Boston on January 27, 2002, erased Sydney Maree's previous mark. Moreover, Blincoe anchored the Villanova school record DMR team. While at Villanova he broke the 4:00 mile with his 3:58.19 indoors at the Armory on February 9, 2002. His other honors include anchoring the 2001 Penn Relays DMR Championship of America winner, 8 Big East titles, and a top-10 finish at the NCAA cross country nationals in 2000. In 2002 Blincoe was an NCAA finalist at 1500 meters outdoors (finishing 5th). In cross, Blincoe was the 2001 NCAA regional champion, finished 2nd in 2002, and was 3rd in 2000. He was runner-up at the 2001 Paul Short Invitational.

His accomplishments as a coach are obvious. During his 10-year tenure as assistant coach under Marcus O'Sullivan, Villanova produced a half dozen sub-4:00 milers, an NCAA individual champion over 5000 meters, a top-10 all-time NCAA 1500 meter man, a score of all-american certificates, numerous Penn Relay DMR wheels -- the list goes on. He brought glory to the Villanova program when he set a new New Zealand national record in the 5000 meters (13:10.19), when he represented his country on two Olympic teams, and multiple World Championship and Commonwealth Games squads.

Villanova gave back to Blincoe, as well. In addition to the first class education he received and the degree that he earned, Adrian met his future bride, Kelly Coyle, at Villanova. Together with their daughter Ella they make the trek to New Zealand, where Adrian will continue his professional running career and help develop the next generation of New Zealand athletes. Best wishes for continued professional success.

Here is the article detailing Blincoe's new responsibilities:

Athletics: Blincoe lured home to work with youth
The New Zealand Herald
Friday Nov 2, 2012

Olympian and New Zealand 5000m record holder Adrian Blincoe is helping identify and develop New Zealand's future talent in a new job at High Performance Sport New Zealand.

In his role as high performance athlete development advisor, Blincoe will work with targeted national sport organisations to put systems in place to identify and develop athletes so they can succeed at international level.

HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann said the overarching goal is to get more talented athletes into our high performance system so New Zealand can continue to succeed internationally.

"New Zealand has to compete on the world stage with much larger countries, whose sheer size means they will always have access to a number of top athletes," Baumann said. "As a smaller country, we need to take a more systematic approach to finding and developing our athletes, and Adrian's role will be crucial to that."

Blincoe has spent the past 12 years living in Philadelphia where he spent nine years running professionally for Team New Balance and seven years coaching at Villanova University.

He was assistant coach of track and field and cross country at Villanova University and focused on identifying and developing young talent.

Blincoe competed for New Zealand at Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and world championships and holds the national record in the 5000m (13:10.19). He was a finalist at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games, and competed in the 5000m at the Beijing Olympics. An ankle injury prevented him from competing at the London Olympics.

"I'm very passionate about helping athletes develop their potential, and I am excited about the opportunity to do this here in New Zealand," said Blincoe, who started work in the job on October 15. "I'll be working with targeted sports on both specific initiatives and their overall athlete development systems so we can find individuals who may one day stand on the podium for New Zealand."

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