Friday, August 02, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (August 2, 2002) - East Tennessee State has named Michelle Byrne its new assistant track and field and cross country coach under head coach Dave Walker. Byrne, who has spent the last five years as an assistant at Illinois, returns to ETSU where she served as the head coach of the woman's track and field program and men's assistant from 1995 to 1997. Byrne looks to lead the program back to the dominance it enjoyed in the mid-1990s. Under Byrne, the Lady Bucs won their first-ever Southern Conference Indoor Championship in 1995 and their first Outdoor Championship in 1996, when Byrne was named the SoCon Coach-of-the-Year. "Michelle is a very talented lady, a good teacher and an excellent recruiter," Walker said. "We've had many people apply for the position, and it was obvious that her resume was far and away the best one out there. I hope she is just as happy to be here as I am to have her back." Byrne originally began coaching at ETSU as Walker's graduate assistant in August of 1992. Prior to that time period Byrne was a three-sport star at Arkansas where she competed in cross country, track and field and soccer for the Razorbacks and served as an assistant for all three sports before completing her degree in 1989. A native of Dublin, Ireland where she was a member of the Irish National Distance Team for three years, Byrne brings over 14 years of Division I coaching experience to the Bucs, which includes recruiting student-athletes, scheduling of opponents and other day-to-day operations. Byrne's expertise lies in distance and middle distances, but she also has extensive experience training athletes in sprints, hurdles and vertical and horizontal jumps.
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