|Title:||Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach|
|College:||Youngstown State, 1990|
In 1987, a Boardman, Ohio, native laced up his track shoes and put on his Penguins jersey for the first time. Now, entering his 23rd season as a member of the Youngstown State track and field family and his 18th as head coach, Brian Gorby has built one of the elite programs in Ohio, the Horizon League and the Mideast Region.
After earning three letters as an athlete from 1987-90, Gorby served as an assistant coach in both cross country and track before being promoted to the helm of the cross country program in August of 1993. He was named head track and field coach in July of the following year.
In his 18 seasons, Gorby has led the women's program to 12 conference championships and the men to six league titles. He also directed the men's squad to the Mid-Continent Conference Triple Crown in the 1996-97 season as the team won the league title in cross country and both the indoor and outdoor track titles. On the individual level, he has produced one All-American, 14 national qualifiers, seven junior national qualifiers and 38 NCAA Regional qualifiers. He has also won 17 Coach-of-the-Year Awards.
Aaron Merrill was a two-time Academic All-American, including a second-team selection in 2010, while Jarrod Davis earned Academic All-America accolades in 2006. More than 140 student-athletes have garnered academic all-league laurels under Gorby.
After claiming eight Mid-Continent Conference Championships from 1994-2001, the Penguins have continued to reap conference titles after moving into the Horizon League by winning nine track and field titles (eight women and one men). Gorby has also led the Penguins to 127 individual titles and 15 relay wins in the Horizon League.
Overshadowed by the championship trophies and individual
accomplishments, YSU has also finished as runners-up at the league
track and field meet 19 times (10 by the men - six outdoor and four
indoor - and eight by the women - six indoor and three
Emerging on the National Level
On March 15, 2003, Kurt Michaelis moved the Youngstown State track and field program to a new level by becoming the school's first Division I All-American. After hitting the provisional mark in the mile at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 8, he entered the national meet with the 12th-fastest time in the nation. He finished third in his first heat to qualify for finals then crossed the finish line ninth during finals with a time of 4:07.79. Michaelis was named the Horizon League Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year two weeks later, and he earned his first of two Vindicator/YSU Student-Athlete of the Year awards in May.
During the outdoor campaign 2010, senior thrower Danielle Curry became the first YSU woman to advance to the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Curry earned a qualfying spot at regionals and advanced to the meet held in Eugene, Oregon where she finished 24th.
With Gorby as an assistant coach in 1994, Mona Jackson became YSU's first provisional national qualifier in the indoor 55m. In 1997 with Gorby at the helm, Laura Thomas became the first-ever YSU cross country athlete to qualify for national competition. After finishing third out of 189 runners at the Great Lakes Regional, she placed 124th with a time of 18:16 at the national meet. Matt Folk became the first male cross country runner to make it to nationals a year later and placed 77th with a time of 31:48.9. Also in 1998, YSU saw its first male athlete provisionally qualify for national competition in track and field as Paul Carter qualified in the 800m. Thomas qualified for nationals again in 1999, this time provisionally in outdoor track and field in the 10,000-meter run. In 2000, Kofi Owusu-Ansah posted a 15th-place finish in the 200m dash at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Davis hit the provisional mark in the weight throw in 2006 and Anderson eclipsed the standard in 2007.
Since the inception of the NCAA Mideast Regional in 2003, YSU has had student-athletes qualify 37 times by hitting the required mark or winning a Horizon League outdoor title. In 2007 Bethany Anderson posted the highest-ever finish by a Penguin at the meet by finishing eighth in the hammer. A year earlier, a program high 11 different student-athletes competed at the regional. Michaelis placed 10th in the 1,500m as a member of YSU's first qualifying class along with Eugene Harris, Delores Gaines and Beth Hochstetler. His 10th-place finish still ranks as the top for a YSU student-athlete in a running event, and he is the only Penguin to compete in two individual events during the same regional.
Gorby has also coached six student-athletes who have qualified
for the Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 2002,
Emily Schnitkey finished 16th in the 5,000m at Stanford University
as the program's first qualifier. Aaron Merrill placed 13th in the
shot put and Katie Betts finished sixth in her heat and 32nd
overall in the 200m as two Penguins qualified for the first time in
school history in 2006. In 2008, freshman Breanne Romeo qualified
in the 400-meter dash, in 2009 Kaitlyn Griffith participated in the
hammer throw and in 2010, Samantha Hamilton ran in the
On to the Horizon
Since Youngstown State joined the Horizon League in the 2001-02 school year, Gorby has led the Penguins to nine conference crowns, 19 runner-up team finishes and 42 special individual awards at the conference meet.
From 2004 through 2006, the women's track and field squad won five out of a possible six Horizon League Championships. Included in that stretch was a string of four straight from the 2004 indoor title to the 2005 outdoor crown.
Most recently, Youngstown State had a solid all-around campaign in 2011-12.
In the fall, the women's cross country squad posted their best Horizon League finish ever taking second place. Leading the way were first-team all-league finishers Samantha Hamilton (third) and Anna Pompeo (fifth).
The new Watson and Tressel Training Site, on the location of the YSU Outdoor Track complex, hosted the 2012 Indoor Horizon League Championships. The women had a solid second-place performance while the men were third. Michael Davis won the 60-meter dash and John Seaver won the shot put for the men while Kaitlyn Griffith swept the throwing events, Ciara Jarrett won the 200-meter dash and Katrina Rettburg won the high jump.
In May, the women won their first conference title since 2008 while the men used a solid performance to place second. The Penguins used an impressive final day push to beat Milwaukee by 43 points. The women won eight events as Alison Roth was named the Outstanding Field Performer, Jarrett was named the Outstanding Runner and Makayla Martin was named the Field Newcomer of the Meet. Bobby Grace won three throwing events to pace the men's squad.
The Penguins had four members appear in the NCAA East Preliminary Round - Hamilton, Roth, Griffith and Grace.
YSU won nine individual events on the women's side at the 2011 Outdoor Championships while the men won five. The team's were second in both and the women lost to Milwaukee by just three points. Griffith was named Outstanding Field Performer, Parham, a freshman, was selected as the Field Newcomer and Jarrett was tabbed Running Newcomer.
The women's squad in 2008 took both the indoor and outdoor conference championships. Bethany Anderson was named Field MVP, top newcomers Breanne Romeo and Danielle Curry and Alisha Anthony helped lead a second-day surge that gave the Youngstown State women's track and field team its first Horizon League Indoor Track and Field title since 2005, edging Milwaukee 170-159 to end its three-year drought.
At the Outdoor Championships, Anthony and Romeo were named the top newcomers, as the Penguins had a solid all-around effort to capture the Horizon League crown. Anthony won the triple jump with a school-record mark of 39-4 and finished second in the long jump. Romeo was one-hundredth of a second from tying the League record in the 400m, turning in a first-place time of 55.36. Anderson added a win in the hammer and both of YSU's women's relays were victorious.
In May 2006, the Penguins trailed by 26 points heading into the final day. A strong effort from the sprint group and three specialty award winners helped YSU score 163 points on the final day to win by 11. Danielle Bolt was named the meet's Outstanding Running Performer after winning the 100m dash, anchoring the winning 4x100m relay and placing fourth in the 200m. Anderson won the shot put and the hammer to earn Outstanding Field Performer honors, and Betts was named Running Newcomer of the Year after placing second in the 200m, third in the 100m and running in both winning relays.
A year earlier the Penguins sat third after day one before rallying to win their fourth straight Horizon League Track and Field title behind two individual victories from Emily Schnitkey and one from Anderson. Schnitkey won the steeplechase with a time of and the 5,000 while Anderson set two school records and won the shot put to earn Field Newcomer of the Year honors. YSU set three championship records at the meet with Aaliyah Gillespie setting the conference record the 100m hurdles, Anderson topping the standard in the shot put and Jeanna Cunningham, Yandeh Joh, Leslie Johnson and Emily Wollet setting the 4x400m reord.
The Penguins turned in a dominating performance at the 2005 indoor meet, winning the title by 62 points and collecting three out of four individual awards. Cunningham was named Track Performer of the Meet and freshman Carly Youlton was named Field Performer of the Meet. Anderson was named the league's Field Newcomer of the Year. YSU won eight different events as Bolt and Youlton won two events apiece while Cunningham, Gillespie and Anderson won one event. Cunningham and Gillespie also teamed up with Joh and Wollet to win the 4x400m relay. Bolt set the conference record in the 60m and Anderson set the standard in the shot put.
At the 2004 Horizon League Outdoor Championship, the Penguins pulled together through a season full of injuries and adversity to top Milwaukee by 18 points. Bolt and Gillespie won three events apiece to pace the winning effort. Leslie Johnson was part of both winning relays to cap off a year in which she was named the Vindicator/YSU Student-Athlete of the Year.
In the 2004 indoor campaign, the women picked up the program's first conference track title since 1996. Bolt highlighted the championship meet as she was named Newcomer of the Year after winning the 60m and running in the winning 4x400m relay. Gillespie, Schnitkey and Johnson also earned individual victories.
Gorby also directed the men’s track and field team to the 2003 Horizon League Indoor Championship, which was YSU's first Horizon League crown in any sport. Eugene Harris swept the sprinting events for the second straight year at the meet while Michaelis was the league champion in the mile.
During the 2003 outdoor season Harris set conference records in the 100m and 200m to be named Outstanding Running Performer. His 100-meter time is still the league standard. Michaelis earned the same honor a year later as he ended his career with nine individual Horizon League titles.
Gorby's success in the Horizon League is not limited to just track and field, and the future looks promising to get the cross country program back to the success it enjoyed in the 1990s.
The women's future looks promising behind Hamilton. In 2010, the women placed fourth at the meet with Hamilton earning first-team all-league honors following a seventh-place finish. It was the best finish for a Penguin since 2004.
In 2007 a young men's team finished third at the conference meet, which was its highest since 2003. Justin Dickman and Dan Nemergut earned second-team All-Horizon League honors, and three of YSU's top six finishers were freshmen.
In 2005, Schnitkey capped off an impressive cross country career by earning for her fourth top-10 finish at the Horizon League meet placing eighth. She also finished sixth in 2004 and 2002 and seventh in 2001. As a freshman she earned Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors and was named the Ohio Freshman of the Year by finishing 11th at the All-Ohio Championships.
During the 2003 cross country season, Gorby helped the men's
squad to their 11th straight year of finishing third or better at a
conference cross country championship. He also guided freshman Lisa
Davies to a second-place finish at the conference meet that earned
her First-Team All-League accolades and the Newcomer-of-the-Year
award. Her finish is still the best ever for a Penguin in the
Horizon League. Like Schnitkey, Davies was also named Ohio Freshman
of the Year by posting a 12th-place finish at the All-Ohio
Success in the Mid-Con
Before joining the Horizon League, Gorby led the Penguins to eight Mid-Continent Conference Championships in a four-year span. The men won cross country championships in 1994, 1995 and 1996, while claiming both the indoor and outdoor titles in 1997. The women's squad won the league title in cross country in 1997, the indoor track and field title in 1996 and the outdoor track and field title in 1997. Gorby also coached three athletes of the year and four newcomers of the year in the Mid-Con.
In 1997, Thomas and Andrea Cohol paced the women's cross country team to its first-ever conference crown. Thomas became YSU's first individual cross country champion and Cohol finished third as the Penguins won by an impressive 16 points over Southern Utah. In the spring of 1997, Thomas and Marcella Scaife each won two events as the Penguins won the outdoor track and field title by narrowly edging Western Illinois by 0.83 points. The 1996 women's indoor squad won YSU's first conference crown in track and field as Scaife won two events.
The 1996-97 academic year was a dominant one for the men's program as it won conference titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Folk finished third at the cross country championship meet while Chris Emory and Mark Brady both finished in the top 10 to start the winning trend. Bob Bond won two events to lead the Penguins to the indoor crown, and YSU captured in the outdoor title by defeated Troy State by a lopsided score of 271.5-129. Bond, Owusu-Ansah and Jason Pope each won two events apice.
In 1994, YSU won the Mid-Con Cross Country title behind Brady's second-place finish and a sixth-place effort from Donn Craig. Brady's runner-up placing is still the best by a male cross country runner in school history. Brady placed fifth a year later in 1995 while Craig and Folk finished in the top 10 to lead YSU to another conference crown.
As a noted distance runner himself, Gorby has competed in several marathons. His personal-best time of 2 hours and 26 minutes still ranks him as one of the top runners in the nation.
He received his doctorate in educational leadership in 2003 from Youngstown State after earning a bachelor’s degree in education in 1990 and a master’s in physical education in 1994.
Gorby and his wife, Charlotte, reside in Austintown, with their daughter Jersey and their son Beau.