MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West and athletic director Mike Turk announced the hiring of Ed Wright on Tuesday as the new head coach for men's and women's cross country.
A Montgomery native, Wright has coached at the high school level for the past 25 years.
"Ed Wright brings to Huntingdon an impressive high school coaching record of success, with numerous state championships," West said. "Huntingdon's cross country program has produced many exceptional student-athletes through the years. I am confident that Coach Wright will position his men's and women's teams to be competitive on the course, excel in the classroom and prepare to lead lives of service beyond Huntingdon."
A two-time state Coach of the Year, Wright comes to Huntingdon with experience as a cross country and track and field coach. During the past year at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, Wright guided the Knights to state titles in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
"I have known Coach Wright for a long, long time, and have tremendous respect for what he has been able to accomplish in his career," Turk said. "His wealth of experience and knowledge of the cross country and track and field landscape in the state and the southeast will benefit us greatly. I am looking forward to working with him as he builds our program."
This fall will be Huntingdon's third season competing in the USA South Athletic Conference. The Hawks restarted the cross country program in 2017 after a four-year hiatus.
"I want to thank President West and Coach Turk for this opportunity," Wright said. "I've coached at the high school level for a long time and I've enjoyed that experience. Now, I'm excited about the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level.
"My first goal is to see us compete to the best of our abilities. We want to build enthusiasm and make this program something special, something people want to be a part of. We want to see this program achieve the highest level of success possible."
Wright comes to Huntingdon after 14 seasons at Montgomery Catholic. In his final four seasons, Wright led the Knights' cross country teams to one state title and a runner-up finish on the boys' side and one state championship and two second-place finishes on the girls' side.
The boys and girls swept the Class 4A state titles in 2018 and Wright was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Coach of the Year for the state of Alabama.
Wright coached a two-time Gatorade Alabama Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in Amaris Tyynismaa. Tyynismaa won five straight cross country state titles and finished her career at Catholic with 31 individual state titles in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
In addition to cross country, Wright led the Catholic girls to a championship and a second-place finish in indoor track and field during the past three seasons. In outdoor track and field, Wright's girls won two state titles and placed second once in the past three seasons and his boys team was the state runner-up in 2018. Wright was named USTFCCCA Coach of the Year for girls track and field in 2017.
Prior to Catholic, Wright coached at Robert E. Lee High School for 10 years. During his time with the Generals, Wright coached Kelly Gaston, who won the city of Montgomery's only female Heptathlon state championship in 2002.
Before moving to the high school ranks, Wright began his coaching career at Floyd Junior High School in 1980 and won multiple city championships with the program.
A 1980 graduate of Troy State University, with a master's degree in physical education and health, Wright was an All-American for the Trojans in track and field and an all-conference selection in track and field and cross country.