Sept. 15, 2016
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced today that Julie Culley has been promoted to interim director of the track & field and cross country program. Additionally, Reed announced the addition of Hoya alum Alton McKenzie to the staff as the associate head coach of the track & field program. Brandon Bonsey was named head men’s cross country coach in July.
The announcement comes after an impressive 2015-16 season, highlighted by the men’s cross country team finish 10th nationally and the women’s team winning the distance medley relay (DMR) at the NCAA indoor championships and the Hoyas taking home two wheels from the Penn Relays Carnival.
“I’m very excited to have three coaches who have the experience, knowledge and great reputations as we do with the staff at Georgetown,” Reed said. “We were very fortunate to have someone as talented as Julie on staff and I know she will be a great leader for our program and will continue the success she has achieved in her time here already. It is also great to have the chance to bring Alton back home. He has a history and knowledge of Georgetown, starting with his successful days as an undergrad, and his success as a coach will be a great benefit for our student-athletes. Brandon’s promotion late this summer to head coach was a recognition of the tremendous work he has done with our middle distance and distance runners and we are confident he will continue that in the future.”
Culley was promoted to the interim director of Georgetown track & field / cross country following a two-year stint as the program’s assistant coach. A United States Olympian, Culley won the women’s 5,000-meter run at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a trip to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she was a finalist in her event.
In her time on the Hilltop, Culley has coached 10 student-athletes to 24 All-America honors in eight different events. Under her tutelage, the Hoyas have tallied 14 total BIG EAST event titles (9 individual, 5 relay) and the Hoya women captured the team title at the 2014 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships. The Georgetown women have recorded two top-10 finishes nationally during Culley’s tenure, a fourth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships and a ninth-place showing at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The 2015-16 season proved to be a standout among a tradition of success as the GU women won the distance medley relay (DMR) at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the first NCAA event title for the program since 2012. Later in the year, the women won the Penn Relays DMR title, becoming just the fourth team in history to complete the DMR double in the same calendar year. The Blue & Gray also won the Penn Relays 4x800-meter relay, taking home two Championship of America wheels for just the second time in program history.
For her efforts, Culley was named the 2016 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Assistant Coach of the Year. Under Culley’s guidance, Katrina Coogan finished her career on the Hilltop as an 11-time All-American, a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American and became the BIG EAST Conference’s nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year.
“It is an incredible honor to assume the role of interim director of track & field at Georgetown and carry on the tradition of excellence this program has achieved,” Culley said. “Georgetown’s storied history on a national and international level and the great leaders who have commanded this program serve as inspiration to our staff and athletes. We look forward to this new chapter here on the Hilltop, one filled with academic and athletic excellence in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition.”
McKenzie returns to the Hilltop and his alma mater following a six-year stint as the head coach of the University of District of Columbia women’s cross country / track & field program. He also served as the head men’s cross country coach at UDC from 2011-13.
Over his six-year stint, McKenzie managed the overall operation of the track & field program and turned the Firebirds into a force in the NCAA Division II east region and a powerhouse in the East Coast Conference (ECC).
During his time with UDC, McKenzie was twice named the ECC Indoor Coach of the Year (2013, 2014) and coached his athletes to nine NCAA Division II All-America honors.
His teams captured two ECC championships (2013 indoor, 2014 indoor) and McKenzie developed five ECC Athletes of the Year, including the first ECC men’s cross country individual champion in program history in Hillary Mugun (2012).
McKenzie totaled 173 total All-ECC honors with 122 nods to the first team and 51 on the second team over his final four years.
Off the track, Kaydian Jones was named a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American in 2014. Additionally, eight athletes were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team and two of his teams were awarded the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Award.
McKenzie was an All-American on the Hilltop as the leadoff leg of the fourth-place 4x800-meter relay squad at the 1993 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. He served as a team captain his senior year and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration in 1993. He received his USATF Level I certification in 2012.
“I'm humbled, honored and very appreciative of this opportunity to be a part of the tradition of Georgetown track & field / cross country, this time as a coach,” McKenzie said. “It's a rich tradition that I not only will look to uphold, but will cherish as I fulfill this dream to be back on the Hilltop. I'm looking forward to putting in all my effort to work with the wonderful coaching staff to ensure that the student-athlete experience here at Georgetown is one that is exceptional and fulfilling to all of our men and women. I'm very happy and excited to be back home.”