Entering his 22nd season at the helm of the Monmouth University men's and women's cross country and track & field programs in 2016-17, Joe Compagni has established himself as one of the most distinguished coaching names on the East Coast.
Monmouth was led into the MAAC in 2013-14 by Coach Compagni, and the track and field teams flourished in the new league. Both the men's and women's indoor and outdoor teams captured the MAAC titles in indoor and outdoor track each of the last three years. In the last four years, Monmouth athletes have earned 8 Div. I All-American honors after qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Mariah Toussaint became the first MU female to ever qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2013, doing so in the long jump. Three Hawks advanced to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the first time ever in 2014, as McLean Lipschutz and Vincent DuVernois qualified in the javelin with freshman Dylan Capwell joining them in the 800. During Capwell's sophomore season, he finished second at the NCAA Championships, earning First Team All-America status. This past year, Capwell again qualified for the NCAA Finals in the 800 meter run, finishing 8th and again earning All-American honors.
In 21 seasons, Compagni has won NEC, MAAC, and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year 46 times. Compagni also been honored as a USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year seven times, most recently for women's outdoor track and field in 2012.
During his tenure at Monmouth, Coach Compagni has coached his teams to 29 Northeast Conference Championships and 12 MAAC Championships in both cross country and track & field, increasing the programs’ total championship count to 43. In addition to team titles, Compagni and his staff have coached 218 men's and women's individual track champions in NEC competition, more than three dozen MAAC Championships in 3 years, close to 200 All-East honorees at the IC4A/ECAC Championships, and over 100 NCAA 1st Round Track and Field Championship Qualifiers. Eleven athletes have earned a total of 16 Div. I All-American citations in recent years, joining Augie Zilincar (1968), in program annals.
As the head of the cross country program, Compagni guided the women to a top four finish at the NEC Championships for 10 straight years, including five straight top-three finishes. A team that has won three overall women’s cross country titles, including one under Compagni, the Hawks had 41 All-NEC performers in program history, 26 of which have come under Compagni.
On the men’s side, the harriers have finished among the top four at the NEC Championships in five of the last six years, while 19 of its 27 overall All-NEC competitors have claimed all-league status under Compagni.
The Monmouth indoor track and field programs have enjoyed remarkable success as well, as the men’s side has finished first or second at the Conference Championships ten of the last eleven years, including team titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014,2015 and 2016. The women have claimed the Indoor Conference team trophy nine times (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and have finished in the top-two in each of the last thirteen years.
Monmouth outdoor track and field has provided the greatest number of championships for the Hawks, as the Blue and White can boast a total of 25 titles between the men’s and women’s squads in program history. In 2013, the Hawks completed an unprecedented five-year sweep by both sides at the NEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, giving the men 11 total and the women 10 trophies. Along with their success the last three years in the MAAC, the men’s and women’s teams have won the last eight Outdoor Conference titles in a row.
Historic on the national level for the Hawks was the summer of 2008, as three of the team's alums qualified for and competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Kalnas, Taylor and Smith represented the Hawks very well at historic Heyward Field in Oregon, with Smith earning a U.S. National Championship with an upset win in the javelin.
Monmouth athletes have competed at their National Championships in the U.S. and abroad on more than 20 occasions in recent years. In 1996, Adam Manewell competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials in the javelin. Most recently, school record holder Khari Bowen won the Jamaican Junior National Track & Field Championships in 2012 in the 5000.
In the last 21 years, Monmouth athletes have set new school records in indoor and outdoor track and field on over 600 occasions.
In the five years prior to Compagni's arrival, the women's indoor and outdoor track & field teams claimed just six individual conference titles. From 1996 to 2016, the program has won over 140 individual NEC and MAAC crowns. During the same time frame, the men have also garnered over 140 league titles after winning just nine from 1991 to 1995.
Moreover, in the last three years alone the Hawks have garnered 20 Academic All-America awards, including DuVernois’ 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Third Team citation. Even with a large roster every year, the track and field and cross country programs consistently post a team GPA of over 3.0 and earn conference and national academic honors.
Compagni, a past President and member of the Games Committee of the IC4A Coaches' Association as well as member of the United States Track Coaches Association Division I Executive Committee, served on the Northeast Conference Games and Seeding Advisory Committees and was a member of the Board of Trustees for USA Track & Field-New Jersey. Compagni received USATF Level 1 certification early in his coaching career and also has earned several coaching certifications through the USTFCCCA.
More recently Compagni attended the USATF Level 3 Distance summit, and in 2011 completed the USTFCCCA Sports Science for Endurance Events and Program Management courses.
Prior to his arrival at Monmouth, Compagni spent four years at California University of Pennsylvania, serving as head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach. In his final year at CUP, he guided the Vulcans to a 50-9 overall record, including winning four straight meets.
A 1987 graduate of the University of Delaware, Compagni lettered in both cross country and track & field and served as the Blue Hens' cross country captain as a senior.
Compagni, who worked with cyclists and runners at the United States Olympic Training Center in 1989, received his master's degree in communication from Cornell University in 1990. While at Cornell, he ran for the High Noon Athletic Club.
Compagni and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Highlands, with their daughter Gabriela.
Monmouth Cross Country and Track & Field under Coach Compagni
1995 - Present
Team Championships: 41 [20 men; 21 women]
MAAC Coach of the Year Honors: 12
NEC Coach of the Year Awards: 26
Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year Awards: 7
All-NEC XC Performers: 45
NEC T&F Champions: 218
All-East XC Performers: 40
All-East T&F Performers: 198
Men’s NEC Most Outstanding T&F Performers: 19
Women’s NEC Most Outstanding T&F Performers: 17
Jon Kalnas, Shot Put (2000, 2001, 2002)
Joe Madden, Hammer Throw (2001)
Bobby Smith, Javelin (2005)
Tisifinee Taylor, Long Jump (2007)
Vincent DuVernois, Javelin (2011)
Vincent Elardo, Shot Put (2012)
Rachel Watkins, 400 Hurdles (2013)
Mariah Toussaint, Long Jump (2014)
McLean Lipschutz, Javelin (2014)
Vincent DuVernois, Javelin (2014)
Dylan Capwell, 800 (2014, 2015, 2016)