UWA Cross Country Welcomes New Head Coach
After Don Mederos, previous head coach, retired, Texan Ray Stanfield will bring his experience and strong leadership skills to The University of West Alabama as the new head coach of the men and women’s cross country/track teams.
Ray Stanfield holds a 38-year record of coaching; 19 for high school and 19 in college. Back in Texas, Stanfield coached his own son in high school. He won his first championship in 2000 and won again his junior year. In that same year, the high school cross country team won first, second, third, fourth and fifth place in the regional meet.
In Stanfield’s previous coaching years, winning was common.
The women’s cross country team from The University of Alabama—Birmingham won their first Gulf South Conference in 2006 under Stanfield’s coaching staff. He has also coached at Samford, Rice University, McNeese State and Sam Houston.
During his first meeting with the cross country team, Stanfield displayed confidence as he opened the meeting: “We’re going to win the GSC.” He noticed the athlete’s good attitudes from the start and is eager to see the talent on the team grow and become even more successful.
“No reason we can’t win,” said Coach Stanfield. “I’ve been doing this for so long, I know what it takes.”
For motivation, Stanfield put a sign up in the locker rooms to inspire his team every day.
“All I want is everything you’ve got,” he often reminds players.
“Leave no regrets” is a firm motto Stanfield strives to live by and hopes to instill in all of his athletes throughout his coaching years. Whether it’s a test, paper, race, or workout, he sees no need for regretting anything after the task is done.
“I don’t want my team members to get back on the bus wishing he or she had passed that one person or to think I could’ve done this or that better.”
“He definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to running. He has the motivation and energy that will lead this UWA team to a championship,” said senior runner Joshua Griffin.
Stanfield has officially moved and is now a Livingston resident. Recruiting has already begun and so has his coaching. The team will adjust accordingly and grow in talent as they prepare for this upcoming track season and cross country in the fall.