Vince DeGrado is in his 7th season as Head Coach of the Men and Women’s Cross Country & Track teams. This marks his 12th season coaching cross country.
On the heels of the historic finish at Cowley, Vince decided to return back to Allen Community College to reinvent himself as a coach taking over both the Cross Country and Track positions. While using a similar blueprint that produced his previous success, Allen’s cross country programs were able to see immediate success since his arrival.
Since DeGrado’s return the men and women’s distance program has been nothing short of elite among the junior college ranks. His men’s team have won 6 straight Jayhawk East Conference titles, been Region 6 runner’s up 3 times and are currently the 3 time defending Region 6 Championship. They have finished in the Top 5 Nationally the past 2 seasons. The Women’s team has won 2 conference championships 2015 and 2016, and finished 5th in the nation this past cross country which marks the highest finish ever by a women’s cross country or track program.
In addition to these accomplishments was the 2013 outdoor men’s track team who won the programs first conference championship since 1986. The 2013-2014 seasons marked as a landmark year for Allen’s men’s team as they completed the conference triple crown winning the cross country, indoor and outdoor Jayhawk East championships. Coach DeGrado along with his Assistant Tony Davis was named 2014 Region 6 Outdoor Coach of the Year. The culture and environment had to be changed in order for the program to be successful. Just about every track and field school record for distance events and relays has been broken since Coach DeGrado’s arrival in 2011.
Prior to returning to Allen Community College, he spent the past 4 seasons at Cowley College where he was the Men’s & Women’s Head Cross Country and Assistant Track coach, coaching the long sprinters, mid-distance and long distance running event groups.
Under DeGrado’s training, Cowley’s Men and Women cross country teams had arguably the greatest season in the history of NJCAA in 2010. His harriers pulled off the sweep of every championship event in 2010, winning the Men’s & Women’s Conference, Region 6, and programs 1st ever D1 NJCAA National Championships in Cross Country then following that up with an encore sweep of the ½ Marathon Classic. No program in the history of NJCAA has ever pulled off this feat before. For these accomplishments, he was named 2010 NJCAA National Coach of the Year in Cross Country. The previous men’s teams placed, 5th in 2009, 4th in 2008, and 5th in 2007. His women’s team took a similar route placing 4th-09’, 10th-08’, 8th-07’. The men’s team won their 5th consecutive conference championship and won 3 out of 4 Region Championships during his tenure. The women won the programs 1st ever Region championship in 2009 and followed that up with the lowest point total in the history of Region 6 Championships scoring 19points. DeGrado was named Region 6 Men’s & Women’s Coach of the Year 5 times. DeGrado was named Verizon Wireless KJCCC Men’s & Women’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11. He was the youngest coach at age 29 to win both men’s and women’s national titles in cross county as well.
Under DeGrado’s training, Cowley’s Men and Women distances were able to achieve a high degree of success as well. DeGrado was named 2010 Women Outdoor Assistant National Coach of the Year.
DeGrado’s time serving as Assistant Track coach for Cowley.
-8 Men’s Jayhawk Conference titles
-1 Region 6 Men’s Outdoor Championship
-4 straight Men’s Jayhawk East Conference Triple Crowns from 2008-2011
-3 Women’s Jayhawk East Conference titles
-3 Women’s Region 6 Championship titles
-2010 The Women’s Jayhawk East Conference & Region 6 Triple Crowns
-3 Individual National Champions, Kaitlyn Belisle:10k and 5k, Robin Ray: 3k
-1 Relay National Champion-4x800m relay
-5 National Runner Ups
-Over 100 All American athletes
He grew up in Mayetta, KS, graduating from Royal Valley High School. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Psychology at Southwestern College in 2004. He graduated from Emporia State University with his Master's Degree of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He is USA-TF Level 1 certified, as well as Level 2 certified in Endurance-07, Sprints, Jumps, Relays-09 and is a certified Level 1 instructor.
As an athlete, DeGrado was an All-State medalist in Cross Country. Graduated from Southwestern College was a two-time All-American in the 4x800m and Distance Medley Relay.
He and his wife, Martha, have three children and reside in Iola, KS