Ricardo Santos steps down as track & field, cross country director after 10 years

Ricardo Santos led Iona men’s team to its 27 straight MAAC title.

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

Note: A previous online version did not identify the Boston Athletic Association as the new employer for Santos. Boston College was incorrectly identified. The version below has been edited and the print version will be up to date. 

Ricardo Santos ‘00 will no longer be the Iona College track & field and cross country director, as he is taking on a high performance coach job at the Boston Athletic Association. Iona’s Athletic Department made the announcement on Feb. 5.

“Ricardo has continued to raise the standard of the cross country and track & field programs from his time as a student-athlete to most recently as director,” Vice President of Athletics Administration Rick Cole, Jr. said in a ICGaels.com release. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck in everything he does in the future.”

Associate Head Coach Joe Pienta will step in as interim head coach and get the Gaels ready for its final three meets before the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship.

Santos spent 10 years at the helm of the track & field program. He guided the men’s team to their 27th straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2017. Iona went on to compete in the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship, where the Gaels finished in the top three and earned a bid to the NCAA race for the first time in 10 years.

The women’s team won back-to-back titles and ninth under Santos. The Gaels also went to their first ever NCAA Northeast Regional Championship.

“I want to thank Rick Cole, Dr. Nyre and the entire Iona community for their unwavering support of myself and the cross country and track & field program,” Santos said in the release/. “I became part of the Iona College family in August 1995 as a freshman student-athlete. Since then, Iona has been part of my family and my home, and though I am sad to be leaving, Iona will always be a part of me and I will continue to wear the Maroon & Gold proudly.”

Santos has coached 38 All-Americans and 124 individual champions during his time in New Rochelle. Santos helped Kate Avery become the first British female NCAA Champion in 2014. Santos was also a part of Leonard Korir’s NCAA title run in 2011.

“The Iona community along with Gael Nation want to thank Ricardo for his time and service as a student-athlete and leader for Iona cross country and track & field,” Iona President Dr. Joseph Nyre said, according to the release. “As much as we will miss his presence in New Rochelle, we know Ricardo will continue to leave his mark in the running world.”

The search for a new track & field and cross country director will being immediately, according to the Athletic Department.

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