Albany, NY – The Sage Colleges has selected Zachary Williams (Cobleskill, NY) as the next head coach for the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. Williams will replace Jim Bowles who was the first coach in the squads' history, who retired the past spring. Williams, a 2012 graduate of Vassar College, arrives at Sage after having served the past four seasons as an assistant at nearby Siena College.
Williams said of his selection, "Working with the men and women of Siena was an invaluable experience." He continued, "I am indebted to them for all I learned, but am eagerly looking forward to this new challenge. We are situated in a hotbed of high school running talent, and I hope to channel that into a successful program."
Director of Athletics Sandy Augstein-Collins said of Williams, "We are happy that Zach has accepted our offer to be our next cross country and track and track and field coach at Sage." She added, "he brings with him Division III experience having had a successful collegiate career at Vassar College. He brings with him some exciting ideas and thoughts on how to improve all of our running programs and I look forward to the growth of the Gator programs under Zach's leadership."
While at Vassar, Williams earned First Team Liberty League Honors as a senior in cross country in the fall of 2011 after earning second team honors his junior season. He distinguished himself on the track as the 2010 Liberty League championship in the 800 meter run after posting two runner-up titles in the same event during his collegiate track career. A runner-up in the 2012 Liberty League in the 1,500 meter run in Outdoor Track, he also earned multiple ECAC qualifying times in the 800 meter and 1,500 meter runs as well as a member of the Brewers' 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 relay teams.
Since graduating from Vassar in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Greek and Roman studies, he also earned his Masters' degree in 2017 from the University at Albany in Secondary Education.
While at Siena, Williams guided led the men's team to a second straight fifth place finish to tie the program's best-ever since 2005. The men's side boasted freshman Evans Kibet who earned All-MAAC honors with a 15th place finish with the second fastest freshman MAAC Championship time in program history. The men won the Rider Invitational for the first team win in 12 years, while they took top three in five of their seven meets. Kibet set a new freshman 8K record (24:44.93) and won MAAC Runner of the Week for the first men's weekly award since 2009. The women took seventh in the cross country meet and was led by All-MAAC honoree Sarah Forman. Forman won two races during the season (Colonie Park Season Opener and Nassaney Invitational). She was just the second Siena individual to win a meet in the last 15 years. Six females broke the 23:00 mark in the 6K.
The track season was highlighted by Forman taking the 3000m Indoor Title and 1500m Outdoor Title. She is the first Siena track athlete to win an individual title. The men also set a new school record and qualified for the IC4A Championship in the Distance Medley Relay with a 10:15.62 time. Forman also qualified for the ECAC Indoor Championship in the 3000m. During the indoor season, the men finished eighth and the women took seventh. At the MAAC Outdoor Championship, both the men and women finished in seventh, moving a spot up from their respective eighth and ninth place finishes last season.
In 2016, Williams assisted in guiding the men's team to a fifth place finish which is tied for the program's best-ever since 2005. Each of the team's top-10 finishers came in with the 10 fastest MAAC Championship times in program history, including Nick Miller who posted the fastest time in the MAAC Championship program history. His 17th place individual finish also was the highest placement in MAAC Championship history for the Saints. On the women's side, the team came in eighth while Shannon Bauer finished ninth overall. Her ninth place finish in the highest finish by a Siena woman in the MAAC Championship since Brina Seguine (2007), while she broke the previous school record for fastest time in the MAAC Championship, which she set in 2014.
In the inaugural track season at Siena, Williams aided in putting together a team where the both the men and women finished eighth at the MAAC Indoor Championship. The men finished third in the distance medley relay with a school record time of 10:17.38, which was good enough to qualify for the IC4A Championship. Sarah Forman qualified as a wildcard entry for the ECAC Championship with her 5:05.27 mile mark. Forman finished in 23rd in the mile at the ECAC Championship. The men and women finished with respective eighth and ninth place finishes at the MAAC Outdoor Championship. Paolo Fiore represented Siena at the IC4A Outdoor Championship when he qualified in the 1500m at the MAAC Outdoor Championship. His 3:54.57 mark led him to the trails at Princeton and ultimately, he finished 37th overall with a time of 4:02.50.
"I believe that success in running, jumping, or throwing can come to anyone willing to do the work, put in the time and effort, and exhibit the dedication necessary for it," noted Williams.