Andrea Grove-McDonough has been named the director of cross country and track and field at The University of Toledo, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.
Grove-McDonough comes to Toledo following head coaching stints at North Carolina, Iowa State and Connecticut.
“We’re excited to welcome Andrea Grove-McDonough as the new director of cross country and track and field,” O’Brien said. “Andrea has been very successful at the highest level of intercollegiate competition. Her teams have excelled athletically and academically, and she has a proven track record in recruiting. I’m confident she will help our student-athletes achieve their full potential.”
“My family and I are excited about the opportunity to lead the Toledo program,” Grove-McDonough said. “The Rockets have a great history of success in their cross country program, and on the track in recent years, where they have won MAC Championships and been very competitive at the national level. I’m looking forward to getting started and taking the program to even greater heights.”
As the director of cross country and track and field, Grove-McDonough will serve as the head coach for men’s and women’s cross country and as the head coach for women’s track and field.
“What I’m most excited about is being part of a very supportive and dynamic athletic department,” Grove-McDonough said. “I was impressed with [Senior Associate Athletic Director] Kelly Andrews and Mike O’Brien. It was really the interview process that sealed the deal for me and their consistent communication with me throughout the process. Ultimately, I felt like Toledo was a place that not only wants to win, but wants to do it the right way. I fell in love with the family atmosphere of the entire athletic department and, most importantly, I felt Toledo would be a terrific fit for me and my family.”
Grove-McDonough comes to Toledo after serving one year as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach at North Carolina. Prior to that, she was the head women’s cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Iowa State from 2013 to 2018, and held the same position at UConn from 2008 to 2013.
While at UNC, Grove-McDonough coached the men’s cross country team to victories over four nationally ranked squads for the first time since 2011. Under her direction, six Tar Heels earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition in cross country and track. In the classroom, the women’s cross country squad posted a 3.44 GPA, the highest team GPA among all UNC varsity teams.
In Grove-McDonough’s five seasons at Iowa State, she led the Cyclones to five combined NCAA cross country championship appearances and four Big 12 cross country championship titles. ISU’s best season was a runner-up team finish at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championship, the Cyclones’ highest finish in 29 years.
Under Grove-McDonough’s direction, 31 ISU student-athletes went on to become NCAA qualifiers and 16 earned NCAA All-America honors. In the classroom, the Cyclones earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors five consecutive years, while the women’s cross country team posted Iowa State’s highest women’s team GPA five times between 2013 and 2017. The women’s cross country team also achieved a team GPA of 3.81 during the 2017 fall semester, which tied for the highest team GPA recorded in Iowa State history.
At UConn, Grove-McDonough led the Huskies to an eighth-place national finish in 2012, their first NCAA Cross Country Championship appearance in school history. In five seasons under Grove-McDonough’s direction, 15 UConn student-athletes became NCAA qualifiers, six earned All-American honors, and five were Big East Conference champions. In addition, records in every indoor and outdoor distance event were broken. Academically, her teams earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.
In addition, Grove-McDonough has coached several individuals who excelled on the international stage. In 2018, she coached Cailie Logue to a USA Junior National Championship in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Grove-McDonough has coached three USA Junior National runners-up in the 3,000 meters and steeplechase, five U-20 World Championship qualifiers, two U-20 Pan Am qualifiers and two U-20 Pan Am medalists.
Grove-McDonough was named Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year for cross country in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, and was named Big East Conference Head Coach of the Year for cross country in 2012. In 2013, 2014 and 2017, she was named U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region Head Coach of the Year for cross country. She also earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors for indoor track and field in 2012 and 2013. Grove-McDonough was part of the coaching staff that earned Big East Conference Coaching Staff of the Year honors for indoor track and field in 2009.
Prior to becoming a coach, Grove-McDonough was a two-time national titlist, winning the 2008 Canadian Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters. She ran professionally for 12 years and was a seven-time Canadian National Team member. Grove-McDonough was ranked first in Canada in the 10,000 meters in 2008 and was ranked second in the nation in the 5,000 meters in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
Grove-McDonough competed at the University of Minnesota as a distance runner, earning All-America honors in the 1,500 meters with a fifth-place finish at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championship. She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 1996.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Grove-McDonough graduated from Minnesota in 2004 with a bachelor of arts degree in human resource development and business and industry education.
Grove-McDonough and her husband, Troy McDonough, former University of Montana All-America decathlete, have a son, Smith (9), and a daughter, Holden (3).