|College:||Southern Methodist University|
Quinnipiac women’s indoor track head coach Carolyn Martin along with Quinnipiac Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald have announced the hiring of Wilton B. Wright for the women’s indoor track program. Wright comes to Quinnipiac with an unmistaken pedigree in the sport of track & field as he has been involved with coaching for over 50 years.
“I cannot say how excited I am to add Wilton to our coaching staff,” said Quinnipiac women’s indoor track head coach Carolyn Martin. “He has seen and done everything in the sport and we are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside him for the upcoming season.”
Wright joins Quinnipiac for his first season in 2012 as an assistant women’s indoor track coach. His experience began as a graduate assistant working alongside the cross country and track & field programs at Springfield College while he was working towards his master’s degree in health and physical education in 1959. He previously received his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1957 from Southern Methodist University. He followed the similar path during his doctoral studies at Indiana University between 1961-62 as he was the track and field assistant coach while studying at Indiana.
Wright was born on July 9, 1935 and his first head coaching stint was in 1959 when he was hired as the head coach of track and field at Morristown Prep, N.J. He later advanced to college level where he became the head coach for men’s track and field at Southern Connecticut State University for 35 seasons (1963-98). He also took on the head coaching position for the men’s cross country program with the Owls starting in 1971 through 1998. Wright stepped down as the head coach in 1998 from both programs but still held an assistant coaching position through 2009. He has since gone on to hold an assistant coaching position at Fordham University for three seasons (2009-12) with the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams.
Since 1963, Wright has been coaching on the college level for nearly 50 years and he oversaw some of the greatest teams Southern Connecticut has ever seen as the 1981 team finished runners-up at the 1981 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He also helped guide the men’s cross country team to a fourth place finish at the 1985 NCAA Division II Championships. Later o, Wright guided another Southern Connecticut team to fourth place finish in the 1995 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. Other team accomplishments include sixth place for the 1982 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships and another sixth place result at the 1985 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. During his 46-year tenure with the Owls, he coached 102 NCAA All Americans in track & field and cross country and 16 individual NCAA Division II Track & Field Champions.
“The program accomplished this without any athletic financial aid assistance,” Wright said. “However, with a coaching staff who were all fantastic at what they did: Jim Barber, Art Kadish, Jack Maloney, and Tom McDermott all helped make it a total team effort.”
During his time at Southern Connecticut, Wright was also a prominent figure on NCAA Administrative positions as he started out on the NCAA Cross Country / Track & Field Rules Committee from 1980 to 1985. He then became the Administrative Director for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship meets for both 1984 and 1985. His notoriety extended to the ICAAAA (Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America) where he served as the Second Vice President in 1983, First Vice President in 1984.
He remains a vibrant figure in and around the Southern Connecticut program as the men’s and women’s track and field programs host an annual James Barber/Wilton Wright Alumni Meet. The meet allows for former athletes to return, reconnect, and generate support for the program within the university.
Wright currently lives in Milford, Conn. and graduated from East High School in Buffalo, NY.