|Previous College:||William & Mary '03|
Sean Graham enters his second season at the helm of the American University cross country and track & field program in 2018. He returns after a successful first season which culminated in the program's first pair of NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Preliminary Round qualifiers since 2013 with senior Brianna Belo and junior Matthew Rainey. In all, Graham's debut year as a head coach saw 21 new all-time top ten performances on the track, including three AU school records from Belo, seven podium finishes at the Patriot League Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including two PL titles for Belo, and four All-Patriot League and two All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors on the cross country course.
Graham, a 2011 graduate of American's Kogod School of Business, served as an assistant coach at AU from 2009 to 2011, and again from 2012 to 2013, before spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky.
"I am tremendously excited to announce Sean as our new cross country and track head coach," Walker said. "Everyone he talked to during his visit to campus was thoroughly impressed with his sense of teamwork and his strong desire to be back at American University, where he earned his MBA.
"I'm impressed with his vision, focus, temperament and clear understanding of our expectations, and we can't wait for him to get started."
"I could not be more excited to be returning to AU as head coach of this great program," Graham said. "Having started my coaching career with Coach Centrowitz at American, as well as being an alumnus, it is an honor to have been chosen to continue building the great program he created. I am very thankful for the opportunity to join the rest of the coaches and athletics staff under the leadership of Dr. Walker and President Burwell."
Graham brings eight years of Division I coaching experience, including four with Kentucky under head coach Edrick Floreal (2013-17) and three at American (2009-11, 2012-13), as well as a volunteer coaching stint at George Mason under coach Andrew Gerard (2011-12).
He also had a successful track career in his own right, as an All-American performer at William & Mary, where he graduated with his bachelors of business administration in information technology and marketing, before competing post-collegiately with the Nike Farm team in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Nike Oregon Project Elite in Eugene, Ore.
"More importantly, however, is that Sean lives by our department's core values of Integrity, Respect, Accountability, and Excellence, and buys into them completely."
During his tenure at Kentucky, Graham established himself as one of the rising stars in U.S. distance coaching, helping mentor some of the most-decorated male middle distance and distance runners in the program's recent history. Included among the many accolades earned by Graham's student-athletes were two podium finishes on the international stage with an 800-meter gold medalist at the 2014 NACAC Outdoor Championships and the 800m silver medal at the 2014 Canadian national championship, along with a 2016 World Junior Championships qualifier in the 1500m run.
On the collegiate level, Graham guided two NCAA Cross Country Championship qualifiers, two NCAA Indoor All-Americans, two NCAA Outdoor All-Americans, six Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles, eight All-SEC finishers and five Kentucky school records.
Graham spent three seasons as an assistant coach at American (2009-2011, 2012-13) while pursuing his master of business administration degree from AU's Kogod School of Business. During that time, he helped guide two NCAA Cross Country Championship qualifiers in Octavia Rinehardt (2010) and Mark Allen (2012).
On the track, Graham helped coach Erin Koch and Rinehardt to NCAA Preliminary Round qualifications in 2011, followed by Allen and Mark Leininger in 2013. AU also saw six Patriot League champions during his tenure, including four title-winning performances from school record-holder Octavia Rinehardt.
"This program has had a great history of producing top-caliber athletes in a unique small-school setting," Graham said. "American has ideal training venues in and around campus and D.C., and the young student-athletes on both the men's and women's teams are in a great position to take big steps forward.
"With the help of the great staff already on board, we will continue to focus on developing the men's and women's middle distance and distance athletes, and will work tirelessly on achieving Patriot League and national-level success on both the cross country course and track."
THE SEAN GRAHAM FILE - COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
While at Kentucky...
While at American...
THE SEAN GRAHAM FILE - COMPETITIVE CAREER
While at William & Mary...