Worcester, MA --- Longtime WPI Men's and Women's Cross Country coach Brian Savilonis has announced his retirement. An accomplished head coach for over a quarter century, Savilonis will remain at the university as a professor of mechanical engineering.
Savilonis, the longest tenured head coach currently at WPI, has been the head coach of the women's program since its inception in 1985. He also took the reins of the women's track and field program for a decade before relinquishing his track and field duties to focus on both the men's and women's cross country squads. The 2010 season marked his 26th year with the women's cross country program and 17th with the men's.
"After over 25 years, I think back of all the great student-athletes I have come across and how much fun I have had watching them grow and mature as runners and people," commented Savilonis. "It feels like everyone is part of my extended family and I'm miss them dearly."
This past fall he guided the men to a fourth place finish and the women to a seventh place showing at the NEWMAC championships while helping Vicky Hewey (Sanford, ME) earn All-NEWMAC status. Equally as impressive, Savilonis' athletes combined for 18 NEWMAC All-Academic honors, including a team-best 13 on the men's side.
Meet championships were a common occurrence during the Savilonis era on Boynton Hill. Under his tutelage, the Engineers won all 17 Men's City meets while capturing the last three Women's City championships. During Savilonis' tenure, WPI also won titles at the Engineers Cup, Tri-States Invitational hosted by Roger Williams and CCRI, Western New England and Goddard Park in Rhode Island.
" Brian has been an outstanding coach, educator and supporter of the cross country and track and field programs through the years," said WPI Director of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, Dana L. Harmon. "His dedication to our student-athletes in helping them to grow and develop in the classroom, in the community and in competition will be missed. We are truly thankful for everything he has done for WPI athletics."
Savilonis graduated from WPI in 1972 with a degree in mechanical engineering and continued at WPI by completing his MS degree in 1973. He went on to receive his PhD from the University of Buffalo in 1976. After working at the University of Virginia and Widener University in Pennsylvania, he joined the WPI faculty in 1981. He was promoted to professor of mechanical engineering in 1993 with research interests in biomechanics and thermofluids. His activities also extend to the biomedical engineering department.
Savilonis looks forward to having more of an opportunity to train as an accomplished race walker and runner. He has won the New England race walking Grand Prix five times, along with numerous other age group national titles. Savilonis is also looking forward to spending more time with his wife Ann, who already has several gardening projects planned for around the couple's home in Princeton.