On July 19, 2007 Matt Roe was hired to direct Butler’s Track and Field/Cross Country programs. Roe came to Indianapolis after quickly developing strong distance programs at Long Beach State (2004-2007) and Western Illinois (2001-2004). While furthering Butler’s strong international ties, Roe has developed a successful program model firmly committed to advancing regional recruiting, academic achievement, team culture, and overall program development.
As a result, Butler’s school record book has been dismantled and re-written. Roe, an eight time Horizon League Coach of the Year, has led the Bulldogs to no less than 24 school records, including Butler’s first two athletes under the four minute mile barrier.
Under Roe’s direction the program has enjoyed success at the NCAA national level in both track and cross country. Nationally, the program had produced 14 NCAA finals qualifiers, and seven All Americans. In 2008 the men qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, placing 29th. In 2009, Roe led Butler to its best Men’s NCAA finish in Outdoor Track (40th). During the 2009 championships, Butler joined Stanford and Oregon as one of three programs in the country to produce a male qualifier at 1500, 3000 meter steeplechase, and 5000 meters. In the 2010 indoor season Roe led Rob Mullett to Butler’s first sub four minute mile. Mullet’s 7th place in the NCAA mile final led Butler to its 2nd best NCAA indoor finish in school history (56th). At the 2011 NCAA Outdoor championships, lead by Kris Gauson’s 3rd fastest NCAA mark (3:40.59), Butler earned distinction as one of six schools nationally to produce a male and female qualifier in the 1500 meters.
From 2008-2012 Roe has advanced 33 Butler athletes to NCAA Regional track competition. At the 2011 East Preliminary round, Butler joined Florida State and Columbia as one of only three schools to have male competitor in the 800, 1500, 5000, and 10,000 meters. Butler was the only program in the East Region to achieve this feat while also having female competitors in the 1500, 5000, and 10000. In 2012, Butler was one of five schools in the NCAA East Regional Championships to have a male and a female to qualify for the 1500 meter final.
At the Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Championships, Roe’s men have placed 6th or better the last four years. En route to an NCAA team birth, the 2008 men tied Butler’s all time top finish, placing 3rd overall. The women have three top ten finishes, including a 5th place finish in 2007 (3rd best all time). Individually, Roe has had a male finish in the top 3 or better in thee of the five regional meets he has coached at Butler. In 2011 sophomore Callum Hawkins broke through to become the 2nd athlete in school history to win the regional individual title. Hawkins was named Great Lakes Regional Male Athlete of the Year. In total, Roe has mentored an impressive 16 All Great Lakes Regional harriers during his time in Indianapolis.
In the Horizon League, Roe’s athletes have been nothing short of dominant. In just five years, Roe’s athletes have achieved a staggering 171 All Horizon League honors, 66 Individual and Relay titles, 16 Athletes of the Year, 14 Horizon League Championship records, nine Cross Country team titles, and eight Newcomer of the Year awards. While furthering conference dominance in Cross Country, significant strides have been made at the conference level on the Track. At the 2010 Indoor Championships the program had its best combined finish in school history with a pair of runner-up finishes. For the women it was the best team finish in school history, while ranking second all time for the men.
Academically, Roe’s athletes have raised the bar earning USTFCCCA All Academic Recognition in every season during his tenure. In the 2009 track season, Roe’s women ranked second nationally (3.547), while the men were finished the year ranked 4th (3.347) in overall team GPA. For their combined effort the Bulldogs led the nation as program in team GPA, outpacing Yale for the top spot. Individually, the program has earned an unprecedented nine All- District, and five Academic All American awards.
Prior to taking the reigns’ at Butler Roe engineered one of the top turnarounds in Division I distance running at Long Beach State from 2004-2007. Roe’s accomplishments were recognized by his peers as they voted him to be the Men’s West Regional Cross Country Representative for the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) from 2007-2009.
With their finishes at the Big West Conference meet, the 2006 cross country squad completed the best two year run in school history. The women’s 2nd place conference finish in 2006 was best in school history. In 2005 both cross country teams leapt from 6th to 3rd at the Big West Conference meet, marking the best 49er finish in 17 years. At the West Regional meet, the women vaulted from 20th in 2004 to 10th in 2005. The men climbed from 15th to 10th place matching the women’s team finish. Collectively, Roe’s squads combined conference and regional improvements were unmatched by any competitive Division I school in the country from 2004-2005.
On the track the 49er’s were equally successful under Roe. Roe’s men played a vital role in the first conference track title in 30 years. At the 2006 Big West Championships, Roe’s men tallied an all time 49er distance best of 34 points to help secure the conference crown. Not to be outdone, the women recorded 33 points at the Big West meet, also an all time 49er best. The women’s distance contribution helped guide the team to a 3rd place finish and the best two year conference run in school history.
At LBSU Roe’s athletes did more than improve they did so at impressive rates. Most notably, Jim Grabow became the first male distance runner in school history to earn All American honors finishing 11th at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. Grabow, a 14:50 5000 junior college transfer in 2004, clocked personal bests of 13:44.04 in the 5000 meters and 7:59.40 at 3000 meters in his final season under Roe’s guidance. Grabow ended 2007 ranked 6th on the U.S. indoor list at 5000 meters.
In less than three years at The Beach, Roe’s runners recorded 51 All-time top 10 marks, 14 All Big West Selections, 12 school records, four NCAA National Qualifying marks, a Big West Conference Champion, one All American, and one Academic All American.
Prior to his appointment at The Beach, Roe made Western Illinois one of the most improved Division I distance programs in the nation from 2001-2004. In his first year, Roe also helped the Leatherneck men gain their 2nd Conference Outdoor Track title in school history in 2002, coaching Zach Somers to the first individual male conference distance title in a decade. At the 2003 Mid Con Outdoor Championships Roe’s men and women continued to gain momentum combining for a school record 98 distance points. Their collective performance stood in stark contrast to the 27 total distance points in 2001Outdoor Championships, just months before Roe’s hire.
As the Head Cross Country Coach at Western, Roe led both the men’s and the women’s program from the bottom to near the top of the Mid Continent Conference. In only his second season, Roe’s women went from sixth to second at the Conference Championships, establishing one of the top one- year turnarounds in Division I from 2001-2002. The women’s finish was best in school history. Roe’s men improved dramatically at the conference meet jumping from seventh in 2001 to fourth in 2002 to third in 2003. All tolled in Roe’s three years at Western he produced 24 All Mid Continent athletes, nine runner-up conference finisher, three conference champions, two school records, and two All American with Distinction Academic teams.
Prior to coach at Western Illinois, Roe served as an Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach at the University of Montana from 1999-2001. Roe helped guide the Grizzlies to 11 individual Big Sky titles, eight NCAA appearances, and two All American honors. Roe assisted the 2000 Lady Grizzlies to their best all-time Big Sky (second) and Mountain Regional (fifth) cross country finishes. The 2000 season was capped off by Sabrina Monro’s runner-up finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
A standout on the track and trail for Division I national distance power University of Portland, Roe was a three-time All West Coast Conference harrier. A three-time WCC scholar athlete, Roe earned degrees in English (1997) and History (1998) from Portland. A USATF Level II certified coach, Roe earned his M.S. in Physical Education (Sport Psychology) from Western Illinois in 2003.