Duane Ross joined North Carolina A&T as the director of the track and field programs on July 11, 2012. Ross is responsible for six programs at A&T including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. All six programs have made tremendous strides under Ross’ leadership.
N.C. A&T’s track and field programs have made tremendous strides under Ross. N.C. A&T men and women have won a combined 32 (indoor and outdoor) individual Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles and a combined seven relay titles under Ross. Twenty-five of those titles have come during the outdoor conference championships and 22 of those titles belong on the men’s side and 17 of them belong to women. In 2013, the Aggies had four different athletes in four different events qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round. A year later seven different Aggies made the preliminary round in five different events. Ross up the event count in 2015 when seven different Aggies made the preliminary round in seven different events.
Two-thousand sixteen was the banner year for Ross’ outdoor programs, however, with 13 athletes making the preliminary round in seven different events. In addition, sprinter Christopher Belcher broke the MEAC 100-meter record at the MEAC championships with a time of 10.07. In addition, the Aggies men’s team became the first MEAC track program to reach the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top-25 when they earned the No. 21 ranking on May 8, 2016. A day later, the Aggies top three 100 meter runners were ranked as the No. 1 trio in the nation by USTFCCCA.
In back-to-back years the Aggies sent five athletes to NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships. For the first time in school history the Aggies qualified two men for the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships when Michael Dickson (60-meter hurdles) and Maurice Eaddy (60 meters) qualified. Dickson is the first-ever 60mh runner from A&T to qualify. In 2015-16, Desmond Lawrence became the first Aggie athlete to earn All-American honors as an indoor and outdoor athlete when he advanced to the NCAA finals in the 60 meters.
The Aggie men have three second-place finishes at the outdoor MEAC championship event and two second-place finishes at the MEAC indoor championships with Ross as head coach. Ross also oversaw Morgan Knight breaking the MEAC indoor record in the pole vault (11-feet, 5 3/4 inches) in 2016 and Lawrence took down the MEAC’s 60-meter record (6.64) in 2015.
During the 2014 indoor season, the Aggies had four athletes qualify for the USATF Championships. Lawrence broke the school mark in the men’s 60-meter preliminaries at USATF by recording a time of 6.60. In 2014, Lawrence became the 11th All-American in school history by finishing seventh in the national NCAA 100-meter finals. In qualifying for the NCAA finals, Lawrence ran a 10.12. The Aggies 400-meter relay team finished sixth on national television in the Championship of America college men’s final at the 2013 Penn Relays.
Cross country has also seen improvements under Ross’ leadership. In 2012, the men finished fourth, in 2013 they finished third and in 2014 and ’15 they finished second. Three N.C. A&T men’s runners earned first-team All-MEAC honors in 2014 and ‘15. Hakeem Mustafaa finished second at the 2015 MEAC Cross Country Championships and he advanced to the NCAA Southeast Regional.
Ross came to A&T after serving as the track and field director at Methodist University, a Division III program, in Fayetteville, N.C. for the past five years. During his time at Methodist, the Monarchs won nine individual NCAA Championships and earned 46 All-American honors. On 62 occasions, a Monarch achieved an NCAA qualifying mark and Methodist has won 84 individual Mason Dixon Conference Championships under Ross' direction. The last four Mason Dixon Conference Athletes of the Year have been Monarchs, and the last two Cross Country Mason Dixon Athletes of the Year were also Methodist student-athletes.
The Monarch women captured both the indoor and outdoor Mason Dixon Conference Championship titles in 2011 and the outdoor title again in 2012. Their conference championship was the first in the programs history. In 2011 the Monarchs finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championship before going on to finish third at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 2012 the Monarchs finished fourth at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships and fourth again at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Under his tutelage, sprinter Ashlynn Chavis won numerous National Championships, set NCAA all-time bests in the 100 meters, Long jump and as a member of the 4x100 meter relay, while sprinter Ruby Blackwell was named the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association National Athlete of the Year in 2011.His athletes took the USTFCCCA South/Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year and also the USTFCCCA South/Southeast Region Field Athlete of the Year awards in 2011. Ross also amassed 25 scholar athlete honors, two Academic All-American honors, three Methodist University Scholar Athlete of the Year awards and 43 school records in his tenure at Methodist.
Ross garnered numerous Coach of the Year awards during his time at Methodist: Two consecutive USTFCCCA South/Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012, Mason Dixon Indoor Coach of the Year in 2011 and Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012, and Methodist University Coach of the Year in 2011.
Ross began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Clemson University, his alma mater, in 1996.
Ross joined Methodist University after retiring from his professional career as an Olympic athlete and world class sprinter. Ross competed on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004, and earned a silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Trials in the men's 110 meter hurdles. He finished ninth in the 110 hurdles at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He is a four-time member of the U.S. World Championship team, where he earned two U.S. Championships and two silvers medals in the 60 and 110 meter hurdles. He also earned the bronze medal in that event in the 1999 World Championships. He was consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world in his event throughout his professional career.
He made his debut in world track and field events at the 1997 IAAF World Indoor Championships, where he finished fourth in the 60 meter hurdles event. He also finished fourth in the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 1999 IAAF Grand Prix Final. Ross was the 1998 USA Indoor 60 meter hurdles champion. His highest ranking was fifth in the world in 2003.
Ross won the NCAA Championship in the 110 hurdles in 1995 as a member of the Clemson University track and field team. At Clemson, he became a seven-time All-American and five-time ACC Champion in addition to his national title. He received his bachelor's degree in financial management in 1996 from Clemson. He completed his master's degree in sports management and physical education from Aspen University in 2016.
Ross is from Dallas, N.C., and attended North Gaston High School. He was a football standout in high school, and joined the track and field team to rehabilitate an ankle injury before the next football season. He found immense success in the hurdles, and won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state title in the 110 meter hurdles in his first season.
Ross holds a USA Track and Field Level 1 coaching certification and is also a certified USA Track and Field official. He's the former Vice President for USA Track and Field for the state of North Carolina.
|Position:||Director of Track and Field Programs|