Grady O'Connor - Head Coach Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field
Grady has been the Director of Men's/Women's Cross Country and Track and Field since 1998. During his tenure, he has consistently fielded one of the most competitive teams in the Northwest. His teams have recently won back to back conference championship titles to go along with thirty-one cross country and track and field regional titles. Under his watch, the program has produced over 300 Junior College All-Americans, set twenty-two different event school records, and garnered several NWAACC Coach of the Year honors (2002,05,06,07,10,12,13,14).
Prior to Lane, Grady coached at Cottage Grove High School (1995-96). He had an immediate impact, coaching the 4A State 100m Hurdle Champion, Katie Rowlett (14.1).
He was then hired as the multi event coach at Lane (1997), where he began establishing an impressive tradition of decathletes and heptathletes. Lane has had thirteen different multi event champions since 2002. Under Grady's direction, eight decathletes currently hold scores that place in the all-time top 10 list at Lane. His heptathletes hold seven of those top ten positions, including the school record. Many of these multi event athletes have continued on to Division I schools including: University of Oregon, Oregon State University, University of Alabama, Michigan State University, UCLA, Boise State University, Long Beach State, and Portland State University.
Beyond the multi event group, Grady has had success at recruiting and coaching athletes from every event. Some of the more notable Titans under Grady’s tenure have included: Jordan McNamara, Cyrus Hostetler, and Dakarai Hightower. Jordan is a multiple school record holder in the 1500m/3:41, 5000m/14:09, and 10K/29:32. Cyrus Hostetler is a 2012 Olympian in the javelin. Cyrus qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2008 after setting the Lane school record at 241”07”. And more recently, Dakarai Hightower, a ninth place finisher at the 2014 USATF Championships in the High Jump (7-03.25”).
As a Lane Faculty member, Grady has a multitude of responsibilities beyond coaching. He has served as the lead instructor for the weight room and teaches various sections of strength training. He also has successfully served as the meet director for the OSAA High School State Cross Country Meet since 1998. And recently, Grady was instrumental in developing and implementing all phases of a brand new IAAF Track and Field facility.
Grady attended the University of Oregon (1989-93). He was a two-sport athlete, competing and lettering in both track and football. As a freshman hurdler, he placed 5th at USA Junior Nationals (1990) in the 400IH (52.52). He qualified for the Pac-10 Championships four consecutive years and placed 4th in the conference (1992) in the 400IH (51.49). He was also a member of both 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads that posted season bests of 40.60 and 3:09.03.
Following his competitive days as a Duck, he joined the Oregon International Athletics Team, and continued to train and compete as a decathlete. Grady then went on to earn a Master of Science degree from Oregon State University (1998). He is USATF certified Level I and II (Multi Events).