ATLANTA, November 24, 2014 – Following through on its commitment to build new centralized training programs to meet the needs of its 21,000 beginner, committed and elite members, Atlanta Track Club announced today that it has hired Amy Begley, a 2008 US Olympian, as the first full-time head coach in the Club’s 50-year history.
Among Atlanta Track Club’s stated goals is to develop at least one male and one female Olympian by 2020.
Begley, a 15-time All-American and two-time NCAA national champion while competing for the University of Arkansas, made the 2008 Olympic team at 10,000 meters with a dramatic last lap, racing the clock to beat the required “A” time standard for inclusion. In 2009, she finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships at the same distance in a personal best 31:13.78., making her the eighth-fastest American woman in history. She finished her professional career with six national titles, four of them—at 3000m indoors and 10,000 meters on the track and at 5K and 15K on the roads—in 2009.
“I can’t wait to return to Georgia as Head Coach at Atlanta Track Club,” said Begley, 36, who lived and trained in Atlanta for a year during her career while her husband, Andrew, coached at Riverwood High School. “I believe in the organization’s mission of improving health and wellness through running. This sport has had a profound impact on my life, and I am eager to pay it forward to Club members of all ages and abilities.”
Among her other endeavors since retiring from professional competition, Begley in 2012 founded the Distance Divas in Portland, OR, to help post-collegiate women bridge the gap to a possible professional career. She also founded the Track is for Everybody Foundation, a nonprofit developed to provide youth educational and sports programs.
Named the women’s cross-country coach and assistant women’s track-and-field coach at the University of Connecticut in 2013, Begley led two women to last weekend’s NCAA Cross Country Championships, the first time in school history in which two women qualified for the national championships in the same season.
Begley, along with her husband—a 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials competitor at 10,000 meters who will assist in coaching Atlanta Track Club members—will relocate to Atlanta from Connecticut and begin her duties on December 1.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 21,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.