Stephanie Reily enters her sixth season as the head coach of Bryant's cross country and track and field teams taking the team to new strides. In an interview with WomenTalkSports.com, Reilly said the future is bright for the Bulldogs cross country and track and field teams. “I love coaching and building these programs here at Bryant,” she said.
Prior to entering her fifth season with the Bulldogs last fall, Reilly competed for her home country Ireland in the 2012 Olympic Games that were held in London. Reilly competed in the 3,000m Steeplechase, finishing ninth in the second heat with a time of 9:44.77. In her lead up to the Olympic Games she also competed at the European track and field championships in Helsinki, Finland. The experience from her first European championships back in 2010 in Barcelona, Spain proved strong as this time she advanced passed the preliminary heats to qualify for the European championship final in the 3000m steeplechase. Listen to Reilly talk about her lead up to the Olympic Games this summer:
She followed up her Olympic experience with a record setting 2012-13 season. It started in the fall as Reilly engineered one of the best seasons in cross country history at the DI level. She led the women’s cross country team to a third-place team finish on her way to Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honors. Under Reilly’s tutelage, three runners enjoyed stellar seasons. Already one of the top runners to ever race at Bryant, junior Eimear Black established herself as the best runner in the conference, winning the NEC championship race by 13 seconds. She was also named the NEC Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Black wasn’t the only one to excel as freshman Annmarie Tuxbury was named NEC Female Cross Country Rookie of the Year. Tuxbury and junior Martha Reynolds also joined Black on the all-conference team. Reilly’s charges were also awarded the NEC Sportsmanship Award at the conclusion of the season.
This momentum carried the Bulldogs into the track and field seasons where Reilly’s squad rewrote the record book. In all, the Bulldogs set 13 school records during the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Black continued her stellar junior campaign, setting school records in the 3000 and 5000 during the indoor season and then the 3000, 5000 and 10000 during the outdoor season. Reilly’s jumpers also enjoyed success as freshman Nicole Dempsey set the long jump record during the indoor season and Patrick Decker and Tyler Egner combined to break the indoor and outdoor pole vault records. At the NEC outdoor championships, Black was a two-time All-NEC performer as she finished second in the 5000 and 10000. Bryant’s three pole vaulters, John Somers, Egner and Decker, also earned All-NEC honors at the outdoor meet. Reynolds joined Black on the all-conference team in the 5000 with a fourth-place finish.
During the 2011-12 season she continued to build the Bulldog cross country and track and field programs. That building included a pair of All-NEC runners during the cross country season. Sophomore Eimear Black emerged as one of the top runners in the conference and one of the best to race for the Black and Gold. She finished second at NEC Championships with a time of 18:47.40. On the men's side, Reilly saw junior David Hurley become the first male to earn All-NEC honors as he finished 14th at the championships.
The success continued into the track and field season as Reilly's charges rewrote the indoor and outdoor record books. In all, the Bulldogs set 13 new school records. Under Reilly's watch, freshman Jasmine Bryant had an excellent rookie season, setting four school records. At NEC indoor championships, Reilly watched as her women's and men's distance medley relay teams both set school records and finished in the top 10. The women's side ran to a third-place finish, while the men finished sixth.
The 2010-11 season in Bryant's third year competing at the Division I level, Reilly and her staff engineered an unfaltering season that saw the improvement of multiple runners. A tactical mix of freshman and upperclassmen paved the way for Bryant XC to continue to elevate its level of competition, as the men's and women's side captured sixth and eighth place respectively in the conference.
In the 2009-10 season, Reilly guided first-year phenom Deirdre Doyle (Carlow, Ireland) to winning multiple conference titles including the 1500 meter in track, the 3,000 meter and the mile in indoor, and a seventh-place overall finish at the cross country NEC Championships in November 2009. In addition, at the New England Championships, Doyle broke the Bryant 1500 meter record.
Born to be a runner
Reilly is from a track and field family. Growing up in Ireland, her mom founded an athletic club when Reilly was just a baby.
Reilly became a three-time Irish national champion in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, and 3,000 meters in high and represented the Irish National team at the European Junior Cross Country Championships in 1996.
A 2001 graduate of Providence College, Reilly was a member of two New England Championship teams in 1998 and 1999 and one Big East Conference Championship team in 1997. She received her M.Ed in Guidance and Counseling from Providence College in 2004.
Following graduation Reilly continues to race competitively locally, around New England and Internationally, and currently holds best times of: 1000m - 2:48, Mile - 4:36, 3000m – 9:02, 3000m steeplechase – 9:42, 5000m – 15:46.
Reilly and her husband Paul live in Northbridge, MA, with their two sons, Marcus, and Dylan.