Brian Hirshblond is in his 16th year coaching and 14th year as an assistant coach in West Long Branch. Hirshblond, a Monmouth graduate who mentors the Hawks' sprinters and hurdlers, returned to West Long Branch after serving two years as an assistant coach at Sacred Heart University. A USATF Level 2 Certified coach and U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Sprint/Hurdle/Relay Specialist, Hirshblond’ s impact on the Hawks' staff has been immediate and consistent. Since his return to Monmouth, the Hawks have enjoyed unprecedented success in the sprint/hurdle and relay events. During his tenure in West Long Branch, Hirshblond has coached 2 All-Americans, 64 NCAA Division I Regional Qualifiers, 170 Conference Champions and 112 All-East Athletes.
Bryan Sosoo ran 6.70 in the 60m dash to break MAAC Championship Indoor record and qualify for the USA Indoor Championships. Ahmier Dupree broke the 200m indoor record at the IC4A Indoor Championships running 21.50. Geordan Ferguson and Andrea Olsen were both named MAAC Outdoor Championship MVP’s as they both earned gold in the 400h and 100/110 meter hurdles. They also qualified for the NCAA East Regional 1st round making it to the Semi-finals in personal best of 51.23 and 58.75 respectively.
School Records in 2015-16: Andrea Olsen- 100h 14.00, 4x100m- (Sosoo, Kahana, Chavis, Dupree) 40.86, Ahmier Dupree (In) 200m 21.50, Bryan Sosoo-60m 6.70.
2014-2015 Season the men’s sprints/hurdles/relays broke every school record from the 4x400m, 500, 400, 200, 60m hurdles, and 60m dash. The men won the indoor IC4A Championships with Jalen Walker’s victory in the 60m hurdles (7.90) earning gold and breaking the school record in the process. Geordan Ferguson joined Walker earning All-East honors in the 60mh. Ben Boyd placed 3rd in the 400 (47.45) breaking the school record. Dupree also broke indoor school records in the 60m and 200m, while earning All-East honors in the 60m dash, with teammate Bryan Sosoo in the 60m as well. Dupree went on to break the outdoor 100m dash in 10.55 seconds. The men’s 4x400m relay broke the school record which stood for 10 years. On the women’s side, Domoah Kutu-Akoi earned All-East honors while breaking the 60m dash school record in 7.62 Kate Frye was named All-East in the 400m as well. The women saw gold at the MAAC Outdoor Championships in the 100, 400, 400IH, and 4x400m relay.
2014 Outdoor season saw the women’s 4x100 (Williams, Wallace, Frye, Toussiant) shatter the school record (45.89) winning the MAAC Championship, earning All-East honors, and taking 2nd in the ECAC final at the prestigious Penn Relay’s by only .02. Kate Frye who was also a member of the 4x100, broke the Outdoor 400m record crossing the line in 53.86 making her a Nationally Ranked athlete and qualifying for the NCAA East Regional along with Laura Williams in the 400ih. The men held their own as Ahmier Dupree won the 100/200m dash at the MAAC Championships along with gold in the 4x400m relay, 110h and 400IH.
Hirshblond helped with MU's transition to the MAAC, finding immediate success in the new conference by winning the indoor MAAC Championships on both the men's and women's side in 2014. MU went 1-2 in both the men's and women's 60 meter dash, with Eric Kahana (6.94) and Ahmier Dupree on the men's side and Mariah Toussaint and Lachelle Wallace on the women's. MU also went 1-2 in the women's 200, with Toussaint again taking first and breaking the MAAC record (24.30). Laura Williams took second in 24.61, both breaking school records. The Hawks have won three straight indoor and outdoor MAAC titles since.
The women's 4x400 claimed first place at MAAC's, and Jalen Walker notched a new school record in the 60m hurdles, taking second in 8.00 with Monmouth placing three in the top eight. Kate Frye won the hurdles on the women's side with an ECAC qualifying time of 8.74, joining three teammates in the finals. Ben Boyd took second in the 400, topping three other MU runners who took spots in the top eight. Laura Williams led the women in second place, again with three other Hawks claiming top eight spots.
Hirshblond coached Honorable Mention All-American Rachel Watkins throughout her four years in the Blue and White, earning All-American honors in the spring of 2013 in the 400 hurdles. She was the first track All-American in Monmouth history for either gender. She holds the school record with a time of 58.28, and was an ECAC Champion in 2013.
In the 2010-2011 season, he coached Laura Williams to Jr. All-American status in the 400ih at the USA Jr. National Championship. The NEC Outdoor Rookie of the Meet recorded a new school record in the 400 meters along with earning All-East honors at the ECAC Championships. Hirshblond also saw Rachel Watkins win a NEC Championships in the 400ih and qualify for the ECAC Championships. On the men's side, Geoff Navarro took second place in the indoor 60m and 200m, while earning a gold medal anchoring the 4x100 at the NEC Championships. Jalen Walker took third in the NEC outdoor championships in the 110h and finished 12th at the Jr. Nationals in the same event.
In 2010, Hirshblond guided Terrell Gissendanner to a Northeast Conference Championship in the 110 hurdles and to breaking the school record in the event posting a time of 14.20. Hirshblond also coached Chris Rutherford to a IC4A and NCAA Regional appearance while his 4x100 team recorded the second fastest time in school history with 41.00. On the women's side, Hirshblond had five finishers in the top 10 in the 400ih at the conference championship. Rookie Rachael Watkins took the 400m crown at the NEC indoor championships, while Michelle Losey broke school records in three different events.
The 2009 season was another special year for Coach Hirshblond and his runners. Under Hirshblond's tuteledge, the sprints and hurdles squads were vital to the women's team winning both the 2009 Indoor and Outdoor NEC Championship titles and the men's team smashing the Northeast Conference outdoor team points record en-route to winning the NEC Outdoor Championships. In indoors, Hirshblond's women's crew posted two individual titles and finished second in the 400 while taking the coveted 4x400 meter relay title. He mentored all-everything Michelle Losey to another All-East title in the 400 meter indoor, as she broke the school record, and was part of the 4x400 team that also earned All-East honors. On the men's side, Hirshblond coached the second place 4x400 meter relay team of Kevin Merrigan, Geoff Navarro, Chris Rutherford and Chris Taiwo while overseeing Rutherford's second place 60 meter hurdle effort.
In outdoors, he helped guide Losey to her unprecedented fourth NEC Most Outstanding Track Performer award while overseeing her 400 meter and 200 meter titles. He also coached the women's 4x400 meter relay champion team and two second place performers in Crystal Stein (400 meters) and Colleen Rutecki (400 meter hurdles). The men's squad took the NEC Outdoor title in large part to Hirshblond's sprints and hurdles crew that included NEC Most Outstanding Track Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, Chris Rutherford's 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles wins. Hirshblond also oversaw the champion 4x100 meter relay team, second place 4x400 meter relay team, Geoff Navarro's 200 meter win and Stevenson Cajuste's 400 meter hurdle second place finish.
In 2008, Hirshblond mentored a number of key components to the Hawks' Women's NEC Indoor Championship squad, including Most Outstanding Performer Michelle Losey. Losey won the 400m, took second in the 200m and was one of the legs of the 4x400 relay team that took home the top spot. Losey went on to earn All-East honors at the ECAC Division I Championships. On the men's side, he tutored the Second Team All-NEC 4x400 relay team at the indoor championships.
Losey had an even stronger outdoor performance, earning first place finishes at the NECs in the 200m and 400m. Hirshblond's 4x400 relay team of Losey, Illiana Blackshear, Brittany Gibbs and Crystal Stein not only repeated as conference champions, but also earned All-East honors at the ECACs and a bid to the 2008 NCAA East Regional Championships. Losey repeated as the NEC's MOP honoree. Sophomore Chris Taiwo earned All-East honors in the 200m at the IC4A Division I Championships under Hirshblond's tutelage. Losey and the rest of 4x400 relay team raced against the best in the country at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor East Regionals, held on the campus of Florida State University. The sophomore also competed against the East's best in the 400m in Tallahassee.
At the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Hirshblond coached olympic hopeful and former MU All-American Tisifenee Taylor in the long jump.
In 2007, Hirshblond helped coach, along with MU assistant Devin Barry, Taylor to All-American status in the long jump (fourth) and the NEC Women's Outdoor MVP. She claimed first in the 100 meter dash, long jump, second in the 100m hurdles and was the anchor of the winning 4x100m relay team to lead the team to victory. She was named Women's Division I Mid-Atlantic Field Performer of the Year and qualifed for the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships for the second year in a row. Hirshblond also coached the women's 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams, both of which won at the NEC Outdoor Championships and both broke NEC meet records. His sprinters placed four athletes in the final of the women's NEC 400m in 2007. Hirshblond also mentored Latasha Dickson, who set the Monmouth school record in the 500m, was the 500m NEC champ and claimed All-East honors. She also won the NEC's 400m intermediate hurdle title and achieved All-East status in the intermediate hurdles for the second year in a row. The women's 4x400m indoor and outdoor NEC champs were also under his direction, as well as the men's 4x100m All-East squad, which ran the fifth fastest time in school history.
In the 2006 season, Hirshblond coached the Northeast Conference's fastest man in junior Fabrice St. Elme, who was the Indoor and Outdoor champ in the 60 and 100 meters. During the season St. Elme's time of 10.62 in the 100 broke Monmouth's record while Tisifenee Taylor's time of 11.93 broke the women's fastest 100m time. Hirshblond's women sprinters swept the top three spots in the 400 at the NEC Outdoor Championship, which marked the first time that occurred in either gender at the conference championships. His hurdle crew also had a successful year as Dickson was the 400IH champion at the NEC's and was an All-East selection in the Indoor 500 and Outdoor 400IH. On the men's side Matt Dahms took second in the 110H, Jeff Elisca was second in the 400IH at the NEC's and Kevin Gilroy took 7th in the same event. Hirshblond also had two of his athletes in the finals for both the men and the women in the 60m hurdles (Andrew Allen and Dahms for the men; Taylor and Joanne Shia for the women).
In the 2005-06 season alone, his athletes accounted for 15 broken school records. At the 2005 NEC indoor championships, the women's 4x400 relay captured its third straight Northeast Conference title. On the men's side, the 4x400 relay squad has finished second the past two years. Hirshblond also oversaw individual successes, including NEC Outdoor Most Outstanding Performer Troy Dennis, who won conference 100 and 200 titles in 2004.
In 2002, the men's 4x200 relay became just the fourth squad in program history to win at the Penn Relays, breaking the school record (1:25.25) to take gold in the IC4A final. Since his arrival in 2002, both the men's and women's outdoor 4x400 relays have almost never finished out of the top three in the NEC, capturing a combined four conference titles.
Hirshblond was a four-year letterwinner for the Blue and White and his name spangles the Hawks' record book. A versatile athlete, Hirshblond excelled in the jumps and sprints. During his career, Hirshblond scored in a variety of events at the Northeast Conference Championships, including the long jump, 55 meters 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay.
Hirshblond's top conference performance came at the 2000 outdoor championships where he won the 4x100, finished fourth in the 400 and seventh in the 200. At the 1999 NEC Indoor Championships, he finished fourth in the 200, fifth in the 400 and eighth in the 55.
No stranger to the central New Jersey track scene, the Bayville, N.J., native was a four-year standout and school record holder at Central Regional High School in football and track. He resides in Bayville, N.J.