Kathy Manizza was appointed head men's and women's track and field and cross country coach in June of 2012, returning to the program as head coach after a 13-year head coaching stint at the Division I level.
A veteran of more than 25 seasons of coaching at the college and high school levels, Manizza returned to Eastern in a fulltime capacity after serving as its parttime head men’s and women’s cross country coach for seven years (1993-99) and as its head men’s and women’s track and field coach for five (1994-98).
For 13 years, Manizza coached men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s track and field at the University of Hartford, a Division I institution which competes in the America East conference.
Manizza, a 30-year resident of the eastern Connecticut area, became the12th permanent cross country coach since the advent of the program in 1971 and 13th head track and field coach since 1975. All but three of those former coaches served in parttime capacities.
In the fall of 2017, Manizza was named Little East Conference women's cross country Coach-of-the-Year after leading the program to its first LEC championship when the Warriors unseated 17-time defending champion Keene State College with an eight-point win over runnerup Plymouth State University. Two Eastern runners finished in the top ten in that race -- Kassandrah Banks (second) and Haley Knox (ninth) -- and were awarded All-LEC recognition for their performances.
In the last six seasons under Manizza, the track & field and cross country programs have produced three All-Americas, with 65 athletes earning All-New England status, and eight achieving All-ECAC recognition. Additionally, one has won a New England Division III championship and one an ECAC Division III title. In six years, there have also been five Little East Conference major award-winners, and eight departmental major award-winners. Academically, there have been three CoSIDA Academic All-District selections, 183 athletes named to the Little East All-Academic Team, and 53 to the E-Club Scholar-Athlete list. Three times, the women's cross country program has received the department's Faculty Athletic Representative Award for academic achievement.
In addition to the women's Little East cross country championship in 2017-18, the track & field programs featured six indoor and six outdoor All-New England achievers, with the women's 4x800 relay winning the Little East/New England Alliance indoor championships and Samantha McKosky capturing the Little East indoor mile. McKosky was also named Eastern's Individual Sport Athlete-of-the-Year and four-year cross country and track & field letterwinner Cooper Goslin received the Francis E. Geissler Male SportsPerson-of-the-Year Award for dedication, spirit, fair play and sportsmanship and earned a CoSIDA Academic All-District Award.
Manizza, who served as an assistant track and cross country coach at Eastern for two years before being appointed head coach, coached 32 Division III All-New England athletes in five outdoor seasons as head coach at Eastern, one of whom was a New England javelin champion and five of whom placed second in the regional meet.
As she did at Eastern, Manizza instituted the indoor track and field program and early in her tenure at Hartford produced the program’s first New England champion.
Manizza resides in Bolton with husband Ken and has one son, Greg, a 2011 graduate of the University of Hartford.