[Head Coach Donna Ricks, Women's Cross Country]
[Donna Ricks, Women's Track and Field Headshot]Head Coach: Donna Ricks
The 2011 season was the 19th for Donna Ricks, professor of physical education, athletics and recreation, as head women's cross country and track and field coach at Carleton. Ricks is a six-time MIAC Coach of the Year (1995, 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2011 in cross country and 2012 indoor track).
Ricks led the Knights to the 2004 and 2005 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles, becoming only the third MIAC coach to lead a team to back-to-back conference titles. Her squads were conference runner-ups in 2006 and 2007, the later of which was the closest three-team finish in MIAC history. The Knights returned to the top spot in 2009 and then captured their fifth crown in 2011.
Under Coach Ricks, the Knights have made nine NCAA Championships appearances: 1993 (16th), 1995 (16th), 2002 (20th), 2004 (11th), 2005 (13th), 2006 (16th), 2009 (11th), and 2011 (T-8th).
The Knights have posted top-three MIAC Championships finishes 15 times in Ricks' 19 seasons, including the four titles and six runner-up finishes. Carleton has received the All-Academic Team Award every year since the program began in 1993.
Ricks came to Northfield after six years as head cross country and track and field coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she earned a B.S. degree and an M.A. degree in athletic administration. As a student there, Ricks was a cross country and track and field standout and All-American performer. In honor of her accomplishments, Ricks' alma mater inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1998 and named her the fifth-greatest female athlete to attend the school in the past century.
She is involved in national competition, serving as the U.S. National Women's Heptathlon Coach in 1996 and by continuing to compete herself.
Ricks resides in Northfield with her husband Dave (also the Carleton men's cross country and men's track and field head coach) and their daughter, Karissa.
Assistant Coach Laura Roach
Laura Roach, a 2010 Carleton graduate, returns to the Knights and serves as assistant coach with the women’s cross country and track and field programs. She spent the last two years as an assistant coach at Hamline University. Roach was a captain and four-year letter winner for the Knights in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. In cross country, she helped the Knights capture the 2009 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) crown and earned a trio of All-MIAC honors. She also ran three times at the NCAA Championships, improving her placement each instance and culminating with an All-American performance in 2009. On the track, she earned all-conference distinction four times and added All-MIAC honorable mention in eight additional events. Roach graduated with a major in biology and is finishing up her master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.