Preston Grey is in his ninth year at Azusa Pacific, entering his first season as the head coach of the women's track and field team and his eighth at the helm of the Cougar men's and women's distance programs. Grey, who helped Azusa Pacific capture its first-ever NAIA women's cross country crown in 2008, is coming off a season in which he led the women to an NAIA runner-up appearance in 2011.
Under his watch, he's led the men to three of the top four finishes in the program's 47-year history, and likewise the women have also posted three of their four best national performances. Grey was named the 2008 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year after the Cougar women captured the 2008 NAIA national championship, their first-ever title, and that same year the Cougar men posted their best team finish as NAIA national runner-up.
Known as an outstanding recruiter, Grey is even better as a teacher and coach. In just seven seasons leading the Cougar distance teams he has already coached 12 cross country All-Americans (Jaime Canterbury, Renee Graham, Whitney Jacobsmeyer, Lauren Jimison, Jacky Kipwambok, Poppy Lawman, Forrest Lewton, Abednego Magut, Victoria Martinez, Wade Meddles, Becca Reyes, Aron Rono). Included in the mix are Azusa Pacific's first-ever NAIA individual champions, Aron Rono (NAIA men's champion in 2007 and 2008) and Jaime Canterbury (NAIA women's champion in 2007).
In track & field he has coached 10 All-Americans and four national champions, including Rono, the only person in track & field history to win collegiate championships in the 1500-, 5000-, and 10,000-meters in the same meet (2008 NAIA outdoors).
Grey came to Azusa Pacific in summer of 2004 as a graduate assistant coach, and the following year he took over a very sound and strong Cougar distance program. In his debut season as a head coach, he led the Cougar men to a fifth-place showing in the NAIA. The following year, his Cougars came in third in the NAIA men's championship meet for their best finish ever while the Cougar women returned to the top ten with a ninth-place finish. In 2007, the Cougar women continued to improve with a sixth-place effort, followed by the national championship performance in 2008. The men's runner-up finish in 2008 was the program's best-ever. A fifth-place 2009 finish for the women was followed by a sixth-place effort in 2010.
Grey put together an outstanding 4-year distance running career at NAIA-member Cornerstone University of Grand Rapids, Mich. He was a 2-time qualifier for the NAIA cross country championship meet, earning All-American recognition during his 2003 senior season when he also clocked a school-record 24.58 8K. He was also a two-time all-region and three-time all-conference honoree.
In track & field, Grey was a six-time qualifier for the NAIA championship meet and was a two-time All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference honoree. He posted career bests of 31:22 (10,000 meters), 14:51 (5000 meters) and 8:46 (3000 meters).A native of Penfield, Ill., near Champaign, Grey graduated from Cornerstone in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in business/sports management. In 2007 he earned a master's degree in education from Azusa Pacific. Grey currently resides in Glendora.