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 seven seasons under Manizza, the track & field and cross country programs have produced three All-Americas, with 73 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 seven years, there have also been eight Little East Conference major award-winners -- including Woman-of-the-Year Haley Knox in 2018-19 and indoor and outdoor track Rookie-of-the-Year Ryan Escoda in 2018-19 -- and ten departmental major award-winners. Academically, there have been four CoSIDA Academic All-District selections, 230 athletes named to the Little East All-Academic Team -- 47 alone in 2018-19 -- and 67 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 track & field in 2018-19, Eastern men and women earned All-Little East and/or All-New England Alliance recognition 108 times -- including 35 for the women outdoors. There were two relay championship teams -- with the women's 4x800 and Sam McKosky (mile) repeating indoor championships. In addition, Chidebe Ndibe captured the indoor long jump, Hayley Brodeur the outdoor 400, Haley Knox the outdoor 3000 steeplechase and Rahman Oteng the outdoor 100. The women and men both placed third outdoors and fourth indoors in the 2018-19 Little East Championships, with the women's cross country team running to second place in the fall.
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.