The Radford University cross country and track and field programs completed its coaching staff with the addition of Mike Bianchina and Sarah Murphy on Friday afternoon.
Bianchina will assist with the men and women’s distance runners and over daily operations of the program, while Murphy will be focusing on the jumpers and multi-event athletes at Radford.
Prior to his position at Radford Bianchina spent a year working with the McNeese State University cross country and track and field teams in Lake Charles, La. Bianchina assisted with distance runners and played a large role in meet operations.
During his time at McNeese, Bianchina assisted in coaching Alex Eykelbosch to a Southland Conference title in the 5000m at the indoor championships, as well as, a runner up finish in the 3000m and a fourth-place finish in the women’s distance medley relay.
He assisted coaching Gladys Jerotich to an all-conference, fourth-place finish in the Southland Conference Cross Country Championships and Miguel Barrera-Lopez to a fourth-place finish in both the 10000m and 5000m at the 2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Before McNeese, Bianchina had a successful career as a member of the Bradley cross country and track and field programs. There Bianchina competed in cross country, 800m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m. In his sophomore season, he ran the fourth fastest mile in school history and finished sixth at the MVC Indoor Championships.
As a junior and senior, Bianchina was a member of two Missouri Valley Conference Champion Cross Country teams in 2015 (first title in school history) and 2017. As a junior, he clocked a 1:54.85 in the 800-meters for the school’s best time since the 1991 season and the second-best time overall. He also clocked the third-best mile time in school history at 4:08.79 and was a member of the 4×800-meter relay team that set a new school record.
He was a four-time MVC Honor Roll student, six-time Bradley Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, and earned the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award in 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree in health science in 2018.
Prior to Radford, Murphy served as the graduate assistant for Winthrop assisting both men’s and women’s cross country and track teams for the 2017-19 seasons. While at Winthrop, Murphy helped coach three Eagle jumpers to the podium at the Big South Indoor and Outdoor Conference Championships.
She also assisted in qualifying a long jumper to the NCAA East Prelims and helped another Eagle break the school record in the triple jump. While at Winthrop, Murphy obtained her Masters of Science in Sport and Fitness Administration and became a USATF Level 1 certified coach.
“I am extremely excited to add Sarah to our staff, Shelli Sayers said. “She did an outstanding job at Winthrop on and off the track. She is a very talented coach and will do a tremendous job recruiting and coaching in the event areas we are successful in in the Big South.”
Before Winthrop, Murphy graduated from Wilmington College in 2015 and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. While at Wilmington, she competed for four years on the women’s track and field team and for three years on the women’s cross country team.
During the four years at WC, Murphy set four school records in the 100m hurdles, 60m hurdles, 55m hurdles, and the heptathlon. Murphy was the OAC champion in the 100m hurdles and runner up in the 400m hurdles, earning her co-MVP for sprints and Spring Athlete of the Year for the 2015 Outdoor season.