For this month's coaching connection, we reached out to UNO Head Cross Country and Track and Field coach Brock Moreaux. Before arriving in New Orleans, Moreaux spent two seasons at CSUN, guiding the program to its best ever finish at the 2018 Big West Cross Country Championships with a program-best five scored student-athletes compared to just a single scorer from the year before.
Prior to his time in California, Moreaux spent the 2016-17 season as a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Oklahoma Track & Field / Cross Country program. While there, he assisted the women’s cross country squad to a fourth place finish in a very competitive Big 12 conference - the best conference finish in school history for the group.
Moreaux was a four-year letterman at McNeese, competing in both track & field and cross country between 2011-2015. He won the conference title in the steeplechase at the 2015 Southland Championships. During his final year of eligibility at McNeese, Moreaux served as an intern/assistant coach helping the coaching staff with the day-to-day operations of the distance program.
What is your personal athletic background?
I went to a small 1A Louisiana High School so I was able to do pretty much every sport year around. I competed in cross country, basketball, baseball, track, and golf throughout my high school career. I ended up having a little more success in XC/Track my senior year and was fortunate to get the opportunity to walk-on to the McNeese State XC/Track team and that is pretty much where it began. I competed for 5 years at McNeese and then 5-6 years post collegiately.
What brought you to coaching track and/or cross country?
I didn’t have any clue what I wanted to study in college so I went in Business Administration because I figured that is a pretty broad subject that I can do a lot of jobs with. Later in my college career, I really started to enjoy the patterns of training and diving into the “why?" I ended up getting my Master’s in Exercise Science/Heath Promotion while completing my final year at McNeese. I just had a real passion for the sport that I wasn’t ready to get away from, and this was a great way for me to continue to stay involved while also helping others achieve their goals, win – win for me.
How many years have you coached?
I have been coaching since 2015 so I just finished up my 8th year of coaching. I started my career with a Youth Track Club in the Houston area while I was training post-collegiately. After that, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to Volunteer Assistant Coach at the University of Oklahoma and that is where I really figured out that I wanted to stay in Collegiate coaching.
What teams/age groups do you coach?
I coach the men’s and women’s cross country/track and field teams at the University of New Orleans. Most of our athletes range from 17 years old -24 years old.
What is your general coaching philosophy?
Most of my training and coaching philosophy is based around the learning experiences I have encountered over my years. I have had the chance to be involved with many different programs that do things a little differently. Depending on each individual's goal and training style, I will break their training into 3 major cycles, (XC season, indoor track, outdoor track) which begins with an entry period of base strength and endurance, working lactate threshold training, which will lead to the competition phase which usually consists of more race specific training. Although most of this training is individualized to fit each athlete, there is no arguing the power of training in a group so I try to mix workouts as best as possible so that everyone gets what they need, but we get the opportunity to work out with a large training group.
What is your general season goal for your athletes?
As a team, our general goal is to create a healthy training environment to give ourselves the opportunity to win a team championship. This environment typically will set every athlete up to also accomplish their individual goals as well.
Do you have any key workouts you use throughout the season?
I have a few benchmark type workouts that I like to do throughout the season or year to year. A big one for us at UNO is 3 minute threshold intervals. Lactate Threshold training is big for us, especially while operating in a warm climate. It helps us to maximize training while also staying in a safe zone that we can continue to stack consistent weeks of training together. We use it year around.
How do you handle injury?
Injury will always be tough. This question usually depends on the severity. If we are able to do some sort of cross training (swimming/biking) without any pain, we will add that in to continue to keep consistency in our training. If it is more severe, then we usually try to take advantage of it and learn from it. Use it as a chance to reset your body and mind, and figure out how you can make adjustments to come back stronger.
How do you see athletics integrated with academics?
I love the NCAA system. Getting the chance to compete in a sport you love while also studying is a dream. With track & field, it is very important for us to understand that competitive running won’t pay the bills after college, so we keep the academic part as priority.
What is the most important skill or value you try to impart to your athletes?
The power of showing up every day. We don’t have to have spectacular days or spectacular workouts to get better or achieve our goals. We just have to be purposeful with each day.
What is your favorite level to coach?
Collegiate. I think coaching younger athletes would be fun, but I enjoy the excitement of the collegiate level whenever athletes are solely devoted to that particular sport and want to really push the barriers.
What is your best track memory, as an athlete? As a coach?
As an athlete, one of my best memories was winning the Southland Conference Steeplechase Title my senior year. This was special to me because it was 5 years in the making. It proved the value that I like to portray to my athletes: the power of showing up every day.
By far my favorite memory as a coach was our Women winning the Southland Conference XC Championship in 2022. Again, this was a process that was 5 years in the making, and it is always special to accomplish a goal like that as a team.
Breaking news: Coach Moreaux is moving on the a head coaching position at University of South Carolina -- Good luck to Brock and his team this fall!