Author Mack Olmsted, Asst. Production Editor
Ena Leufroy will join the Manhattan College community as the newest assistant coach of the Cross Country/Track and Field team. Leufroy came to MC after coaching at Long Island University, working with long sprinters while working on the administrative side for the team as well. Her main focus at Manhattan will be to work with cross country runners as well as middle-distance runners.
Leufroy is also shadowing Kerri Gallagher, director of Cross Country/Track and Field on the distance side to enhance her distance coaching skills. Leufroy wants to improve herself as a coach and the team alike so they can grow and succeed together.
Leufroy described her time working at MC as a night and day experience explaining that MC is more in line with what she is used to and where she went to college. She went to a division one college in south Florida where she had a very strong athletic academic support system similar to Manhattan College’s. Leufroy was also surprised and excited about the training facilities MC offered like Draddy and Van Cortlandt Park. Leufroy felt grateful about coaching at MC, and described her main focus as a coach.
“I think for me, I like to coach the person, not necessarily just the athlete,” said Leufroy. “I always want to make sure that I’m coaching from the standpoint of giving you tools so that you’re becoming a better human as you go on into your life.”
One of Leufroy’s main priorities is communication. Leufroy emphasizes that she expects the team to get the most out of the workouts that she trains them with. She explained how it’s important that players gain life lessons from the training to help improve both their academic and personal skills for the future.
Leufroy described her first season at Manhattan College as a very positive experience. She enjoyed working with Coach Gallagher and learning a lot, especially about the recruiting process.
Peter Ackerman, senior cross country runner on the men’s team, has experienced a lot of different coaching over his years at MC, and felt that Leufroy has a positive impact on improving his abilities as well as the team as a whole.
“It’s been really good so far,” Ackerman said. “It’s been tough work, but I think I’m finally in a place on the team where being under her coaching is the right spot for me. So it’s been good so far … I think it will definitely get to a point in the future where she definitely has a team-wide influence.”
Ackerman also acknowledged that Leufroy will improve the team by using her experience, helping him as well as the rest of the team going forward.
“She definitely has a lot of good insights for us as middle-distance runners, and she definitely has good experiences on her own,” he said. “Whether it be like previous college running experience or her coaching at other colleges. So, I think she does bring a lot to the team.”
While Leufroy does not work with every runner on the team, her presence was welcomed and appreciated. Evelyn Gonzalez Valle, junior Cross Country runner on the women’s team described her thoughts on Leufroy.
“It’s nice to have somebody else who knows the distances because she’s been with us since cross country,” Gonzalez Valle said. “So, she has been traveling with us to our meets and all that. It’s just nice to have another coach who knows what the sport is like and how it is.”
Leufroy shared her strong passion for coaching. She says she wants nothing more than to help the team progress and move forward.
“Definitely being out there with the athletes, encouraging them, making them better, is what I find fun and exciting about the job,” Leufroy said. “So, I was definitely happy once I started to get a group of athletes that I got to work with personally. And I have a good group so I’m excited to see where they’re gonna go next year.”
Editor’s note: Andrew Mannion contributed to the reporting of this article.