Matt Barber completed his fifth year as the University of Dallas women’s cross country head coach. He sported a roster of 18, which was one more than his previous high in his first season at the helm in 2014.
Headlining for the women's team in 2019 was freshman Anna Wilgenbusch, who earned Second Team All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) and was also an United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-American First Team winner. Wilgenbusch grabbed 12th at the SCAC Championship and 5th at the USCAA Championship, which were both 6k's. The team's leading runner in all races added a pair of top-5 finishes in a couple 5k's under Barber's guidance in her first collegiate semester.
As a team, Barber led the women's team to a third place finish at the SCAC Championship thanks to 106 points. It was UD's first 6k of the campaign that had personal records (PR's) from Emma Kate Callahan and Mary Korth added PR times. Callahan was 19th overall, while Sabrina Lucio finished right behind at 20th. Clare Hernandez placed fourth, while Korth rounded out the top five spots inside the top-30.
Dallas would take fourth out of 11 teams at the USCAA Championship.
Wilgenbusch became the first Crusader on the women's side to garner a SCAC All-Conference honor. Clare Myers was the other to achieve the feat in 2014 and 2012.
Barber has coached two student-athletes to school records in the 6,000 Meters, which is now held by Angela Moore from the USCAA Championship on November 11, 2016. Myers held the previous school record in that same distance at the NCAA Division III South Regionals (November 15, 2014).
Wilgenbusch also became just the third runner during Barber's tenure to notch USCAA All-Americans. Moore (2016) and Bridget Kennedy (2015) were the other pair to achieve the accolade.
In February, the Crusaders were tabbed with an U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Academic Award with a 3.18 GPA.
Myers reflected her academic success in 2014 with a spot on the USTFCCCA Division III Scholar Team.
Over Barber’s active coaching span with the Crusaders, there have been 10 on the women’s cross country team that were USCAA National All-Academic winners. This award requires at least a 3.5 GPA to be eligible. Ana Wilhelm (Second year in a row) and Callahan claimed the distinction in 2018. Barber also has landed 41 on the SCAC Fall Academic Honor Roll, with a program-most 11 adding to the list in 2018.
Barber, a 2013 graduate at the University of Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, joined the coaching staff for his alma mater a little over a year later. He coached his first season with the cross country team in 2014. Both men’s and women’s teams earned third at the SCAC Championship.
The native of Fort Worth, Texas, lettered two years and remains the program record holder in the 400 Meters (50:07) and Distance Medley Relay. He landed on the 2013 Men’s Track & Field Spring Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll.
Barber was active on campus, with involvement as a member of Crusaders for Kids. He recruited for the organization at university social events and provided companionship to hospitalized children.
Prior to coaching at Dallas, Barber taught Theology and served as a track & field assistant coach at John Paul II High School in Plano, Texas.
Barber holds a USA Track & Field Level I (Coach) designation, and is AED, CPR and First Aid certified.