•11th season at Virginia
•1 NCAA Champion at Virginia
•30 All-Americans at Virginia
•20 ACC Champions at Virginia
Mario Wilson, who has been a part of 23 conference champion teams in over 20 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, joined the Virginia staff in July of 2012. He coaches the jumps, sprints and the decathletes for the Cavaliers.
Wilson was the 2010 and 2020 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year and has been part of two Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff’s of the Year and seven conference coaching staff’s of the year.
In 2023, Wilson’s crew impressed during the indoor season. A tweak in Owayne Owens’ triple jump technique led to a pair of personal-best performances including a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships where he soared to a mark of 16.69m (54’9.25″). Alix Still broke out with an incredible campaign as well when at the ACC Championships a personal-best point total of 4,177 in the pentathlon broke a 41-year-old Virginia record in the event and set a Scottish national record. Still won silver with a second-place finish.
In addition to the success of two veteran athletes, Wilson oversaw an impressive season from a pair of freshman pole vaulters Samantha Romano and Justin Rogers. After steady improvement throughout the season, Romano broke out in the final meet of the regular season clearing a huge personal-best of 4.20m (13’9.25) to shatter a Virginia freshman record and rank second on the UVA all-time list. Romano would go on to match the mark at the ACC Championships and finish fifth. Rogers tied a Virginia freshman record as well in his final appearance of the regular season, but at the ACC Championships he surpassed his best setting a new mark of 5.18 meters (17’0″) becoming the first Virginia freshman to clear 17 feet. Rogers placed third at the ACC Championships.
The consistency of Wilson’s jumpers was once again on display in the 2022 season. Beginning with the indoor season, Owayne Owens claimed his fifth ACC triple jump title going on to earn first team All-American status with an eighth place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
In the 2022 outdoor season, Owens recorded his a personal-best performance jumping 16.61m (54’6″) to win at Penn Relays. The triple jumper took silver at the ACC Outdoor Championships before going on to qualify once again for the NCAA Championships. On the women’s side of the event, Wilson guided freshman Jordan Hardy to an impressive outdoor campaign in the triple jump. After steady improvement throughout the season, Hardy recorded personal bests in both the long jump (6.00m/19’8.25″) and triple jump (12.38m/40’7.5″) to place eighth and sixth respectively.
During the 2021 indoor season, Wilson saw the Cavaliers continue to excel in the jumps at the ACC Championships. Owayne Owens claimed UVA’s fourth conference triple jump title in five years and went on to earn first-team All-America status at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Jada Seaman repeated as the ACC long jump champ and placed 12th at the NCAA meet.
During the 2021 outdoor campaign, Seaman was ninth in the NCAA long jump after winning the ACC title in the event. Owens won the triple jump and Brenton Foster took home the gold in the high jump. Foster set the school record in the high jump (2.27m / 7′ 5.25″) during the season.
During the 2019-20 season, Wilson was named the 2020 USTFCCCA Men’s Southeast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after coaching four Cavaliers to ACC titles at the men’s conference championships. Foster won the high jump, Derek Pekar won the heptathlon, Sam Young won the pole vault and Jordan Scott won the triple jump to lead the Cavaliers at ACCs. Scott was also named the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Field Athlete of the Year, the ACC Field Athlete of the Year and ACC Field Athlete of the Meet. He captured the 17th-best all-time jump by a performer in the triple jump, clearing 17.20m (55’10.25”) to set an ACC and UVA record.
Wilson’s jumpers and multis athletes earned six All-ACC honors at the meet and set three UVA records. On the women’s side, Seaman and Khyasia Caldwell finished 1-2 in the long jump at the ACC Championships. Seaman set a UVA record in the event. Her and Caldwell, along with Scott, Foster and Owayne Owens (triple jump) were named All-Americans for advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Wilson coached Jordan Scott to a national triple jump title at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, capturing the first national title by a male ACC competitor in the event. Scott’s performance earned him the title of USTFCCCA Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year and ACC Performer of the Year. Bridget Guy made history becoming the first indoor female pole vaulter in school history, with a fifth-place finish at the national championships.
At the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Wilson’s athletes recorded three All-American honors as Scott finished second in the triple jump, Guy finished fourth in the pole vault and Kelly McKee placed fifth in the triple jump. Additionally, Scott captured the ACC title in the long jump and triple jump, and Guy recorded the conference title in the pole vault. Guy was named UVA’s IMP Award recipient as the school’s top female athlete of the year, while Scott was named the USTFCCCA Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year, ACC Performer of the Year and ACC Meet Field MVP.
Wilson’s athletes set three school records during the 2017-18 season with Bridget Guy (pole vault), McKee (triple jump) and Jordan Scott (triple jump), setting UVA records in events. Guy earned All-America honors in the pole vault, finishing fourth in the event at the outdoor championships. McKee captured second-team All-America in the triple jump while Scott recorded the national honor in the triple jump during the indoor (honorable mention) and outdoor (second-team) seasons.
During the 2017 season, Wilson led decathlete Jack Lint (outdoor) and triple jumper Jordan Scott (indoor and outdoor) to All-America honors. Lint and Scott both claimed ACC indoor titles earning first in the heptathlon and triple jump, respectively. Lint set a UVA record in the heptathlon while Scott broke the freshman indoor and outdoor triple jump and the outdoor long jump records.
In 2016, Wilson guided Christian Lavorgna to a second-place finish in the decathlon at the ACC Outdoor Championships. He mentored Jack Lint to a school record in the heptathlon and Bridget Guy to the indoor and outdoor pole vault school marks. Guy took home second-team All-ACC honors in both seasons, while Caitlin Mautz was a second-team performer in the women’s javelin.
Wilson led men’s triple jumper Ryan Satchell and men’s javelin thrower Kyle Smith to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championship in 2015, while Jack Lint set the school freshman record in the decathlon. Prior to that, men’s triple-jumper Ryan Satchell and women’s triple-jumper Dallas Rose each won the ACC championship at the 2014 outdoor meet and finished seventh at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In his first season at Virginia, Wilson coached four All-ACC honorees, including NCAA Indoor Qualifier Dallas Rose in the women’s triple jump and NCAA Outdoor Qualifier Abbey Karin in the women’s javelin.
Wilson came to Virginia after four years as an assistant at Clemson, where he mentored Miller Moss to the 2011 NCAA indoor national championship in the heptathlon as well as 13 additional All-Americans. Moss went on to earn a bronze medal at the 2011 USATF Championships.
Wilson helped guide the Tigers to six Atlantic Coast Championship titles, including 10 individual conference champions, and to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Prior to Clemson, Wilson was an assistant at New Mexico from 2007-09, where he tutored four All-Americans and nine NCAA participants, including Katie Coronado, who was the national runner-up in the javelin in 2008. He helped lead Bucknell to 10 Patriot League cross country and track and field team championships from 2002 to 2007. At Bucknell, he coached an NCAA finalist in the women’s pole vault, 11 NCAA East Regional qualifiers and 25 individual Patriot League champions.
Wilson graduated from Marist in 1998 with a degree in psychology. He earned a master’s degree in education in 2004 from St. Francis (PA), where he began his collegiate coaching career. From 1998-2002, St. Francis won seven Northeast Conference team titles and Wilson coached 32 school record holders.
Wilson was a standout football player at Marist, where he was a four-year starter and was named the 1998 Marist College Sportsman of the Year.