Entering into his fourth season and having already logged
collegiate administrative experience as the cross country and track
& field head coach at nearby St. Andrews Presbyterian College,
Gary Aycock assumes the position as head coach for the
Braves’ cross country program and assistant coach for the
UNCP track & field program.
Prior to assuming his posts in Pembroke, Aycock served as the skipper for the Knights, leading both the men's and women's teams to their most successful era in the program's NCAA Division II history both on race paths and in the classroom. Aycock, a Scotland county native, served as the Knights' assistant coach in 2001-02. He has also served as the head track and field coach since the inception of the program in 2005.
The 2005 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference & 2006 Southeast Region coach of the year at SAPC, Aycock has guided the Knights’ cross country teams to countless individual and team milestones in his six seasons at the helm.
On the men's side, Aycock led St. Andrews to it's first-ever conference title in 2005 and first-ever Southeast Region crown in 2006. Under his guidance, the men's teams won nine races and had nine other runner-up finishes. Aycock led the Knights to their first-ever No. 1 ranking in the Southeast and qualified the men's team for the NCAA Division II national championships in both 2005 and 2006.
Aycock recruited two PBC freshman of the year (Pardon Ndhlovu in 2009 and Chris Schroll in 2010) and three CVAC freshman of the year in three consecutive seasons (Chris Miller in 2004, Mitch Cooper in 2005 and Pedro Tapia Jr. in 2006). Aycock has coached one NCAA all-American, 21 all-conference, 13 all-region, and nine runners of the week.
On the women's side, Aycock has coached an impressive 17 conference runners of the week while also building the program into contenders in the region (earning the program's first-ever ranking in the Southeast Region). Aycock-guided women's teams have won five races and finished in the top-three places 14 times. Aycock has directed 12 all-conference and three all-region women's honorees.
Aycock has directed 15 individual academic all-Americans and four academic all-American teams including the 2004 women's team being ranked fourth in the nation with a 3.71 team GPA.
An avid runner, Aycock has racing experience on the high school, collegiate and open levels and is a tri-athlete as well. He was a member of Scotland High School’s 1989 and 1990 state NCHSAA Track & Field championship teams and East Carolina University’s 1995 UPA college national championship Ultimate Frisbee team where he was a candidate for the Callahan Award, an honor presented to the UPA national collegiate player of the year.
Aycock earned a bachelor of science in physical education from UNCP in 2003 and a master’s degree in physical education in December, 2007. He completed the NIKE cross-country coaches’ clinic in 2002 and is a certified United States Track & Field Level I coach in all event areas and a certified United States Track & Field Level II endurance coach.
Aycock resides in Laurinburg with his wife, Emily, and two children, Emma Grace and Aaron Douglas.