Roland Desonier is in his 30th year (12th fulltime) as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland entering the 2017-18 season. His primary responsibility is assisting with the throwing events.
At Maryland, Desonier has coached 38 All-Conference performers and a pair of All-Americans in the throwing events, including Ruth Kura, who was ranked fourth nationally and 10th in the world. He has coached 38 throwers to appearances in NCAA regional meets since 2004. Desonier was received a honorary M Club award at the 2016 University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame induction.
Of the 60 female athletes on the top-ten lists for throws, Desonier has coached 56 while at Maryland, including all ten on the javelin, hammer, discus, and weight throw. He has coached 28 of the male athletes on the all time top-ten lists, including all 10 javelin throwers and 8 of 10 weight throwers.
Three of Desonier's throwers advanced to the 2017 NCAA East Regional Meet, including Greg Thompson, who became Maryland's first male NCAA Championship discus qualifier since 1983. Thompson broke Alan Baginski's 34-year school record in the discus during the season to earn Maryland's first-ever Big Ten male Field Athlete of the Week honor. Emma O'Hara and Claudia Ababio were also record-breakers on the season, setting new program-bests in the discus (180-08 - Ababio) and hammer (191-04 - O'Hara).
In 2015-16 Desonier coached Chioma Onyekwere to appearances at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships. Onyekwere broke two school records under Desonier's guidance, and was a two-time All-Big Ten performer.
He has been a member of the coaching staff that worked with Kiani Profit, who won the NACAC U-23 Championship in the heptathlon. Another heptathlete under his tutelage, Traci Ojenyi, has been among the top-10 in the world in the heptathlon shot put. He also assisted with two-time pentathlon All-American Thea LaFond in the pentathlon shot put.
Desonier has coached several walk-ons to become conference scorers during his tenure. He also has coached a Penn Relays discus champ while with the Terps. As a further testament to Desonier, two of his former throwers have gone on to coach NCAA champions in the shot and hammer.
Desonier graduated from C.W. Post-Long Island University in 1976 with a degree in psychology.
As an athlete, Desonier was a five-time All-American, placing second in the nation in the hammer throw and third in the discus in 1974. In 1988, he was inducted into the C.W. Post Hall of Fame. After 30 years, he still holds all the school records in the discus and the weight throw.
He resides in Gaithersburg with his wife, Sandra, and has a son, Joseph, and grandchildren, Riley, Ryan and Reece.