Roland Desonier is in his 19th year as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland and his first as a member of the full-time staff. His primary responsibility is assisting with the throwing events.
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.
At Maryland, Desonier has coached 30 All-ACC performers and a pair of All-Americans in the throwing events, the most recent of whom, Ruth Kura, ranked fourth nationally and 10th in the world. He has coached eight Terps throwers to appearances in NCAA regional meets.
While at Maryland, Desonier has coached nine of the top-10 athletes on Terrapin lists in the shot, discus and javelin, and all 10 on all-time lists in the hammer and weight throw on the women's side. Most recently, Desonier has brought along current Terps such as Zakiya Shivers, Jillian Anwah and Aysha Gregory to strong showings among ACC performers.
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 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.
He resides in Gaithersburg with his wife, Sandra, and has a son, Joseph, and granddaughter, Riley.