Monday, April 21, 2008

Most Prolific Coach in NCAA Retires

Every once in a while I have to toss in a track or cross country blog when the news is important enough to share with the world. Tonight I tip my hat to Arkansas' retiring coach John McDonnell.

Bigger than any Football or Basketball coach in the NCAA, John McDonnell at the University of Arkansas won 42! National titles in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track. When I was in school the Hogs were always in the running for a title and beating them in a relay or at a Cross Country meet was a badge of honor. We didn't like them much as rivals but you had to have respect for Coach Mac and his teams. Congrats Coach on the many years and your contributions to the sport.

In his 36 seasons at the helm of the Arkansas track and cross country program, McDonnell redesigned the face of collegiate track and field.

42 NCAA championships since 1984: 11 cross country, 19 indoor track and 12 outdoor track

More national championships (42) than any coach in any sport in the history of college athletics.

Five NCAA triple crowns(Cross Country, Track, Indoor Track), including three in a row (1991-94).

20 conference triple crowns since 1982, including eight straight between 1987 and 1995.

83 conference championships overall since 1974 including 38 in the SWC and 45 in the SEC.

12-consecutive NCAA indoor track championships (1984-1995), the longest string of national titles by any school in any sport in collegiate history.

Coached all but three of Arkansas’ 185 track All-Americans in school history. Those athletes have earned a combined 652 All-America honors.

Every school outdoor and indoor track record is held by a McDonnell recruit.

34-consecutive league and 17-consecutive SEC cross country championships (1974-2007).

Has produced 55 individual national champions.

Has coached 23 Olympians spanning three decades and six different Olympic Games, including a gold, silver and bronze medalist.

Coached former Razorback Daniel Lincoln to the American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase is July, 2006.
That man could coach.

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