USTFCCCA Announces New
John McDonnell Program of the Year Award
NEW ORLEANS ÛÒ The U.S. Track & Field and Cross
Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced that the organization will
create an award in the name of John McDonnell, to honor the
ÛÏall-aroundÛ success that the former Arkansas coach has achieved.
The John McDonnell Program of the Year Award will be awarded
annually to the best all-around NCAA Division I menÛªs cross country/track
& field program. The award will honor the institution that has
achieved the highest level of success in cross country, indoor track &
field, and outdoor track & field in each year, based on the
institutionÛªs finish at the NCAA Division I Championships.
Scoring will be based on the teamÛªs finish at each
NCAA Division I Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all threechampionships combined determining the award recipient.
Both a legend in sport and a legend in life, Coach ÛÏMacÛ, as he is often referred to, has been a part of the Razorback athletics family for nearly four decades, during which time he single-handedly built one of the best cross country/track & field programs in the country.
McDonnellÛªs teams won a combined 42 National Championships (11 cross country, 19 indoor track and field, and 12 outdoor track and field). His teams posted top ten finishes in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field in 24 of his 36 seasons in Fayetteville.
McDonnellÛªs teams won 34 consecutive cross country conference titles (17 in the Southwest Conference, and 17 in the Southeastern Conference), and won 12 straight indoor track and field national championships from 1984-1995. He has 84 career conference championship titles under his belt, and he coached 331 individual conference champions. Overall
he has coached 187 All-Americans that have earned 656 All-American honors, and
23 Olympians spanning three decades and six Olympic Games.
Through all of this, McDonnell doesnÛªt take full credit for his success. Quite often he pointed in the direction of his assistant coaches who have undoubtedly aided in the accomplishments of the Arkansas program.
Born in 1938 in County Mayo, Ireland, McDonnell graduated from Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) in 1969 and began his coaching career in New Jersey at New Providence High School. He returned to Lafayette in 1971 to coach at Lafayette High School before being hired at Arkansas in 1972.
A member of countless halls of fame including the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, McDonnellÛªs stamp on the cross country/track and field coaching profession will be felt for many years to come, even more so now with the inception of the John McDonnell Program of the Year Award.
John McDonnell is not only an outstanding coach but a reminder of how a single individual can open a door to boundless opportunity and achieve goals that once seemed unreachable.
The inaugural John McDonnell Program of the Year Award will be awarded at the conclusion of the 2009 outdoor track & field season.
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