FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association honored Arkansas cross country and track and field head coach John McDonnell as one of its Outstanding Alumni during the 2006 Homecoming Week.
The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor the university bestows upon a former student. It is given in recognition of outstanding professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
To be eligible for this award, one must be a graduate or former student having attended no less than 10 years ago. The recipients were selected by the Alumni Association’s Awards Committee.
During McDonnell’s tenure with the Razorbacks, his squads have won 42 NCAA championships; 11 for cross country, 19 for indoor track, and 12 for outdoor track.
McDonnell has more national championships than any coach in any sport in the history of collegiate athletics. McDonnell has coached all but three of the university’s 178 track All-Americans to 635 All-America honors and he has coached 23 Olympians, which include a gold, silver and bronze medalist.
The new John McDonnell Field is named in his honor and he is the member of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Athletic Hall of Fame.
McDonnell is a 1969 graduate of UL-Lafayette, earning a bachelor of arts degree in Education. He has coached at the University of Arkansas since 1972 where he has been named the District Coach of the year 60 times, Conference Coach of the Year 45 times and National Coach of the Year 30 times.