McDonnell Named National Indoor Coach of the Y
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After staking claim to his 40th NCAA Championship and 18th national indoor crown at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend, Arkansas head coach John McDonnell was named the male Coach of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA).
“It’s a nice honor and to be recognized by your peers is always special,” McDonnell said. “What we’ve been able to accomplish this year is a credit to our assistants and athletes. They showed the true meaning of a team by competing hard and laying it on the line.”
McDonnell guided Arkansas to perhaps one of its greatest victories ever. After having their distance medley relay team disqualified and competing without one of their top sprinters, Tyson Gay, the Razorbacks rallied behind their inspiring coach and scored 56 points for the team victory. For the weekend 10 athletes garnered a total of 14 All-America honors.
This year’s award marked McDonnell’s 28th national coaching honor from cross country or indoor or outdoor track during his 33-year career. He was also named the South Central Regional Coach of the Year last week after leading the Razorbacks to the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championship title. It was UA’s 24th league indoor title and 12th SEC indoor championship. The team’s victory also gave McDonnell his 75th overall conference championship.
McDonnell will hope to lead his Hogs to continued success when the outdoor campaign starts. Several distance runners will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational on March 26.
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