McDonnell Selected as World Championships Coac
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head track and field coach John McDonnell was chosen as Team USA’s middle distance coach for the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris, France as announced by the USA Track and Field on Tuesday night.
“It’s a nice honor,” McDonnell said. “Being in Paris is a plus, but my wife really encouraged me to take the opportunity after I thought about it for a few days. I’ve never been able to do something like this before and I think next summer will be a good time for it.”
McDonnell is heading into his 31st season as head coach of the Razorbacks and has coached all but three of Arkansas’ 138 track All-Americans in school history. He has led the Razorbacks to 36 national titles, 69 conference titles, and an impressive 28 consecutive cross country conference titles. He is the winningest coach in any sport in the history of college athletics and earned national triple crowns in 1984-85, 1991-94 and 1998-99.
McDonnell will join head coach Bubba Thornton from the University of Texas. During Thornton’s six-year tenure at UT his teams have won four Big 12 Conference titles. He was an assistant coach for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, and also served as the U.S. men’s head coach at the 1996 World Junior Championships.
“Led by Bubba, this talented staff brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team as they compete at the most competitive track event in the world,” said USATF CEO Craig Masback. “We’re very happy to have such a strong group of coaches and managers for the 2003 World Championships.”
A complete listing of the assistant coaches follows:
Sprints/hurdles, Harvey Glance: A 16-time All-American, three-time Olympian and 1976 Olympic relay gold medalist, he has served as the head coach at the University of Alabama for five years. He is a previous U.S. Pan American Games, World Junior Championships and World University Games team staff member.
Jumps/Multis, Arnie Robinson: The 1976 Olympic gold medalist in the long jump and former coach at San Diego Mesa Junior College, Robinson was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2000.
Throws/Multis, Ed Miller: The 1989 Olympic Festival team coach, Miller has been an assistant coach for 19 seasons at the University of California-Berkeley and a member of USATF’s Men’s Track & Field and Men’s Development Committees.
Middle distance, John McDonnell: The winner of 36 NCAA national team championships, 69 league championships, 28 consecutive cross country conference championships and the coach of 20 Olympians, McDonnell took over the University of Arkansas men’s cross country team in 1972 and the entire program in 1978.
Endurance events, Steve Vaitones: Formerly a nationally ranked race walker, he served as an assistant manager for the U.S. 1999 Pan American Games team and is the managing director of USATF’s New England Association.
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