Cross Country | Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Matt McGuirk Appointed Head Coach of Men's and Women's Cross Country, Track and Field
Salem - Effecttive January 1, 2004, Matt McGuirk has been named head coach of the men's and women's track and cross country team, WU athletic director Mark Majeski announced Tuesday. McGuirk was previously the men’s cross country and assistant track coach at Willamette University.
Over the past 4 1/2 years McGuirk had been Sullivan's full time assistant and has had wonderful success with the men's cross country and track and field teams. His men's cross country teams have won three straight NWC titles, two consecutive NCAA regional titles and placed 7th, 5th and 12th the past three years at the NCAA National Championships.
In five years McGuirk has coached 3 runners to seven All-American awards and two individual national championships. Both individual titles came this past Spring when freshman Nick Symmonds won the NCAA Division III track & field 1500m and 800m titles in a span of just over one hour.
McGuirk has also been twice named the NWC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year and the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year.
McGuirk achieved much success at Wilsonville High School from 1995-99 before coming to Willamette. In addition to his duties as men's cross country and track and field coach, McGuirk has been the recruiting coordinator for Willamette cross country and track and field. He is primarily responsible for the largest teams in those sports in Willamette history.
McGuirk, a Eugene native and University of Oregon graduate has been successful as a runner in his own right. While at the University of Oregon, he was the 1983 US Junior steeplechase champion and a 1984 All-American in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:33.03. That time still ranks sixth on the school’s all time list. In that same meet, McGuirk’s University of Oregon team collected the NCAA team championship, its last to date. McGuirk graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in finance and marketing.
Post-collegiately, McGuirk has competed in more than 100 competitions in several countries. In 1992 McGuirk was ranked 38th in the world and placed a career best seventh in the steeplechase in the 1992 Olympic Trials, setting a personal record of 8:26.10. McGuirk also qualified for the 1992 Olympic Trials in the 1500 meters and the 5,000 meters. In 1993, McGuirk was ranked 37th in the world in the steeplechase and was the US Olympic Festival steeplechase champion.
Between the years 1983-1996 (except 1986) McGuirk was on at least one of Track & Field News' top 50 lists (1500m, steeple and/or 5000m).
McGuirk is "excited for the opportunity to coach this team and to work with the women and men distance runners as well as overseeing the operations of both teams." He also feels that it is important for the team as well as the alumni and fans to know that the cross country and track and field teams will continue to improve. "We still have a lot to accomplish... we have yet to bring home a National Trophy."