McGuirk Named NCAA Division III Women's Track and Field National Coach of the Year

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III Women’s Track and Field National Coach of the Year for 2007, as selected by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). McGuirk previously was selected NCAA Division III Men’s Track and Field National Coach of the Year in 2004. Brent Erickson at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was chosen 2007 NCAA Division III Men’s Track and Field National Coach of the Year.

McGuirk led the Willamette women’s track and field team to its sixth consecutive Northwest Conference championship this spring, as the Bearcats took first place at the NWC Meet by more than a two-to-one margin (257.33 to 124 for second place George Fox University). Ten athletes (plus a relay alternate) are competing for the Willamette women’s team at the NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships this week (May 24-26) in Oshkosh, Wisc.

“This is a great honor for Matt and our track and field program,” said Mark Majeski, Willamette Director of Athletics. “He develops well-rounded young men and women who maximize their potential as athletes and human beings. Matt’s accomplishments provide a model for Division III athletics and one to which all coaches should aspire.”

Earlier this week McGuirk was named NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year for the third time. He was chosen West Region Coach of the Year in men’s and women’s track and field in 2004 and 2005. McGuirk joined the Willamette coaching staff in 1999 as interim head coach of men’s cross country, assistant women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach. He became head coach of men’s cross country in 2000 and has been the head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams since the spring of 2004.

“You don’t get one of those awards (National Coach of the Year) unless you’ve got great people around you,” McGuirk said. “Our coaching staff is excellent and of course our athletes are, too.”

McGuirk has been selected NWC Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year all four years since moving up from assistant coach to head coach. He was named NWC Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

McGuirk has guided both of Willamette’s track and field teams to national rankings this season. The women’s team is ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA Poll for NCAA Division III, while the men’s team is ranked 19th.

This past fall, he was chosen 2006 NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. Willamette won the NWC title and the West Region championship, then placed 20th at the NCAA Division III National Meet. Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) won the NCAA Division III women’s cross country individual national championship and has the top time (16:28.54) among competitors in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships.

McGuirk was selected NWC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for the fifth time last fall (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). He was chosen NWC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2004. He has been the West Region Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2005, 2006) and has been the West Region Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2003, 2005).

In addition to leading the Willamette women’s track and field team to its sixth straight NWC title, McGuirk has helped the WU women’s cross country team win five consecutive NWC championships and four NCAA West Region titles in a row. He has guided the Bearcat men’s cross country squad to six NWC championships in a row and to five straight NCAA West Region titles. He helped coach the men’s track and field team to five straight NWC championships from 2002 through 2006.

Willamette Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III Women's Track and Field National Coach of the Year.

Willamette Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III Women's Track and Field National Coach of the Year.