John McDonnell (coach)

John McDonnell (Coach)

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John McDonnell (coach)

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John McDonnell (born July 2, 1938 in County Mayo, Ireland) is the retired head coach for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks track team. He began as the cross country track coach for the University in 1972 and became head track coach in 1978. McDonnell retired after the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Before the University of Arkansas

McDonnell earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) in 1969, while competing to become a six-time all-American in track and cross country at USL, become the 1966-67 AAU 3,000-meter champion, and won the mile at the 1966 British Selection Games.

He coached at New Providence High School (1969–70) and Lafayette High School (1971) before coming to the University of Arkansas.

Coaching accomplishments at Arkansas

McDonnell was hired as the cross country coach in 1972 and added the entire men's track and field program in 1978.

Coach McDonnell led the track team to their first national championship at the 1984 NCAA Indoor Championships while the school was a member of the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Since then, the University of Arkansas has won 42 NCAA championships, including 11 cross country, 19 indoor track and 12 outdoor track. Other schools have won only 24 combined NCAA titles in the three sports during the same period.

McDonnell's 42 national championships (which include 19 in indoor track, 12 in outdoor track and 11 in cross country) are more than any coach in any sport in the...
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