When John McDonnell began his coaching career in 1972 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville-choosing it over Norman, Oklahoma, because Fayetteville reminded him of his native Ireland-he could hardly have imagined that he would become the most successful coach in the history of American collegiate athletics. But, in thirty-six years at the university, he amassed a staggering resume of accomplishments, including 40 national championships (eleven cross country, nineteen indoor track, and ten outdoor track), the most by any coach in any sport in NCAA history. His teams at Arkansas won the triple crown (a championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track in a single school year) five times.
The Razorbacks also won 83 conference championships (38 in the Southwest Conference and 46 in the Southeastern Conference), including 34 consecutive conference championships in cross country from 1974 to 2008. McDonnell coached 185 All-Americans, 54 individual national champions, and 23 Olympians. And from 1984 to 1995, his Razorback teams won twelve consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Championships, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in NCAA history.
This new biography tells the story of the great coach's life and legacy, from his childhood growing up on a farm in 1940s County Mayo, Ireland, to his own running career, to the beginnings of his life as a coach, to all the great athletes he mentored along the way.
560 pages. 2013.
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