UA press publishes autobiography of Coach John McDonnell

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 83 views 

The University of Arkansas Press is publishing John McDonnell: the Most Successful Coach in NCAA History ($34.95 cloth), by Andrew Maloney and John McDonnell.

McDonnell is scheduled to sign his new book at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Fayetteville Public Library. He will be at Hog Heaven in the Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, in conjunction with the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Each of these events is free and open to the public.

McDonnell coached at the University of Arkansas for 36 years, during which time he amassed a staggering résumé of accomplishments, including 40 national championships (11 cross country, 19 indoor track, and 10 outdoor track), the most by any coach in any sport in NCAA history. His teams at Arkansas won the triple crown (a national championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track in a single school year) a record five times.

The Razorbacks also won 83 conference championships (37 in the former 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 12 consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Championships, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in NCAA history.

This autobiography tells the story of McDonnell’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.

Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the New York Marathon and author of 14 minutes: A Running Legend’s Life and Death and Life, called the book “a fascinating inside look at the life and career of John McDonnell, the greatest NCAA coach ever in any sport.”

Andrew Maloney competed for Canada in the 800 meter and coached track and field and cross country for six years at the University of Tulsa before spending the past two years coaching at the University of Guelph. He publishes Athletics Illustrated and is the author of a baseball novel, End of a Dynasty. He currently works as an ice hockey agent for Maloney & Thompson Sports Management in Guelph, Ontario.

John McDonnell was the head coach of the Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field teams from 1978 until his retirement in 2008. He lives in Fayetteville.