PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, Steve Dolan, has been named the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Dolan earns this prestigious recognition on the heels of leading the Quakers to a second-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, and the program’s first NCAA Championship berth since 1975. In addition, Dolan piloted the Red and Blue to their best Ivy Heps’ showing since 1973 (2nd place) last month, and the program's first national ranking since the establishment of the USTFCCCA Poll in 1995.
Penn first appeared in the top-30 rankings on October 20 at No. 29, and has since made its way to No. 21 in the country this past week.
In addition to the team success this fall, senior Thomas Awad won his second-consecutive Ivy Heps title -- and became Penn’s first two-time winner since Dave Merrick notched three crowns in the mid-seventies. Awad was also impressive at the regional (4th place), leading a Penn attack that saw all five scorers secure All-Region honors. Awad, Nick Tuck, Brendan Shearn, Brendan Smith and Ross Wilson all finished within the top 24 of the 174-runner field.
It has been a historic rise for the men’s cross country program during Dolan’s four seasons at the helm, as the year prior to his arrival (2011) the Quakers placed 13th in the Mid-Atlantic Region and last in the Ivy League.
This is the second such honor for Coach Dolan, as he won the same award in 2010 as the head men's cross country coach at Princeton.
Penn will hope to keep the momentum rolling this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. The Quakers will race in the National-Championship 10K on Saturday at 1 p.m. at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.