After putting a face on St. Xavier University’s men’s cross country and track programs, Ed McAllister will become just a face in the crowd.
McAllister, who guided the Cougars’ original cross country team in 1976 and then brought SXU into national prominence during his current decade-long tenure, has announced his retirement. He had coached the track team since its inception in 2006.
SXU athletic director Bob Hallberg will begin the search for McAllister’s replacement immediately.
“Ed McAllister deserves a big thank you for helping build two nationally recognized programs for our athletics department,” Hallberg said. “His passion and dedication to coaching cross country and track and field was infectious.
“Just this past season McAllister led our men’s cross country team to its highest national finish. It is my sincere hope that we will find a new coach who will be able to build on the successful foundation that McAllister has put in place with these two teams.”
In McAllister’s final season last fall, the Cougars wound up 19th in the NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships, the highest finish ever for SXU at that event. McAllister earned Coach of the Year honors from both the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and NAIA Region VII in 2005 after the Cougars captured conference and regional titles.
SXU’s 2014 track campaign was highlighted by a third place in the nine-school conference meet outdoors and qualifying seven individuals for the NAIA Indoor National Championships. That latter group was spearheaded by junior Janis Pastars, who was ninth in the mile in 4 minutes, 13.11 seconds.
“SXU is so vibrant and full of life, and it has been a true honor to serve at such a productive place,” McAllister said. “This is the end of my second tenure and I have witnessed some tremendous growth from this institution from where it was in the 1970s.
“I have also had the great fortune of working with many wonderful people during my career, both as peers and student-athletes. Nothing has thrilled me more than seeing the successes of my student-athletes over the years, and I can’t thank St. Xavier University and everyone associated with it enough for providing me with this opportunity.”