New boss arrives from Olivet Nazarene after successful 6-year stint
To find its next men’s cross country coach, St. Xavier University turned to one of its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals.
Kyle Rago, who spent the past six seasons at Olivet Nazarene as a recruiting coordinator for both cross country and track, officially succeeded Ed McAllister as Cougars boss in each sport this past Monday. While in Bourbonnais Rago helped the Tigers’ overall roster numbers grow from 60 to more than 140.
He also served as the strength and conditioning coordinator for all distance athletes. With Rago playing a pivotal role in their development Olivet runners produced several strong seasons.
The Tigers’ women’s cross country squad finished among the top six in NAIA each of the last three years, the men’s team wound up sixth last fall, and between them the two programs have claimed seven CCAC titles since 2008. Track and field successes include five conference championships apiece for the men’s and women’s teams since 2009.
During Rago’s tenure Olivet has had 32 NAIA All-Americans and 121 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes.
Being a proven commodity with a highly respected program was what made Rago an intriguing coaching candidate to SXU athletics director Bob Hallberg.