Track and Field Coaches
- Head Coach
- (10th year, 14th year on WU staff)
- BA, University of Oregon
- Sparks 221
- (503) 370-6898 voice
Matt McGuirk is in his 10th year as the head track and field coach at Willamette University and is in his 14th year on the coaching staff. He was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year in 2004 (men) and 2007 (women).
In both 2004 and 2005, the Willamette men’s team ended the season by bringing home NCAA trophies for Top 4 finishes. In the Northwest Conference, the Bearcats have set a high bar of excellence by winning 10 of last 12 men’s and women’s team titles since 2004.
At Willamette, McGuirk and his staff have coached 23 athletes to 45 All-America performances. They have helped WU athletes win 287 All-Conference awards.
One of McGuirk’s top athletes was seven-time NCAA national champion Nick Symmonds, who won the 1,500 three times and the 800 four times. He was fifth in the 800 at the 2012 London Olympics, fifth at the World Championships in 2011 and was sixth in 2009. Symmonds was also a semifinalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He has won five U.S. national titles in the 800, placed second twice and has claimed two indoor titles.
Among McGuirk’s proudest achievements is coaching three Bearcats (Jacob Stout, Aaron Hollingshead and Scott Overby) to All-American status at the 2004 NCAA Championships in the steeplechase, his primary race as a collegiate and professional runner.
Prior to his arrival at Willamette, McGuirk was the first head coach at Wilsonville High School and built the cross country program from the ground up. In only its fifth year of existence, the school won its first State cross country title. Since then, Wilsonville has annually been one of the top Class 3A programs in Oregon.
McGuirk is a native of Eugene, Ore. After completing a decorated high school career at South Eugene HS, McGuirk embarked upon an excellent college career at the University of Oregon. At U of O, he became a member of a select group by lettering eight times in cross country and track & field. McGuirk also put his name in the Oregon record books by racing to All-America status in the steeplechase in 1984, helping the Ducks win the NCAA outdoor track and field national championship. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree. He majored in Finance and Marketing.
McGuirk has shown an ability to transfer his athletic experiences into true coaching expertise, allowing dedicated student-athletes to realize immediate results while working toward long-term goals.
Coaching Quick FactsFull Name: Matthew McGuirk
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
High School: South Eugene
Alma Mater: University of Oregon, ‘88 (B.A. in Finance/Marketing)
Running Career: 1983 U.S. Junior Steeplechase Champion; Ranked Top 40 in the world in steeplechase (1992 & 1993) Placed seventh in the steeplechase in the 1992 Olympic Trials, setting a personal record of 8:26.10; 1993 Olympic Festival steeplechase champion
- Matt McGuirk
Head Coach, 10th year
- Brett Franz
Assistant Coach; Sprints/Jumps/Hurdles/Multi; Recruiting Coordinator, 7th year
- Christopher Sabato
Assistant Coach; Creative Project Specialist, 8th year
- Gery Ellibee '73
Assistant Coach; Sprints/Jumps, 30+ year
- Soren Sorensen
Assistant Coach; Throws, 13th year
- Tyler May '05
Assistant Coach; Hurdles, 8th year
- Brooke Smith
Assistant Coach; Multi, 2nd year
- Doug Pierce
Assistant Coach; Hurdles, 1st year
Tune in to the Bearcat Network and watch live webcasts for select competitions and see live stats for nearly all Bearcat competitions. You can also find social media links like Facebook and twitter, rss feeds and video archives.
Naomi Stukey is the official bearcat photographer. Click the above link to browse and purchase action shots.