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Mr. John McDonnell

5391 W. Wheeler Rd.
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Retired Track & Field Coach Emeritus at U. of Arkansas
University of Arkansas
Bud Walton Arena
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Robert "Bob" Cole's Living Memorial by John McDonnell -Track & Field 1966-69 & Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Emeritus, U. of Arkansas, was submitted on Aug. 15, 2017.
Below his Living Memorial to the Coach Cole Tribute is extensive information about the many honors bestowed on John during his outstanding career as Head Track & Field Coach at the U. of Arkansas.
Posted Sept. 3, 2017 by Dr. Ed Dugas.

I wasn't sure how I was going to know who coach Cole was when I deplaned in New Orleans. When I walked out of the gate, I saw a man standing wearing a large cowboy hat and cowboy boots and knew it was Coach Cole.

I remember when I arrived in Lafayette, Coach Cole said the boys had arranged a dinner at a fish restaurant. At the restaurant everyone ordered crawfish so I ordered it too. Next thing the waitress came out with a large tray filled with something that had tentacles and eyes. Everyone started eating. One of the guys asked me why I wasn’t eating. I told him I was waiting for the fish. Everyone went hysterical laughing. They told me this was the fish. I said “I’ll have a hamburger.”

Coach Cole did more for me than he could ever know. The school can be proud of the positive influence he had on hundreds of athletes way beyond track and field and he should never be forgotten.

Coach Cole had a knack of getting the athletes motivated to compete with a total team effort peaking at conference and national meets.

He knew how to motivate each athlete individually. He knew one athlete would respond to a threat (lose scholarship or be sent home) and another would respond to a pat on the back.

Coach Cole and his program had a very positive impact on my life and career.

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Rickey Domingues submitted the link of the photo gallery of the dedication of the bronze statue of John at the University of Arkansas on Nov. 15, 2014.
Please copy and paste this URL to view the photo gallery.

Updated Jan. 12, 2015

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Track & Field: John McDonnell Recognized and Honored at University of Arkansas

John McDonnell now holds the title of Head Men's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Emeritus of the University of Arkansas, given to him by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.

Courtesy: Molly O'Mara, Athletic Media Relations
Release: 04/28/2010

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - At Wednesday's Razorback baseball against Missouri State, former men's cross country and track and field head coach John McDonnell was recognized during pre-game activities.

McDonnell now holds the title of Head Men's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Emeritus of the University of Arkansas, given to him by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. The Razorback coaching icon was recognized with a framed copy of the resolution granting him Emeritus status by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long Wednesday.

McDonnell, during his 36-year tenure as head coach of the Razorbacks, established a legacy of success unrivaled in the history of NCAA athletics including leading the Razorbacks to 40 NCAA Championships (11 cross country, 19 indoor track and field, 10 outdoor track and field), five NCAA Triple Crowns, 84 conference championships, 21 conference triple crowns and 34-straight conference cross country titles (1974-2007).

McDonnell coached 184 All-America student-athletes to 656 All-America honors, 23 Olympians spanning three decades and six different Olympic Games, including a gold, silver and bronze medalist and mentored countless NCAA and conference champions. He was named National Coach of the Year 30 times, including 12 times in indoor track, 11 times in outdoor track and seven times in cross country, and was named region coach of the year 62 times and conference coach of the year 48 times.

McDonnell is a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana-Lafayette Athletic Hall of Fame, the Mayo Hall of Fame and the Penn Relay Carnival Hall of Fame.

McDonnell retired from the University of Arkansas in June, 2008.

Submitted by Stewart Blue, Track & Field, 1966-69

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- 42 NCAA championships since 1984, including 11 cross country, 19 indoor track and 12 outdoor track. Only 26 other NCAA titles in the three sports combined have been won by other schools during that time.

- More national championships (42) than any coach in any sport in the history of college athletics. The next highest is 26 by Pat Henry, former LSU and current track coach at Texas A&M.

- Five national triple crowns, including three in a row (1991-94). Texas-El Paso has won three national triple crowns. No other school has won one.

- 20 conference triple crowns since 1982, including eight straight between 1987 and 1995.

- 25-consecutive conference titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track combined from 1987-1995.

- 82 conference championships overall since 1974 including 38 in the SWC and 44 in the SEC (in 48 events).

- 12-consecutive NCAA indoor track championships (1984-1995), the longest string of national titles by any school in any sport in collegiate history.

- Coached all but three of Arkansas' 182 track All-Americans in school history. Those athletes have earned a combined 645 All-America honors.

- Every indoor and outdoor track and field school record is held by a McDonnell recruit.

- 34-consecutive conference and 17-consecutive SEC cross country championships (1974-2007).

- Has coached 23 Olympians spanning three decades and six different Olympic Games, including a gold, silver and bronze medalist.

- Coached former Razorback Daniel Lincoln to the American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in July, 2006.

- His 1994 indoor track squad won the national championship by the widest margins in the history of the sport. The 1994 indoor track team scored the most points (94) in the history of the NCAA event.

- His 1994 squad scored 223 points at the SEC outdoor meet, a league record.

- Razorback outdoor track named for him.

In his 36th season at the helm of the Arkansas cross country and track and field programs, head coach John McDonnell has redesigned and reenergized the face of collegiate track and field more then any other who have come before him.
At the age of 69, McDonnell shows no signs of stopping as he continues to recruit and mold the best young athletes in the world. He finds motivation and vigor in the student-athletes that come to compete for Arkansas.
"As long as our athletes continue to compete this way and as along as I enjoy what I'm doing," McDonnell says, "I plan to stay with it."
If professional basketball coach Pat Riley was right when he said that "Coaches who let a championship team back off from becoming a dynasty are cowards," then McDonnell is a profile in coaching courage. He's as hungry for the next national title as he was for the first.
"I don't know exactly what continues to drive me," says McDonnell. "It must have something to do with everyone wanting to beat us and going out and winning one more time. Our young guys come in here and want to win one of those national championship rings. They're excited. It rubs off on us."
The Razorbacks have won at least one national title in cross country, indoor track or outdoor track in 22 of the past 25 years, including an 18-year streak (1984-2000). The most recent came in the 2006 indoor season.
If McDonnell draws inspiration from maintaining that tradition for the athletes, then they certainly draw inspiration from his success. The numbers are staggering: 42 NCAA titles, 11 in cross country, 19 in indoor track and 12 in outdoor track.
Only four NCAA institutions have won more than 42 men's national championships. Southern California (72), UCLA (69), Stanford (57) and Oklahoma State (46) are the only schools whose entire men's athletic programs have won more than McDonnell's track and cross country teams.
No other coach is close. Former LSU and current Texas A&M coach Pat Henry has 26 national titles to his credit. Ted Banks built a track power at Texas-El Paso and earned 17 NCAA crowns. Banks' teams won three national triple crowns. McDonnell's squads have won five NCAA triple crowns. Other than UTEP, no other school in the country has won a national triple crown.
"I have followed John McDonnell's career for many years," says former president Bill Clinton, who was a law professor at Arkansas before his political career took him to the governor's mansion and then the White House. "I have marveled at his outstanding accomplishments with the Razorback cross country and track and field programs. His countless national and conference championships are proof of his ability to train and inspire young people to not only compete, but to win at the highest level."Arkansas' teams have been even more dominant at the conference level, winning 82 league championships, most recently the 2007 SEC cross country title. In the Southwest Conference, where they competed head to head with other powerful track programs like Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Houston and Baylor, McDonnell's Razorbacks won 38 titles, 17 in cross country, 12 in indoor track and nine in outdoor track.
The Razorbacks switched to the Southeastern Conference in time for the 1991 cross country meet, and league members vowed to show their strength against the Hogs. But while Tennessee, Florida, LSU and others have been strong, the Razorbacks' dominance continued.
McDonnell's teams sent a signal to the SEC when the Hogs took the first five places for a perfect score in their first league cross country meet. Arkansas has been nearly invincible since. The Razorbacks have won 44 of a possible 49 SEC titles since joining the league, including all 17 cross country titles.
Arkansas' streak of conference cross country titles now stands at 34, which makes it a particular source of pride for McDonnell. The streak started in 1974, McDonnell's third season as cross country coach. The Hogs won 17 consecutive SWC cross country crowns before moving to the SEC. Their victory in 2007 was their 17th in a row in the SEC.
"We have always had the right type of kids and we also had people to fill in for seniors who graduate," McDonnell said. "That's special. I tell people all the time, we have won 42 national championships but they haven't been in a row. When you win 33 of anything in a row, to me there's nothing more special then that. In my heart, that's my greatest achievement as a coach."Key to the success of any coach is a steady flow of talented, committed athletes. And McDonnell's success has had a snowball affect. His reputation for helping athletes achieve their best helps attract the best athletes.
One thing every athlete is sure of when he comes to Arkansas is that he will leave better than when he came, as an athlete, as a student and as a person. And in addition to helping the team win conference and national titles, many Razorbacks become champions in their individual events.
Before McDonnell took over at Arkansas, only three athletes in Razorback track and field history had become All-Americans. During McDonnel's term, 182 Hogs have become All-Americans and they have combined to earn a stunning 645 All-America honors.
"I am his creation," seven-time NCAA champion and Olympian Alistair Cragg says. "I came in here out of shape and had quit running. He's got that hand on your shoulder that you know you can't mess up, but if you do that you're not going to mess up on your own. You can go into any race or competition with a lot of confidence. When he says you're ready, you're ready. It's a reassurance."
With the best coach in America attracting the best athletes in the world, it's only natural that Arkansas provides the best facilities anywhere. The new John McDonnell Field was constructed during the 2006 season in order to host the 2006 SEC Championships. The venue was also re-dedicated in McDonnell's name in the spring of 2006.
John McDonnell Field has been redesigned into a 7,000-seat venue, complete with a 16x9 video board and luxury suites.
Arkansas has a cross country course on the school's property north of campus. And the Hogs moved into their new world-class indoor facility, the Randal Tyson Track Center, in 2001, just in time to host the NCAA indoor meet.
"John built this program," says Mike Conley, a five-time NCAA champion at Arkansas and the 1992 gold medal winner in the Olympic triple jump. "When he recruited me and the others who eventually won the school's first national triple crown, there weren't any facilities to speak of. We came because we believed in him and what he thought he could do at Arkansas. The facilities came later because of his success."
That success is built on a commitment to team excellence that often is ignored by other programs. While some are content to focus on a few stars in a few events, McDonnell and assistant coaches Dick Booth and Kyle White develop depth and talent in the sprints, the distance events and the field events.
"Coach (Kyle) White is young and energetic," McDonnell said. "He had tremendous success working with the sprinters and hurdlers at UT-Arlington. He's a great recruiter and that's what you have to have. Athletes won't just show up if they aren't contacted and recruited."
White, a former Razorback All-SWC jumper and hurdler himself, is one of the many who learned from McDonnell and Booth and are now passing their knowledge on to the track and field world.
Some Razorback alumni who are now coaching on the collegiate level include Edrick Floreal, director of track and field at Stanford, Stanley Redwine, head cross country and track and field coach at Kansas, Lawrence Johnson, assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and jumps at Virginia Tech and Jerome Romain, assistant coach at Brown.
Tom Aspell (Arkansas Tech), David Barney (Paradise Valley C.C.), Matt Kerr (Wake Forest), Mike Power (Memphis) and David Welsh (Boise State) are all heavily involved in collegiate cross country coaching at their respective schools.
Former Razorback, three-time Olympian and former assistant coach Mike Conley served as the director of elite athlete programs for USA Track and Field, the national governing body of the sport .
McDonnell also has one of his former athletes sitting just down the hall from him at Bud Walton Arena. All-American Danny Green is in his 13th season as the director of track and field operations for the Razorbacks.
Doing anything and everything for the team is something McDonnell and Booth have stressed since they started their coaching duties together. Consistently bringing in athletes that are competitive in two or three events has been the game-plan from the beginning.
The Hogs never needed that more then at the 2006 SEC Championships, the first title meet contested at the new John McDonnell Field.
"The performance we had here at the 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships was maybe one of the best I have ever been part of," Booth said. "It was because we weren't the best team but our team would not loose Coach (John) McDonnell's first track meet at John McDonnell Field, period. And we talked about that (as a team). I have never needed to win a track meet more then that one and that's what I said to the guys. We had a state-of-art facility built and Coach McDonnell's name is on it and we are not loosing the first track meet."
That team commitment is also illustrated in the inspirational performances of several Razorbacks at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships. After the winning distance medley relay team had been disqualified late Friday night, McDonnell rallied his team on Saturday morning, reminding the Hogs that no one could take the national title away from them. A string of lifetime-best performances and second-place finishes from seniors Terry Gatson (400 meters), James Hatch (800 meters) and sophomore Peter Kosgei (3,000 meters) propelled Arkansas to the title.
The NCAA-qualifying distance medley relay team found redemption at the 2006 NCAA Championships when Adam Perkins, Jeremy Dodson, Brian Roe and Said Ahmed combined for a title-winning time of 9:37.02, erasing memories of the previous season.
Balanced scoring is the hallmark of Arkansas' team success under McDonnell. In fact, at the 2003 SEC Outdoor Championships all but six of McDonnell's 27 athletes contributed points towards an UA victory.
"Everyone feels a need to contribute," McDonnell says. "I try to never put too much pressure on any one athlete. I will tell our jumpers we need 12 points from them. I don't tell one jumper we need his 10 points. That puts too much pressure on."
Through it all, McDonnell retains his humility, humor and sense of honor. He believes in giving a good day's work for a good day's pay. He believes in instilling proper values into his athletes, holding them to high standards in every aspect of life. He has a quick smile and is comfortable around anyone. He's never been carried away with all he's accomplished.
"I never dreamed it would happen here," he says. "When Coach (Frank) Broyles hired me, he told me he wanted to compete on a national level, maybe win a national championship every five years. He wanted us to finish ahead of Texas and win as many Southwest Conference titles as possible. If I took him at his word, our national championships should keep me around another 190 years."
As strange as it sounds today, there was a time McDonnell, who took over the cross country program in 1972 and the track program in 1978, quickly turned the Hogs into a force in the Southwest Conference and a contender at the national level, but their first NCAA crown didn't come until 1984 at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"We had been close, finishing second one year and third another," McDonnell says. "At the 1984 indoor meet, it looked like we had it won when they started disqualifying relay teams in the final event. We were afraid the disqualifications would allow Iowa State to catch us. After about a 30-minute delay that seemed like hours, we had won. It was a great feeling."
It was a feeling that lasted. The 1984 championship was the first of 12 indoor national titles in a row for the Razorbacks, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in history. The streak ended in 1996, but Arkansas rebounded to win the next four.
The first NCAA cross country crown came in the fall of 1984. It opened a wonderful year for the Hogs, who again won indoors and earned their first NCAA outdoor title to give Arkansas its first national triple crown. Arkansas has added 10 more cross country national titles for a NCAA-record 11 overall.
The outdoor dominance is more recent. The Razorbacks didn't win their second outdoor national title until 1992, but that started a run of eight consecutive championships.
"John McDonnell has been the most successful and the best coach in the United States from the 1980s on," says world-class marathoner and Nike executive Alberto Salazar. "His teams have continued to get better and better. He has set the standard for all other coaches to follow."
McDonnell has been National Coach of the Year 12 times in indoor track, 11 times in outdoor track and seven times in cross country for a total of 30 awards. He has been Conference Coach of the Year a remarkable 48 times, and Region Coach of the Year 62 times. He has also been awarded the NCAA Mideast Regional Coach of the Year three of the five years it has been presented (2003-05).
"John McDonnell is a world-class coach because he is a world-class leader," says Dr. B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas system. "He inspires young men to achieve goals well beyond what they thought they could ever achieve. Never in the history of the NCAA has a coach won more nationals titles than has John McDonnell's University of Arkansas track teams. He has developed fabulous publicity and good will for the University and our state. I have tremendous appreciation and respect for Coach McDonnell."
McDonnell, who was born July 2, 1938, in County Mayo, Ireland, grew up with a love for running, but his first job upon immigrating to America in 1964 was as a cameraman in New York City. When a promised position with ABC was delayed, he accepted a scholarship offer to run track at Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana-Lafayette. He was a six-time All-American in cross country and track at USL. He was also the 1966-67 AAU 3,000-meter champion, and he won the mile at the 1966 British Selection Games.
McDonnell was granted U.S. citizenship in 1969, the same year he graduated from USL. He coached high school track for two years in New Providence, N.J., and a year at Lafayette, La., before moving to Arkansas. He took the job at Arkansas over a similar offer from Oklahoma, he says, because the terrain of Northwest Arkansas reminded him of his home in Ireland.
In order to make ends meet, McDonnell taught briefly at Greenland High School, south of Fayetteville, while coaching the Razorbacks. He began in 1972 coaching cross country and assisting Ed Renfrow with the track and field program. When Renfrow left coaching, Broyles promoted McDonnell in time for the 1977-78 academic year. He's been a mainstay at the University of Arkansas ever since.
When McDonnell is not coaching he enjoys spending time on his 2,500-acre cattle ranch in Pryor, Okla. An ideal day would include riding his horse during a roundup of the over 650 heads of cattle he owns.
McDonnell is also very involved with several non-profit organizations. He is a strong supporter of the American Heart Association, the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and works closely with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness.
Most recently, in the fall of 2006, McDonnell was again recognized by the University of Arkansas for his 35 years of service and dedication and by ULL as an Outstanding Alumni.
During half time ceremonies at the 2006 UA homecoming game against Southeast Missouri State, McDonnell was given the honorary alumni award.
Two weeks later, McDonnell was honored by ULL with the Outstanding Alumni Award. The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor the university bestows upon a former student. It is given in recognition of outstanding professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
In addition to having the outdoor track stadium named in his honor, McDonnell is a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame, the UA Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana-Lafayette Athletic Hall of Fame and the Mayo Hall of Fame.
He's married to the former Ellen Elias of Bayonne, N.J. The McDonnell's have two children, Heather and Sean.


Cross Country Ind. Track Outdoor Track
Year Conf. NCAA Conf. NCAA Conf. NCAA
1972 (SWC) 4th 26th -- -- -- --
1973 (SWC) 2nd -- -- -- -- --
1974 (SWC) 1st 27th -- -- -- --
1975 (SWC) 1st 13th -- -- -- --
1976 (SWC) 1st 10th -- -- -- --
1977-78 (SWC) 1st 8th 3rd T17th 7th --
1978-79 (SWC) 1st 10th 1st -- 6th --
1979-80 (SWC) 1st 10th 2nd T37th 4th --
1980-81 (SWC) 1st 2nd 1st T11th 2nd 22nd
1981-82 (SWC) 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 24th
1982-83 (SWC) 1st 3rd 1st 3rd 1st 7th
1983-84 (SWC) 1st 5th 1st 1st 1st 3rd
*1984-85 (SWC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
1985-86 (SWC) 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 4th
1986-87 (SWC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 4th
1987-88 (SWC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd
1988-89 (SWC) 1st 10th 1st 1st 1st 9th
1989-90 (SWC) 1st 5th 1st 1st 1st 2nd
1990-91 (SWC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 7th
*1991-92 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
*1992-93 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
*1993-94 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
1994-95 (SEC) 1st 10th 1st 1st 1st 1st
1995-96 (SEC) 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 1st
1996-97 (SEC) 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
1997-98 (SEC) 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
*1998-99 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
1999-2000 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd
2000-01 (SEC) 1st 1st 1st 3rd 3rd 7th
2001-02 (SEC) 1st 3rd 1st 4th 2nd 7th
2002-03 (SEC) 1st 6th 1st 1st 1st 1st
2003-04 (SEC) 1st 5th 2nd 2nd 1st 1st
2004-05 (SEC) 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st
2005-06 (SEC) 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 5th
2006-07 (SEC) 1st 5th 1st 7th 3rd 63rd
2007-08 (SEC) 1st 23rd - - - -
Total Titles 34 11 26 19 22 12

*Denotes Years of NCAA Triple Crowns
*Denotes Years of Conference Triple Crowns

McDonnell at a Glance
Birthdate: July 2, 1938
Birthplace: County Mayo, Ireland

Wife: former Ellen Elias
Children: Heather, Sean

B.A. in Education
Southwestern Louisiana, 1969

Six-time All-American in track and cross country at USL
1966-67 AAU 3,000 meter champion
Won mile at the 1966 British Selection Games

New Providence (N.J.) High School, 1969-70
Lafayette (La.) High School, 1971
Arkansas, 1972-Present

Cross Country: 11 (1984, 1986-87, 1990-1993, 1995, 1998-2000)
Indoor Track: 19 (1984-95, 1997-2000, 2003, 2005-06)
Outdoor Track: 12 (1985, 1992-99, 2003-05)

Cross Country: 34 (1974-2007)
Indoor Track: 26 (1979, 1981-95, 1997-2003, 2005-07)
Outdoor Track: 22 (1982-85, 1988-2000, 2003-05)

National Track & Field Hall of Fame
United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame
USA Track and Field Hall of Fame
Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame
UA Hall of Honor
ULL Sports Hall of Fame
Selected as Team USA's middle distance coach for the 2008 Olympic Games
Selected as Team USA's middle distance coach for the 2003 IAAF World
National Coach of the Year 30 times
Conference Coach of the Year 48 times
Region Coach of the Year 62 times

Submitted by Molly O'Mara, U. of Arkansas, Assistant Director of Men's Sports Information

November 20, 2007

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John McDonnell's Arkansas Razorbacks Crowned NCAA National Champions in Track and Field
to Articles

Standout alumni receive honor - John McDonnell

October 23, 2006 -
From staff reports

Homecoming Week at UL kicks off with a party today at the Alumni Center.
Events throughout the week lead up to Saturday's homecoming game against Middle Tennessee.

As alumni return to campus to celebrate the festivities, the Alumni Association will honor two of its own as "outstanding alumni."

This year's recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award are Dr. Gordon Bernard and John McDonnell.
The award is considered the highest honor that the university bestows upon one of its former students. The award recognizes professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the university.

Bernard is assistant vice-chancellor for research and director of the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University.

McDonnell is the respected head coach of the University of Arkansas cross country and track and field teams.

Bernard is a 1972 graduate of UL, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry. The Melinda Owen Bass Professor of Medicine received his medical degree from LSU in 1976. After internal medicine training at the University of Kentucky, he became a Parker B. Francis Fellow in Pulmonary Medicine at Vanderbilt in 1979, where he did his initial research training.

In 1987, he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt and later became professor and interim chief of the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Bernard is a member of many professional societies and has received numerous honors. He served on the advisory council for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and was the NIH Steering Committee chairman for the NHLBI ARDS Clinical Trials Network. He has either contributed or written more than 250 journal articles, book chapters and editorials about his field. He is married to Yvonne Delahoussaye, and they are the parents of four children, Aline, Ben, Claire and Jacques.

McDonnell is the current head coach for the University of Arkansas Razorback cross country and track and field teams. During his tenure with the Razorbacks, the track team has won 42 NCAA championships, which include 11 for cross country, 19 for indoor track and 12 for outdoor track.

As coach, he has more national championships than any coach in any sport in the history of collegiate athletics. McDonnell has coached all but three of the university's 161 track All-Americans, and he has coached 23 Olympians, which include a gold, silver and bronze medalist.

At the university, the outdoor track facility is named for him, and he is a member of the United States Track Coaches Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor and UL's Athletic Hall of Fame.

McDonnell is a 1969 graduate of UL, earning a bachelor of arts degree in education. He has coached at the University of Arkansas since 1972, where he has been named the district coach of the year 60 times, conference coach of the year 45 times and national coach of the year 30 times. He is married to Ellen Elias, and they are the parents of two children, Heather and Sean.

Originally published October 23, 2006

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June 13, 2004 - John McDonnell, who ran track for UL in 1966 - 69, has now coached Arkansas to 39 NCAA Championships. He is ably assisted by Dick Booth, who was the Head Track Coach at UL from 1984 - 87.
Both gentlemen have their profiles posted and each make for great reading.

To view each profile, go to the AN Home Page and click the mouse with the cursor pointing in the box entitled last name (located upper left). The click clears the box so one may type a person's last name in the Search box. Once the name of the person is typed in the box, click the new search button on the right. As the new screen appears, click on the name, and their profile appears. Both have very interesting footnotes to their profile. It documents their journey to the top of the world of Track and Field.

Cross Country, Track & Field - (M&W):  1966, 1967, 1968, 1969