Men’s Track and Field: Ed McAllister retires as St. Xavier coach
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media July 4, 2014 8:12PM
Updated: July 6, 2014 2:15AM
When St. Xavier men’s track and field coach Ed McAllister hit the recruiting trail, he had an ace up his sleeve.
In 2006, McAllister helped start the program from the ground up. Athletes, coaches, and trainers in the program were working with a clean slate, and that’s the message he delivered.
“I’d often tell kids, ‘We’re not following a dynasty. We’re able to start one,’ ” McAllister said. “There is a lot to that.”
McAllister, who’s been St. Xavier’s men’s cross country coach since 2004 and men’s track and field since 2006, recently announced he’s retiring from both positions.
He briefly coached the men’s cross country team during the 1976-77 season, the program’s first.
“The thing about (the decision), it was a combination of things, but it was time,” McAllister said. “I thought about it for a while, and it’s a good spot where there’s good, young assistants with a lot of energy.”
McAllister certainly has left his mark on both programs, especially closing out on top with the track and field program.
In November, The Cougars finished 19th overall at the 2013 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships, the highest postseason finish in the 10-year history of the program.
“We had some very good kids, and it always feel good to go out on top,” McAllister said. “It was important to me, that feeling I’ve taken the program as far as we did.”
McAllister guided SXU to a third-place finish this season at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference meet in May. He was named the CCAC and NAIA Regional VII Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2005 after the Cougars won both the conference and regional meets.
For the longtime coach though, it wasn’t the team or individual achievements. It was a tough attitude that permeated throughout the programs.
“I think, as you look at the area around St. Xavier geographically, it’s not known as a track area, but more football and baseball,” McAllister said. “We had a lot of kids with chips on their shoulder, a ton of good guys, who were overachievers who gave 100 percent. They gave their body and spirit.”