Matt McGuirk is in his 15th year as the head coach of cross country at Willamette University in 2018-19. He is in his 16th year as head coach of track and field and is in his 20th year on the Willamette coaching staff.
In 2017, Willamette won its sixth consecutive NWC Championship in men's cross country. A year earlier, Olivia Mancl placed 13th at the NCAA Championships in women's cross country, as she recorded All-America recognition for the second year in a row.
In 2015, the Bearcats won the Northwest Conference team championship in men's cross country and the NCAA West Regional team title in women's cross country. The women's team placed 10th at the NCAA Championships, while the men's team placed 28th. Olivia Mancl earned All-America honors by finishing second at the NCAA meet in the women's 6-kilometer race. She achieved first place at the NWC meet and was second at the West Regional.
During the 2014 season, McGuirk led the Willamette men's and women's teams to NWC titles, while the women also won the West Regional Championship and placed 15th at the NCAA Championships. Taylor Ostrander won the women's individual NWC title.
Prior to becoming head coach in 2004, McGuirk led the men’s cross country team for five seasons. He also was the team’s top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 1999-03. His ability to recruit student-athletes who succeed both in the classroom and in competition has led to the most successful teams in school history.
In 2002 and 2004, the WU men’s team earned fifth place finishes at the NCAA Championships. Sarah Zerzan of WU won back-to-back individual national titles at the NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007. The WU women’s team placed ninth in the NCAA during the 2004 and 2007 seasons.
McGuirk was named NWC Coach of the Year in men’s cross country in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was NWC women’s coach of the year in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014.
He has led the men’s team to 13 NWC titles since 2001 and has guided the women's team to seven NWC titles since 2004. He also had coached Willamette to the NCAA West Regional men’s title seven times since 2002 and to the women’s West Regional title seven times since 2003.
McGuirk has guided the men’s team to the NCAA Championships 10 times, with the women qualifying seven times. He was an assistant coach when the women earned NWC and West Regional titles while qualifying for the NCAA Championships in 2003.
Since he has been at WU, both teams have earned All-Academic status every year. The award requires at least a 3.1 team GPA.
As Willamette’s track and field coach, McGuirk led the men’s team to a tie for third place at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in 2004, giving Willamette its first NCAA trophy in school history. The WU men’s team took fourth place at the NCAA Championships in 2005.
Coaching Quick Facts
Full 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