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Former Wolverine Sullivan Named Next Men's Cross Country Coach
Men's head coach Kevin Sullivan and women's head coach Mike McGuire talk about the layout and advantages of the new practice course at Radrick Farms.
Former Michigan Wolverine standout Kevin Sullivan will begin his first season as men's cross country head coach when the Wolverines host the Michigan Open on Aug. 29.
Kevin Sullivan was announced as head coach of the Michigan men's cross country program on July 17, 2014, and in the midst of his third season at the helm of the program. He also serves as an assistant men's track and field coach.
In just his second season leading the Maize and Blue, Sullivan coached the team to its first sweep of the Big Ten and NCAA Great Lakes Regional titles with a top-10 NCAA finish since his senior season in 1997. U-M placed ninth at the national championships, the program's best finish since 2003.
At the regional meet, Sullivan guided five Wolverines to all-region honors, three of whom earned the accolade for the first time in their respective careers. Mason Ferlic won the individual title and became U-M's first athlete to accomplish that feat since Nate Brannen in 2004.
The conference crown was U-M's first Big Ten title since the 1998 season. Ferlic was the runner-up, the highest-finishing Wolverine since Brannen took second in 2003. U-M put three in the top 10, all five scorers in the top 25, and had three all-conference honorees. Ferlic was a first-teamer, while Ben Flanagan (8th) and Tony Smoragiewicz (9th) were second-team.
In 2016, Sullivan's Wolverines finished fifth at the Big Ten Championship behind sixth-place all-conference performer Aaron Baumgarten, and went on to place fifth in the regional meet at all. Baumgarten, Billy Bund, Connor Herr and Jordy Hewitt secured all-region honors.
In his first year at the helm of the program, Sullivan guided U-M to its fifth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships, and its best performance in more than a decade. Mason Ferlic took 13th to become the program's first back-to-back All-American since Nate Brannen in 2003-04. Sullivan coached the Maize and Blue to 11th place, the team's best finish since 2003, and also the best finish in program history under a first-year head coach.
Sullivan also helped U-M to its third consecutive runner-up placing at the Big Ten Championships, pushing Ferlic and Ben Flanagan to first and second-team all-conference honors, respectively, before coaching U-M to a third-place finish in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Ferlic and Flanagan were joined by August Pappas in earning all-region honors.
The most decorated runner in school history, Sullivan was a 16-time Big Ten champion and a 14-time NCAA All-American during his Michigan career. He won four NCAA titles, claiming top honors in the mile (1995 and 1998) and the distance medley relay (1995) during the indoor season, and the 1500m run at the 1995 outdoor championships. Sullivan was a nine-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year, earning the honor each of his four years in cross country, three times in indoor track and field and twice outdoors.
In cross country, Sullivan was a four-time NCAA All-American (1993-95, 1997), four-time NCAA regional champion, four-time Big Ten champion, four-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year and a four-time all-conference selection. He was also the 1993 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Sullivan was a three-time Olympian for Canada, competing in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games. He placed fifth in the 1500m run at the 2000 Olympics and is Canada's record holder in three events: 1500m (3:31.71), mile (3:50.26) and 3000m (7:41.61). Sullivan was one of the world's top competitors in the 1500m run for nearly a decade, winning a silver medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and 2001 Goodwill Games, and earned the bronze medal in the 2000 IAAF Grand Prix Final. Overall, he participated in 22 World Championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
Since finishing his competitive running career, Sullivan has remained involved in the running community. He was the operations manager for the Florida State University track and field team during the 2010 season. Sullivan was responsible for preparing travel, entering student-athletes in competition and assisted with the administration of three home events for the Seminoles. He left FSU to open up Capital City Runners, a full-service specialty running store, of which he is the owner and manager.
Sullivan has stayed close to the Big Ten Conference competition as an analyst for the BTN with various track and field programming. He served as an editorial research assistant for CTV Sports (Agincourt, Ontario) during the 2012 London Olympics.
He has been a volunteer assistant coach for the women's cross country program at Florida State University since 2007. Prior to 2007, Sullivan was a volunteer coach at the University of Illinois with the women's programs (2003-07) and men's program's (2002-03). He also spent four seasons as a volunteer coach with the Michigan men's cross country and track programs from 1999 through 2002.
Sullivan graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Academically, Sullivan was a seven-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, and was the 1998 Spring At-Large Academic All-American of the Year. He was a recipient of the 1998 NCAA Top VIII Award.
He was Michigan's male recipient of the 1998 Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor. Sullivan was inducted into the University of Michigan Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2006.
Sullivan by the Numbers
Coached U-M to one Top-10 NCAA Finish (2015)
Coached U-M to one Big Ten Championship (2015)
Coached U-M to one NCAA Great Lakes Regional title (2015)
Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year (2015)
NCAA Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year (2015)
Coached 33 All-Americans, including one in track and one in cross-country at Michigan
Coached his athletes to 28 conference titles in track and cross country, including two track and field titles at Michigan
Coached one individual regional champion (Mason Ferlic, 2015)
Coached one Great Lakes Regional Athlete of the Year (Mason Ferlic, 2015)
Coached his athletes at U-M to 12 all-region honors.
Coached his athletes at U-M to six all-conference honors (three first team, three second team)