Synonymous with Michigan cross country, Ron Warhurst enters his 36th season at the helm of the Wolverine men's cross country team. Warhurst is considered one of the finest cross country coaches in the nation and the most successful in University of Michigan history, winning seven Big Ten Championship titles (1974, '75, '76, '80 (tie), '93, '97 and '98) and producing 12 NCAA top-10 teams.
In his 35 years at Michigan, Warhurst has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors on four occasions (1990, '93, '97, '98) and Regional Coach of the Year honors three times(1997, '98, 2007). In 1974, Warhurst produced his first conference title in just his first season as head coach. It was the Wolverines' first such title in 20 years. He won trophies again in 1975 and '76, giving him three straight titles in his first three years. Warhurst has since accumulated four additional titles, most recently winning back-to-back in 1997 and '98, to give him seven in his career.
Warhurst has coached 21 cross country athletes to 39 NCAA All-America citations while at Michigan, including four-time All-American Kevin Sullivan and a quartet of three-time All-Americans -- Nate Brannen, John Scherer, Bill Donakowski and Greg Meyer. In post-collegiate careers, Warhurst's runners have faired equally as well. At the 1984 Olympic Games, former Wolverine Brian Diemer captured the bronze medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase while Greg Meyer stands as the last American to win the Boston Marathon, earning the distinction in 1983. Most recently, Nick Willis captured bronze in the 1,500-meter run at the 2008 Beijing Games. Over his tenure, Warhurst has coached seven Olympic athletes.
As a collegiate runner himself, Warhurst starred on two NCAA championship teams at Western Michigan University in 1964 and 1965. Following his graduation in 1966, he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan. From 1968-70, he served in the United States Marine Corps and was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Navy Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam.
In addition to his cross country coaching duties, Warhurst is in his 36th season as a coach in the Michigan men's track and field program. After nine successful seasons as head coach (1999-2008) -- capped with the 2008 Big Ten Outdoor crown -- Warhurst moved into the role of associate head coach prior to the 2008 campaign. He previously served as an assistant coach for 25 seasons before taking the helm. During his three decades working with Michigan's distance corps, Warhurst has developed 11 NCAA individual champions and led 40 individuals and eight relays to All-America citations. Warhurst also serves as coach and advisor to several top distance runners from around the nation. He is currently vice president for the Board of Directors of Human Services, and was the NCAA Coaches Association president from 1989-91.
Warhurst's Michigan Cross Country Coaching Record
|Year||Big Ten||NCAA District||NCAA National|
12 NCAA Championship top-10 teams
Warhurst's Career Coaching Highlights
20 NCAA Regional Championship Top 3 teams
39 NCAA All-Americans
Two-time NCAA Regional Champion (1997, 2007)
Three-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year (1997, '98, 2007)
Seven Big Ten Championship titles (1974, '75, '76, '80, '93, '97, '98)
Four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (1990, '93, '97, '98)
Four Big Ten Cross Country Freshmen of the Year
Five Big Ten Cross Country Athletes of the Year
Wolverines Welcome Middle-Distance Runner Hewitt
Best of Kornacki: The Art of Warhurst
Season Review: 2015 Michigan Men's Cross Country
Watch: Cross Country Teams Train at U-M Bio Station
Nine Harriers Earn Academic All-Big Ten Recognition
From the Archives: Hares and Hounds and the Cross Country Club
Wolverines Cap Historic Season Ninth at NCAAs