Mike McGuire, who has coached Michigan women's cross country to nine Big Ten titles, talks about his coaching philosophy, what he likes most about Michigan, what he looks for in a student-athlete, and more.
Mike McGuire embarks on his 23rd season as head women's cross country coach at the University of Michigan in 2014. A nine-time Big Ten Coach of the Year honoree, McGuire has established himself among the nation's top distance coaches.
McGuire's cross country teams have finished first or second in the Big Ten Championships in 18 of the last 22 seasons, winning it all in 1992, '93, '94, 2002, '03, '04, '05, '06 and '12. U-M captured the regional championship in 1993, '94, '95, 2004, '05, '08, '11, '12 and '13, while posting 17 top-two finishes -- including a second-place finish or better in 10 of the last 12 seasons. U-M boasts 11 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships and has placed among the event's top 15 all but six times over McGuire's tenure, most notably a second-place finish at the 1994 NCAA Championships and a third-place finish in 2006. The Wolverines have notched top-five performances in each of the last two seasons, finishing fifth in 2012 and fourth in 2013, and return all members of its championship squad.
Under McGuire's tutelage, Michigan's distance corps boasts five NCAA individual champions, 135 NCAA All-American honorees, including 23 cross country and 112 track and field award winners. He guided Katie McGregor to Michigan's first women's cross country NCAA individual title in 1998. On the track, McGuire has also coached four NCAA-champion distance medley relay squads, including the most recent in 2013. He also helped U-M student-athletes shatter 26 school records during his tenure, including indoor and outdoor individual and relay records. Most recently, freshman phenom Erin Finn set indoor and outdoor school records in the 5,000-meter run, as well as a new outdoor 10,000-meter run record.
McGuire's Wolverine cross country teams earned five consecutive Big Ten championships (2002, '03, '04, '05, '06), finished as NCAA Great Lakes Regional champions in 2004, '05, '08, '11, '12 and '13, and claimed four straight top-six showings at the NCAA Championships, including a third-place effort in 2006 -- the second-best finish in program history. McGuire boasts nine Big Ten Coach of the Year citations and has been named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year eight times.
In his first year as head coach, McGuire won the program's first Big Ten title in 1992 and strung together three consecutive Big Ten championships from 1992-94. During those three seasons, Michigan celebrated its first Big Ten individual champion in Molly McClimon, who captured top billing in 1993. McGuire has coached six Wolverine harriers to the Big Ten individual crown, including McGregor who claimed back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.
In addition to his cross country duties, McGuire has served as associate head coach and assistant coach for Michigan's women's track and field program for 22 seasons. With his assistance, Michigan has captured 14 Big Ten Conference championships and has won two triple crowns (Big Ten cross country, indoor and outdoor track titles in the same academic year).
McGuire was named head women's cross country coach in 1992 after two seasons as an assistant coach. He joined the Michigan staff in 1990 after holding coaching and recruiting positions at the University of Kansas and Eastern Michigan University. At Kansas, McGuire handled recruiting while working with the distance runners. McGuire helped lead EMU to one cross country and three track and field Mid-American Conference championships.
As a Wolverine student-athlete (1976-79), McGuire was an All-American under legendary U-M men's cross country coach Ron Warhurst. McGuire set the Big Ten three-mile record (now retired) in 1976, while competing with the Wolverine cross country and track teams. He competed on the U.S. cross country team at the World Cross Country Championships in Madrid, Spain, and won the 1981 Detroit Free Press Marathon.
Originally from Matawan, N.J., McGuire earned a degree in social studies and history from the University of Michigan in 1979. He currently resides in Ann Arbor.
McGuire by the Numbers
Nine-time Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year (1992, '93, '94, 2002, '03, '04, '05, '06, '12)
Eight-time Great Lakes Region Cross Country Coach of the Year (1992, '93, '94, 2004, '05, '11, '12, '13)
Two-time USTFCCCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year (women's distance) (2005, '07)
Three-time NCAA Mideast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year (women's distance) (2005, '06, '07)
Two-time Great Lakes Region Indoor Track Coach of the Year (2007, '08)
Nine Big Ten cross country team titles (1992, '93, '94, 2002, '03, '04, '05, '06, '12)
Nine NCAA Great Lakes Region cross country team titles (1993, '94, '95, 2004, '05, '08, '11, '12, '13)
One NCAA cross country individual champion (Katie McGregor, 1998)
Six NCAA Great Lakes Region cross country individual champions
Seven cross country Big Ten individual champions
Nine cross country Big Ten Freshman of the Year recipients