July 11, 2011
Each weekday in the month of July, MGoBlue.com will feature an interview with a U-M head coach. On Monday (July 11), women's cross country head coach Mike McGuire talks about giving his athletes a break from Ann Arbor and his first job pumping gas.
What makes the summer in women's cross country so unique?
There are a lot of different hats you are wearing. We have one young lady representing the U.S. later in the summer. We check on how the kids are progressing as we head into the fall and most importantly, there are a lot of recruits coming by to check out the university. They know what they need to be doing with their workouts and running. The transition is a little bigger for the first timers, getting adjusted to college running and training.
Why are the summer months so important to the development of your team?
There has to be preparation and a base developed during the summer because they have to come here ready to run and train when we go to camp. We are different than a team sport because a lot of those athletes are still around in the summer and are under the supervision of the strength and conditioning staff. Philosophically, I want my kids to get away during the summer. It is important in the student-athlete balance is that you need to get out of here for a bit. I have a young lady interning at the state department, and that is much more important than her being around for the summer.
What do you see as the team's biggest strength heading into next season?
We have got a fairly experienced nucleus coming back. They have been battle tested, but they need to know that we still need to step it up a level.
What was your first summer job? Where?
Outside of having a paper route, I worked at a gas station in Farmington, Mich., pumping gas when I was 14 years old. My dad always had connections to get me little jobs like that.
Do you or did you have any special travel plans this summer?
I just got back from the U.S. Championships and then went on a combination coaching trip and vacation in Vancouver. I know that I am going somewhere else before camp starts; I just don't know where I am going yet.
Tell us one unique thing you've done since the season ended?
I visited Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. I had never been there. We travel a ton and I have been pretty much everywhere in the U.S., so this was really cool to go somewhere different. I found both places to be really fascinating. I took an hour-and-a-half ferry ride from Vancouver over to Victoria and stayed for a few days. It was a lot of fun to see new places.
Past MGoBlue.com Summer Sessions
Head Men's Cross Country Coach Alex Gibby (July 11)
Head Women's Soccer Coach Greg Ryan (July 8)
Head Men's Tennis Coach Bruce Berque (July 7)
Head Men's Track & Field Coach Fred LaPlante (July 6)
Head Water Polo Coach Matt Anderson (July 5)
Head Men's Swimming & Diving Coach Mike Bottom (July 1)