Karcic, Muncan, Reid and Sullivan are set to compete on sport's grandest stage
A new era in Villanova University Track & Field began on June 22, 1998 when Marcus O'Sullivan was named head coach of the Wildcat track & field program. O'Sullivan returns to the Main Line where he established himself as one of Villanova's all-time great distance runners during his collegiate career from 1980-84.
O'Sullivan's appointment at Villanova rates as his first within the collegiate coaching ranks. O’Sullivan serves as the Director of Villanova Track & Field, and head coach to the men’s cross country and track & field programs. Now in his fifth year at the helm of the Wildcat program, O’Sullivan has returned Villanova to prominence on the conference level and on the national scene as well. This past fall, O’Sullivan led the Wildcats to a Big East title. For his efforts, he was named the Big East Conference Coach of the Year. He also earned 2001 and 2002 Regioanl Coach of the Year distinction after guiding his team to consecutive regioanl team championships.
On the track last year, O’Sullivan led the Wildcats to a second place finish at both the Big East indoor and outdoor championships. In addition, Villanova garnered a sixth place finish at the 2002 NCAA indoor championships.
Running under the guidance of the legendary Jumbo Elliott for one season and Charlie Jenkins for three years, O'Sullivan established himself as one of Villanova's all-time great performers garnering four varsity letters each in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.
Throughout his Main Line running career, O'Sullivan captured two NCAA indoor titles, 10 Big East Conference indoor and outdoor titles, two IC4A indoor championships and six Penn Relay Carnival Championship of America watches. In Big East Conference Championships, O'Sullivan posted five first place finishes including the 1981 indoor 1500 meters, both the 1983 cross country crown and indoor 1500 meters and the indoor 1500 meters and outdoor 5000 meters in 1984. He also registered two second place finishes during the 1982 season in both the indoor 800 meters and the outdoor 1500 meters. At the 1981 Big East Conference Indoor Championships, O'Sullivan was named the meet's Most Outstanding Freshman Performer.
O'Sullivan also made his mark at the famous Penn Relay Carnival where he earned six Championship of America watches during his career. His shining moment at the Penn Relays came in 1984 when he ran a relay record 1500 meter split of 3:38.7 during the anchor leg of Villanova's 6000 meter relay squad that finished first in a national collegiate and meet record time of 14:52.81. In 1982, he ran the lead off leg on the Wildcats' 3200 meter relay that finished first in national collegiate and meet record 7:12.29.
Upon graduation from Villanova, O'Sullivan went on to enjoy an outstanding international career that included appearances in four Olympic Games for his native country of Ireland. He competed in the 800m and 1500m in Los Angeles in 1984, was a finalist in the 1500m in Seoul in 1988 and raced in the 1500m at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. His career highlights include three World Indoor Championships in the 1500m in 1987, 1989 and 1993, as well as a world record in the indoor 1500m (3:35.4) in 1989. This 1500m time, along with his best indoor mile of 3:50.9, remain among the five-best performances ever in those events indoors.
At the prestigious Millrose Games held at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 13, 1998, O'Sullivan ran a sub-4:00 mile for the 100th time in his illustrious career, becoming just the third runner in history to accomplish this feat. With 101 sub-4:00 miles to his credit, O'Sullivan ranks third all-time behind Steve Scott and John Walker.
O'Sullivan graduated from Villanova in 1984 with a degree in accounting and went on to earn his MBA from Villanova in 1989. After passing the CPA exam, O'Sullivan served as a part-time faculty member of the Villanova Marketing Department from 1992-93. O'Sullivan's wife, the former Mary Spinks, earned a nursing degree from Villanova in 1986. The couple has two children, Laura (14), and Christopher (11).