Tiernan Paces Villanova with 18th Place Individual Finish
Marcus O'Sullivan enters his 11th year as the director of Villanova track & field and head coach to the men's cross country and track & field programs. O'Sullivan established himself as one of 'Nova's all-time great distance runners during his collegiate career (1980-84) and since taking the helm of the program, has returned the Wildcats to prominence on the conference and national scenes.
Many of the individuals and teams O'Sullivan has coached have become accomplished on all levels - national, regional and conference. O'Sullivan has guided his athletes to seven NCAA individual championships, two NCAA relay titles, two BIG EAST titles, and his 2002 indoor track team earned a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships. He has coached 22 athletes to 50 All-American honors and 19 athletes to 59 All-BIG EAST honors.
O'Sullivan himself has earned recognition on the national and conference levels. In 1998 the NCAA bestowed the honor of National Cross Country Coach of the Year on him. He is a four-time (1998, 2001, '02, and '03) Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year, and O'Sullivan earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year distinction in 2002.
The 2007-08 season was memorable for Villanova track and cross country with many stellar performances. Bobby Curtis finished fourth at the Cross Country NCAA Championships. He placed third at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 3,000m and went on to become the 5,000m outdoor national champion. This had not been done since Sydney Maree claimed the title for the Wildcats in 1979. Later in the summer, Curtis competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials where he finished sixth in the 5,000m. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, the men's DMR posted the third fastest time in the country as they finished in 9:32 and went on to garner All-American honors.
Coach O'Sullivan also extends his expertise to athletes outside of the collegiate ranks. He currently coaches three former Villanovans who are competing on the international level. Carmen Douma-Hussar (Villanova, '00) won a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in the 1500m in 2004 and was a finalist in the event at both the 2004 Olympics and 2005 Outdoor World Championships. Adrian Blincoe (Villanova, '03) lowered his personal best in the 5,000m to 13:10 and competed in the Beijing Olympics for New Zealand. Marina Muncan was a finalist at the World Student Games in 2007 and lowered her personal best to 4:08.01 in the 1,500m. O'Sullivan previously coached former American record-holder Bob Kennedy to a personal best in the 10,000m.
As an athlete, O'Sullivan is a four-time Olympian, three-time World Indoor champion in the 1500m, and previously held the world records for the indoor 1500m and the 4x1 mile relay. His professional career, which has spanned 15 years, includes medals at the Goodwill Games, the European Championships, the World Championships and the U.S. Championships. He has the distinction of being one of three men to run more than 100 sub-4:00 minute miles.
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, he served as a part-time faculty member of the Villanova marketing department from 1992-93. On September 18, 2004, Coach O'Sullivan joined 22 other men's track & field legends on the Wall of Fame. 'Nova honored him with a plaque in the shape of a winged track shoe, bearing his name, that is permanently displayed on the wall of the Pavilion next to the scoreboard in the west end of the stadium. O'Sullivan's wife, the former Mary Spinks, earned a nursing degree from Villanova in 1985. The couple has two children: Laura (20) and Christopher (17).