Redshirt freshman runs 3:59.39 in Mile at Alex Wilson Invitational
Less than two seconds separate top five teams in Championship of America relay
Incredible race saw top six teams separated by only eight-tenths of a second
Villanova sophomore moved up three spots with fastest time in the field over final 400 meters
Wildcats poised to have success at conference meet
Marcus O'Sullivan is now in his 15th year as the Frank J. Kelly Endowed Track & Field Coach. He is the head coach of the men's cross country and track & field teams and is also charged with oversight of those women's programs as well. O'Sullivan is himself a Villanova graduate and a four-time Olympian who has restored the Wildcats to national prominence in his time as head coach.
O'Sullivan has seen his teams and student-athletes achieve success at the highest levels. Under his guidance, Villanova has won three team BIG EAST championships and placed in the top-10 at NCAA Championships on four occasions (two each in cross country and indoor track & field). There have also been two NCAA relay titles for the team and two individual national champions under O'Sullivan's watch. Individual honors have tallied up to 65 All-America honors and 122 All-BIG EAST honors through the end of the 2011-12 seasons.
This past winter O'Sullivan coached the Wildcats to an All-American finish in the distance medley relay, as Villanova came in fifth at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Two-time Olympian Adrian Blincoe helped lead the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in both 2002 and 2003. In 2002 he was the individual national champion in the 3000 meters and anchored Villanova to a national title in the distance medley relay. Those two results helped the Wildcats to place fifth as a team at the championships, with Blincoe being preceded in the relay by Mike Brown, Jason Jabaut and Ryan Hayden. In 2003, Villanova repeated as national champions in the DMR with Blincoe and Hayden again part of the championship quartet. They ran second and third, respectively, with Nic O'Brien leading off and Paul Moser taking the anchor leg.
Bobby Curtis is the most recent national champion for the Wildcats after winning the 5000 meter outdoor title in 2008. It was the second outdoor title in the 5000 meters in program history and Curtis became Villanova's first outdoor champion in any event since 1981.
O'Sullivan has also led his teams to a great deal of success in cross country and the team notched back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2000 (6th) and 2001 (8th). More recently, Villanova has had its full team qualify for the national championship meet in each of the last five seasons and produced a pair of All-Americans during that time in Curtis (2007) and current junior Mathew Mildenhall (2009). The team also celebrated its fourth BIG EAST team title in 2011.
A big part of the Villanova track & field tradition is the number of sub-four minute Milers that the Wildcats have produced, with O'Sullivan himself at the forefront of that select group. As Villanova head coach O'Sullivan has mentored 10 sub-four minute Milers. Last season he coached Sam McEntee to a time of 3:36 in the 1500 meters, a mark which ranks as the 10th best in NCAA history. McEntee is now linked with former Villanova star Sydney Maree, who ran the fastest 1500 meters in collegiate history. McEntee joined the sub-four minute club with his time of 3:57.86 at the Penn State National in January, 2012. The most recent Wildcats runner to become a part of the sub-four minute club is Rob Denault, who posted a time of 3:59.39 at the Alex Wilson Invitational in March, 2013.
The success of the Wildcats has led to numerous honors for O'Sullivan himself, as he was named the national Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1998, is a four-time Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year and received BIG EAST Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and again in 2011.
In addition to continuing Villanova's already strong track & field tradition O'Sullivan has worked hard to strengthen the program's relationship with a large alumni base. A part of that commitment by O'Sullivan includes working with former Wildcat student-athletes outside of the collegiate ranks as they pursue professional careers.
O'Sullivan currently coaches two athletes who are competing at the international level, including Frances Koons and Sheila Reid. Just two months after finishing her Villanova career last spring Reid represented her native Canada at the London Olympics. O'Sullivan previously coached Carmen Douma-Hussar, Marina Muncan and Blincoe following their collegiate careers for the Wildcats. Muncan joined Reid as a first time Olympian in London and competed for Serbia. She previously was a finalist at the World Student Games in 2007. Blincoe became the 30th member of the men's program at Villanova to compete in the Olympics when he represented his native New Zealand by competing in the 5000 meters at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Douma-Hussar won a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in the 1500 meters in 2004 and was a finalist in the event at both the 2004 Olympics and 2005 Outdoor World Championships. O'Sullivan previously coached former American record-holder Bob Kennedy to a personal best in the 10000 meters.
During his own racing career, O'Sullivan competed in the Olympics in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 and is a three-time indoor world champion in the 1500 meters and the 4xMile relay. His professional career spanned more than 15 years and includes medals at the Goodwill Games, the European Championships, the World Championships and the U.S. Championships. O'Sullivan has the distinction of being one of only three men to run more than 100 sub-four minute miles.
As a Villanova student-athlete, O'Sullivan is one of the most decorated runners in the history of the program. He ran the third leg of a national champion distance medley relay squad in 1981 and was the anchor of the 1983 two-mile relay squad that also won an NCAA title. O'Sullivan also won six Penn Relays titles and was a 10-time BIG EAST champion, which is tied for the third most conference titles in school history. He won championships at the Penn Relays in the 4x1500 meter relay three times during his career (1981, 1982, 1984) and was also a two-time champion in the 4x800 meter relay (1982, 1984) in addition to winning a DMR title in 1981. In BIG EAST competition, O'Sullivan won individual titles in the indoor 1500 meters three times and the outdoor 5000 meters once. He also helped the team win two relay titles each in the DMR, two-mile relay and 4x800 meter relay. Villanova also made three appearances in the NCAA Championships for cross country during O'Sullivan's undergraduate career.
A native of Ireland, O'Sullivan came to Villanova as part of the "Irish Pipeline" that started at the university in the 1950's. Since then, O'Sullivan is one of more than 30 talented athletes from Ireland that have come to Villanova, a group which includes a number of world-renowned and accomplished athletes.
O'Sullivan holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Villanova and received his MBA from the university in 1989. After passing the CPA exam, he served as a part-time faculty member of the Villanova marketing department in 1992-93. He was honored for his career accomplishments in 2004 when he was inducted onto the Villanova Wall of Fame in Villanova Stadium.
O'Sullivan is married to the former Mary Spinks, who earned a Nursing degree from Villanova in 1985. The couple has two children, Laura (24) and Christopher (21).