Coaching legend Warhurst retires after 36-year career in Ann Arbor

File Photo
Michigan men's track and field head coach Ron Warhurst (right) cheers for his long distance runners during the Len Paddock Invitational held at Ferry Field on Saturday, May 7, 2005. Buy this photo

BY RYAN KARTJE
Managing Editor
Published July 7, 2010

After a 36-year coaching career which included seven Big Ten championships, four Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, 148 All-American honors and five Olympians, Michigan men's cross country coach and associate track and field head coach Ron Warhurst announced his retirement Wednesday.

Warhurst retires as one of the most tenured coaches in Michigan history, trailing the University's most tenured coach — Cliff Keen — by just four seasons.

“I have had a very nice run at Michigan,” Warhurst said in a press release Wednesday. “I’ve coached some great individuals who have become great men and great friends, and I appreciate all they have done for my career.”

Included among those "great individuals" is three-time Olympian and four-time NCAA champion Kevin Sullivan, who — in the same press release — credited Warhurst with providing the consistency necessary to build a top-notch cross country and track program.

"The results of his athletes over the past 36 years are a testament to his place as one of the great coaches in Michigan and NCAA history," Sullivan said. "Ron Warhust is the face of Michigan cross country and track and field, and his replacement will certainly have big shoes to fill."

A member of the 1964 and 1965 national championship teams at Western Michigan, Warhurst came to Ann Arbor in 1974, on his way to becoming the winningest coach in program history.