Matt (left) With Arnold at the 5k Pump and Run

34 year run as the Watterson boys and girls cross country coach ends

After Matt McGowan in 2017 guided the boys team to its first state berth since 1981, the Eagles made it back to the Division II state meet this fall, finishing 17th last November  at Fortress Obetz.

“My assistant coaches and I would welcome the opportunity to continue to coach, but that is not in the cards or the direction the athletic director or principal want to continue,” McGowan said.

Last year Bishop Watterson was the first school in 25 years to win both the boys and girls CCL cross country championships and this year they finished second by one point in both. “My goal in coaching is to get as many students out for cross country as possible and to coach and develop them as athletes and good citizens. With my background in my own running and coaching, I want the athletes to enjoy the sport and improve during the season and run their best at the end of the season, want to run on the team again next year and hopefully want to continue to run the rest of their lives” McGowan said.
In addition to his tenure in cross country, McGowan spent seven seasons as the head boy’s track and field coach (finishing 7th and 4th in the OHSAA State Track & Field Championships), one season as the head boys and girls track coach and 20 seasons as an assistant track coach in charge of the distance runners.  (BW

“We appreciate all the years of hard work and dedication that coach McGowan has put into our cross country program and wish him the best,” athletics director Doug Etgen said.

Addition by Matt McGowan

After Jarrod Ulrey saw Watterson was advertising for a head cross country coach he asked me if I was retiring and I said not really but give me a few minutes and I will forward something to you, which some appears above.  I can’t comment on some issues before this season.  During my high school coaching career I have served under six athletics directors and Mike Roark has been the most supportive and  knowledgeable about the sports I coach. When the boy’s team went to the OHSAA State Track & Field Championships (finished 4th and 7th in the States) Mike Roark was the athletic director and was very supportive of the coaches and athletes throughout their run to the States, he has also been very supportive of both cross country teams now he is our assistant athletic director.  But I am not sure how many coaches whose team wins the District Championships and make it to the State Championships have an athletic director who doesn’t congratulate the coaches or to my knowledge the athletes on the team for their accomplishments. Also, when one of the boys on the cross country team put the District Cross Country Championships trophy on the office counter have the athletic director removed it within an hour yet has left the boy’s basketball district trophy on the office counter for more than two weeks.

I have been involved with coaching for over 40 years.  Besides my high school coaching, I helped mentor my younger brother Jeff when he was in high school.  While in graduate school I ran with and worked with the Miami University men’s distance program.  After graduate school I started the Miami University women’s cross country program and coached the team for four years while also coaching the women track distance runners for two years.  I also coached a youth Hersey track program for two summers in Oxford.  I served as the coordinator for the Converse Midwest Racing Team which had a number of Olympic Trails qualifiers and one Olympian on the team.  RUNOHIO sponsored a post collegiate women’s running team which won the 2007 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships and also finished fifth the following  year.  Plus, I was a certified track & field official for a number of years.