The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 27, 2003 - 7B
RUN TO LIVE
Cross country coach Mike McGuire
knows what it takes to finish on top
By Mustafizur Choudhury m Daily Sports Writer
Sa into his office at Weidenbach
Hall, one will be awed by the
numerous plaques and trophies that
he and his athletes have accumulated over the
years. For Michigan women's cross country
coach Mike McGuire, these accomplishments
are representative of the success that few other
coaches in the nation can attest to. The awards
cover his walls and fill his shelves, leaving lit-
tle room for even a wall clock. They are sym-
bolic of McGuire's illustrious career, both as
an athlete and as a coach.
"I'm competitive by nature, and I (have) a
passion to do the best I can for my athletes and
to expect the best from them," McGuire said.
As a young boy from Farmington, McGuire
first learned about his athletic talent in junior
high school where, one day, he ran a very
strong mile. Although he doesn't remember
the exact time, he recalls it being impressive
enough that the coaches recognized his poten-
tial and encouraged him to pursue the sport.
"I embraced (running) right away,"
McGuire said. "It's a team sport, but I liked
the element of making decisions and pushing
At Farmington Hills High School, McGuire
bloomed quickly under the coaching of Jerry
Young, a three time former All-American from
Michigan State. He was state runner-up twice
in cross country and once in track and field. In
1971, he set a new state record in the two-mile
run when he became a state champion.
"I was fortunate that I had good coaching,
and I had someone that had the experience to
encourage and train me to make that transition
to the next level," McGuire said.
He knew in his freshman year of high
The McGuire File
Since starring at Farmington Hills High
School in the eaIy 1970s, Mike McGuire:
*Won the Detroit Marathon in 1981
*Was a two-time All-American
*Captured Big Ten titles in his first three
*Never finished lower than second at the
Big Ten Cross Country Championships
except when the Wolverines placed third
*Has been named Big Ten Coach of the
Year four times
eHelped Michigan win both the men's and
women's Big Ten track titles last season
school that he would run in college. So when
it came time to decide where he was headed,
there was no doubt that he would be running
at Michigan for Ron Warhurst, who is still
coaching the men's cross country team today.
At that time, McGuire was one of the top-
ranked recruits in the country. During his col-
lege career, he was the Big Ten three-mile
champion in 1975 and 1976 and was an All-
American in 1974 and 1975.
"He wasn't afraid to race anybody,"
Warhurst said. "He was very stubborn and he
didn't like to lose."
Shortly after McGuire finished college, his
triumphant running days were plagued by
injuries, destroying his chances of becoming a
professional. He did, however, continue run-
ning as an amateur and had quite a bit of suc-
cess, winning the Detroit Marathon in 1981.
Eventually, he took off his running shoes and
decided to take on the coaching profession.
Coaching was something that McGuire
envisioned himself doing since the age of 12.
He felt that it was time to pass on his knowl-
edge of the sport to a new generation of ath-
letes, just as his coaches had done with him.
McGuire worked as an assistant coach at
Kansas before coming to Michigan. After
being an assistant for a few more years,
McGuire took over as the Wolverines' head
coach in 1992 and his success was almost
immediate. The team captured the Big Ten
title in his first three seasons (1992 to '94), a
feat that had never been achieved in school
history. This past season, the team ended an
eight-year drought by upsetting top-ranked
Wisconsin and Michigan State, bringing home
its fourth Big Ten championship. His notable
efforts have helped the Wolverines become
one of the best teams in the nation.
Lindsey Gallo, who received All-Big Ten
honors this past season for helping the
Wolverines win the Big Ten championship,
credits McGuire for helping her become one
of the best cross country and track runners.
"When he was recruiting me, he had big
plans for me," Gallo said. "He had the same
vision for me that I had for myself, and I was
excited to come here and try to be the runner
that he thought I could be. When you have a
coach that sets high expectations for you and.
really believes in you, it just makes you run
McGuire always emphasizes running as a
team, and it has become somewhat of a
trademark for Michigan. By running
in Pirate Bowl I
Continued from Page:lB
"Right now, I wouldn't care if they put Mount Ever-
est in front of me;' said Simeon Rice, who was play-
ing against a line of all 300 pounders. "I just wanted
to be a world champion."
The Tampa Bay offense did its part, too, led by
Michael Pittman, who ran for 124 yards on 29 carries.
Mike Alstott had a 2-yard TD run and Brad John-
son added two TD passes to Keenan McCardell, the
second an 11-yarder after an 89-yard drive that ate
up almost eight minutes of the third quarter.
Just 43 seconds later, Smith grabbed the ball away
from Jerry Rice and took it to the end zone to make
Oakland owner Al Davis' slogan "Just win, baby!"
wasn't going to work this time.
How good was the Tampa Bay defense?
Oakland had just 62 total yards in the first half,
the second-lowest total in Super Bowl history. And
the five interceptions of Gannon were the most he
had in any game this season.
Credit the win also to Gruden, who left Oakland a
year ago for Tampa Bay in what seemed at the time
far too much in draft picks and cash - $8 million to
Although Gruden denied it, his knowledge of his
old team worked out perfectly.
"Every play they've run, we've run in practice;'
Tampa Bay safety John Lynch said.
But Gruden said:
"That was all overrated. "I stayed away from the
defense. That's a credit to our players. We've got a
great defensive club."
To be fair, the Raiders might have entered this
game a bit distracted.
Their All-Pro center, Barret Robbins, was sent
home before the game for missing team functions on
Saturday. The Bucs took advantage, with Warren
Sapp, Lynch and the interior defense pushing up the
middle constantly against backup center Adam Treu
to put pressure on Gannon and shut down the run.
This was a victory for one of the NFL's longtime
Between 1983 and 1996, the Bucs were the
league's worst franchise, going without a winning
season and losing 10 or more games in 13 of those
Even a year ago, they were a mess after the Glazer
family fired Dungy and went after big-name coaches
like Bill Parcells and Steve Mariucci before landing
But if this was a glorious day for the Bucs, it was
the opposite for the Raiders, who have three Super
Bowl victories but hadn't been back to pro football's
showcase game in 19 years.
Oakland's aging warriors did little or worse.
Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, the 40- and 36-year-
old wide receivers, were all but invisible for most of
Rice, who has a reception in every game. he's
played since 1985, didn't have his first until 3:30
was left in the third quarter yesterday and the
Raiders trailed by 31 points.
Coach Mike McGuire has been a winner at every level of cross country competition, and he shares that
competitiveness with his runners. This past season, McGuire led Michigan to its fourth Big Ten title.
together, the Wolverines have become a
more complete and united team, relying on
everyone - young and old - to step up
and push each other.
"Our motto this past cross country season
was, 'White on rice,"' Gallo said. "He want-
ed us to run close together and work with
In his 11 years leading Michigan, the
Wolverines have never finished worse than
second in the conference with the exception
of 1996, when they finished third. The
Wolverines have also been to the NCAA
Championships in nine of those 11 years.
Several of his runners have earned All-Amer-
ican and All-Big Ten honors, and he has been
named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times.
"He tries to instill a sense of pride in his.
athletes," Warhurst said. "He's a very intense
competitor, and I'm sure that has carried over
into his coaching. I'm glad I don't have to
coach against him."
McGuire is also an assistant with the
women's indoor and outdoor track and field
teams. The strengths of these teams is in the
middle distance and long distance events,
which can be attributed to McGuire. The
cross country experience of these runners is a
big reason why they've been so good. But he
credits head coach James Henry for leading
both track and field teams to a sweep of the
Big Ten titles in the 2002 season.
McGuire believes that coaching is a con-
stant learning experience, and he realizes
that a good coach should be smart enough
to understand that he or she doesn't have
all the answers.
"There's something new everyday, and
that's what makes it exciting," McGuire
said. "For me, it's still exciting and it's still
fun. It's an interesting sport, and I guess it
keeps you young."