29 June 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald has congratulated fellow Knocknaheeny neighbour Leevale’s Mark Carroll on being named director of track & field and cross country at Drake University in Iowa, USA.
The director of athletics for Drake University, Sandy Hatfield Clubb made the announcement earlier this week. “I am thrilled to welcome Mark Carroll to Drake University as our director of track & field and cross country,” said Drake University director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb. “Mark has a tremendous record of success as both a coach and athlete at the collegiate and international level. His plan and vision of success for Drake track & field and cross country and our student-athletes aligns perfectly with the mission of the Bulldog Way. I want to thank associate athletic director Megan Franklin for her leadership during the search process in identifying the ideal candidate to lead the Bulldogs and add to the Drake’s track & field and cross country programs’ rich legacy.”
Carroll takes over the Drake track & field and cross country programs after spending the last eight seasons as head cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Auburn University. At Auburn, Carroll coached five All-Americans, two NCAA regional cross country champions, six Southeastern Conference Champions and 18 All-SEC honorees.
Carroll said “I want to thank Drake University director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the Drake University director of track & field and cross country. Drake University has a historic and rich tradition in track & field and cross country and I am very excited to lead the program to future Drake Relays, Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA success. My wife, Amy, and I are looking forward to joining the Bulldog family.”
In his eight-year tenure at Auburn, Carroll also mentored seven student-athletes that qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships and seven school records were broken.
“Mark’s emphasis on goal achievement in supporting student-athletes to reach their greatest potential speaks volumes given his own athletic and coaching achievements,” said Drake associate director of athletic and senior woman administrator Megan Franklin. “Mark has the skill and experience to capitalize on the successes of the current team and develop championship caliber performances. Furthermore, given Mark’s collegiate experience at Providence College, he appreciates the unique opportunity a Drake education and athletic experience provides student-athletes.”
In 2012, Carroll served as the Irish Olympic team distance coach at the London Olympics and was also Ireland’s distance coach at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Carroll boasts an elite-level pedigree as an athlete himself on the international stage as a two-time Olympian representing his native Ireland in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games in the 5,000 meters and as a six-time World Championships qualifier.
He set Irish national records in the 3,000 (7:30.36), 5,000 (13:03.93) and 10,000 (27:46.42) meters and won the 2000 European Indoor Championship in the 3,000 meters after finishing third in the 5,000 meters at the 1998 European Outdoor Championships. In 2002, he finished sixth in the New York Marathon with a time of 2:10.54 that just missed shattering the Irish national record in that event by 61 seconds.
Carroll ran professionally for Asics, adidas and Nike and assisted the Athletic Association of Ireland prior to beginning his coaching tenure at Auburn. In his role with the Athletic Association of Ireland, he managed US based Irish athletes in preparation for national team competitions and facilitated support services for Irish athletes.
Carroll competed collegiately at Providence College where he was a six-time All-American and the 1995 NCAA indoor champion in the 5,000 meters. In cross country, he was the NCAA Championship runner-up in 1995 and placed third in 1992. A seven-time BIG EAST champion, he was named the Providence College Athlete of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and inducted into the Friars’ Hall of Fame in 2008.
A native of Cork, Ireland, Carroll is married to Amy Rudolph, a two-time Olympian herself and a USA Indoor Champion and former national record holder in the 5,000 meters.