A 2014 inductee into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, Tom Donnelly enters his 45th season at the helm of Haverford’s track and cross country programs in 2019-20. Donnelly has taken Haverford to 76 Middle Atlantic and Centennial Conference championships, including 64 titles since the 1993 season. His runners have earned 172 cross country and track & field All-American awards since 1980, including 29 individual NCAA championships and an NCAA championship relay team. Donnelly’s 2010 cross country squad captured Haverford’s first NCAA team championship.
Under Donnelly’s guidance, three Fords have been inducted into the Division III Athlete Hall of Fame. Nine-time national champion and 15-time All-American Karl Paranya ’97 qualified to the 1996 and 2000 Olympic trials in the 1,500 meters after running the first sub-4 mile (3:57.6) in Division III history as a senior. Seamus McElligott ’91 won NCAA championships in cross country, the indoor 5k, and the outdoor 5k and 10k while also competing in the Division I Cross Country Championships and gaining All-American status there as well. Kevin Foley ’83 won three consecutive 1,500m championships from 1981-83 and still holds the Division III championship meet record in the event.
Haverford’s most recent national champion, Greg Morgan ’19, won the 2019 3k indoor championship. Other notable national champions include Chris Stadler ’14, who won the 2013 5k indoor and 2014 5k outdoor national championships. Anders Hulleberg ’11 won the individual title as a part of the 2010 cross country team championship while current assistant coach J.B. Haglund ’02 won four NCAA titles between cross country and track during his senior year at Haverford.
As the cross country coach…
Donnelly’s career reached a coaching pinnacle when Haverford won the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship, the first team national champion in school history. During that 2010 championship season, Donnelly’s squad had five All-American finishers, including NCAA Champion Anders Hulleberg ‘11. Donnelly was named this 2010 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Coach of the Year that season.
His squad nearly duplicated that feat during the 2011 and 2012 seasons as the Fords finished second at the NCAA Championships during those seasons with the 2012 season being a tie for second in the country. The Fords have been on the podium with at least a fourth-place finish in six of the last 12 NCAA Championships.
Haverford has qualified as a team for the NCAA Cross Country Championships during each of the past 26 seasons and a total of 37 times overall, plus an additional two years in which it sent individuals to compete. Donnelly has led his team to a top 10 team finish on 18 occasions. Donnelly’s cross country squad has finished in the top ten in six of the last nine seasons, including a podium finish in 2018 with a fourth-place showing. The Fords have crowned 38 All-Americans at the NCAA Championship Cross Country meet under Donnelly. In addition to Hulleberg’s national championship run, Seamus McElligott ’91 won the individual national championship during the 1990 season and JB Haglund ’02 won the individual title during the 2001 season. Donnelly’s teams have also won 32 conference championships and 22 regional championships.
As the indoor track & field coach…
Haverford has crowned 64 All-Americans at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships under Donnelly. This total includes 36 All-Americans from individual performances and 28 more from a total of seven different All-American relay teams. Eleven of those All-American performances culminated in national championships, along with the 2002 DMR taking home the national title.
The most decorated individual on the indoor track & field surface was Karl Paranya ’97. Paranya was five-time NCAA Indoor Champion as he won the 1,500 meters three times from 1995-97. Paranya was also a two-time NCAA Champion (1994-95) in the 800-meter race. The 1,500 meters national champion also came from Haverford College during the 1991 and 1994 NCAA Indoor Championships as Matt Leighninger ‘91 and Aaron Curry ‘94 won national championships in those respective years. McElligott was the program’s first NCAA Indoor Champion after winning the 5,000 meters during the 1990 Championships.
The first relay team to win an NCAA Championship came during the 2002 season when the distance medley relay took home top honors. The most recent national champion on the indoor surface came in 2019 when Greg Morgan ’19 won the 3,000 meter race at the indoor championships, marking the season straight season a Ford won that event. As a team, Haverford has won 13 of the last 19 conference championships.
As the men’s outdoor track & field coach…
On the outdoor track, Haverford has won 18 of the last 26 conference championships with its most recent victory coming during the 2013 season. Donnelly has coached 70 individuals to All-American honors during the spring season. Fifteen of those performances have resulted in individual national championships at Haverford.
Stadler became Donnelly’s most recent outdoor national champion as he won the 5,000 meters during the 2014 NCAA Championships. The Fords’ first NCAA Outdoor Champion came with Foley as he won the 1,500 meters three times from 1981-83. McElligott added to his track legacy as he won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter championships during both the 1990 and 1991 championships, giving him six national championships across the three seasons.
Paranya also won four national championships as he captured the 800 meters in 1995 and 1,500 meters in 1996 before sweeping both events at the 1997 championship. Paranya competed in the Olympic trials of 1996 and 2000 in the 1,500 meters. He also holds the honor of running the first sub-4 mile (3:57.6) in NCAA Division III history during the 1997 season. Since that time, Charlie Marquardt ’16 added to the tradition of Haverford distance runners with a sub-4 mile just after his graduation. Haglund added a 5,000 and 10,000 meter championship to his resume in 2002, while Leighninger won the first steeplechase title in program history during the 1991 season.
Prior to Haverford…
Donnelly was an All-American in cross country and track at Villanova University. A top college distance runner from 1966-69, he helped lead the Wildcats to three consecutive NCAA cross country championships and one NCAA track title.