Mark Coogan, an Olympic marathon runner (1996), has been promoted to the women's cross country head coach after serving as an assistant for one season. Coogan was also named the assistant coach for the track programs and will serve primarily as coach of the distance runners.
Coogan was a professional long-distance runner from 1988 until retiring in 2002, representing the United States in the marathon at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He placed second in the Olympic Trials before taking 41st in the Olympics. A member of the U.S. World Championship Cross Country team from 1989-94 and '95-97, Coogan spent a year with the U.S. World Championship Track team in 1995, running the 5000 meters. That same year he won a silver medal for the United States in the marathon at the Pan-American Games. Coogan was a U.S. Road Race Champion in the 5K, 10K and 12K, plus was the first Massachusetts resident to break the four-minute mile.
While at Dartmouth and under the guidance of Coogan, records in every distance event (800, 1000, 1500, mile, 3000, steeplechase, 5000, 10K, 4x800 and DMR) have all be rewritten by members of the team.
Student-athletes have earned 12 All-America honors while being coached directly by Coogan, including multiple times by Abbey D'Agostino (9) and Alexi Pappas (2).Coogan's guidance also helped D'Agostino win the 2012 National Championship in the outdoor 5000, the first woman to ever claim an individual national title in Dartmouth history. She has also finished in the top-3 at the cross country championship meet twice with the assistance of Coogan and claimed four Heps titles in several events at both indoor and outdoor meets.
In the indoor and outdoor seasons of 2013, D'Agostino would add three more titles, including another 5000m outdoor title. At the 2013 NCAA Championship meet in Arkansas and under the guidance of Coogan, D'Agostino became the first American woman ever to win the 3000m and 5000m titles in a career, accomplishing the feat on consecutive days.
During his first year, Coogan has served as the assistant coach of men's and women's track and field and cross country at Tufts University. One of his male athletes, Jesse Faller, earned All-America status for finishing eighth at the NCAA Division III Championships, while Amy Wilfert received All-America honors as well on the women's side. Faller also was an All-American in the indoor 5000 meters this past winter and posted the fastest time in NCAA Division III for men's outdoor track in the 5000.
Prior to joining the Jumbo staff, Coogan coached the distance runners as an assistant at MIT for both men's and women's cross country and track and field for three years. The 2008 women's cross country squad made its first appearance at the Women's NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship, placing 10th, while the women's indoor track team was the New England Division III team champion. Both the men and women won the conference team and individual titles in cross country and track each of his three years at MIT.
Coogan was the head coach for boys' cross country at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire for three years as well, from 2003-06, leading the squad to the New England Prep School team championship all three years. He also coached the U.S. National Team in 2005.
His first taste of coaching came at another Ivy League institution, Brown University, during the 1991-92 school year as an assistant for the cross country and track teams, helping one Bear develop into a World Championship cross country runner.
Coogan's younger brother, Tom, is a member of the Dartmouth Class of 1993 and served as the captain for the cross country team in 1992. Tom was a first team All-Ivy runner in both his junior and senior years, helping the squad to the Ivy Championship in each of his four years at Dartmouth.
The Herb '30 and Margaret Chase Head Coach for men's track and cross country, Barry Harwick, said about Coogan, "I am extremely happy to welcome Mark to the Dartmouth track and cross country family. Mark literally has all of the strengths that we were looking for when we started the search. His athletic credentials are remarkable ranging from running a sub-four-minute mile, running in countless world cross country championships and ultimately making the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon. His coaching experience at Phillips Exeter, MIT and Tufts will translate to immediate sucess at Dartmouth."
A 1988 graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in economics, Coogan specialized in the steeplechase for the Terrapin track team. He completed his Masters Degree in sports coaching at the United States Sports Academy since arriving at Dartmouth.