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Thread: John McDonnell

  1. #1

    Louisiana S-Club John McDonnell

    UL great and Hall of Famer and track coach at Arkansas for 36 years. Passed at 82.

    Beau Cajun

  2. #2

    Default Re: John McDonnell passed away

    Quote Originally Posted by BeauCajun View Post
    UL great and Hall of Famer and track coach at Arkansas for 36 years. Passed at 82.
    ... Man I loved this guy... my grand parents are from Ireland on my mama’s side and I loved talking to him and Hopkins... I spoke with him ata UL reunion and he told me about meeting with the Waltons and promising the world if they funded the Arkansas facilities he wanted... I think he coached about 45 national track related championships.

  3. #3
    USLJim is offline Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Fan for Sure

    Default Re: John McDonnell passed away

    Quote Originally Posted by BeauCajun View Post
    UL great and Hall of Famer and track coach at Arkansas for 36 years. Passed at 82.
    Also met him at the Louisiana Alumni House. He is a gentleman who achieved greatness. RIP. He is a track legend

  4. Track & Field McDonnell

    McDonnell moved to the United States in January 1965, expecting to be on a track and field scholarship at Emporia State University in Kansas but when he got there no scholarship was available. He worked to pay his fees and helped Emporia State win an NCAA Division II outdoor track championship in 1965 but then decided he couldn’t afford to stay in school without a scholarship. He moved to New York and got a job as a cameraman at TV station WOR. He continued to run and represented the New York Athletic Club. He then accepted a sports scholarship at Southwestern University (now Lafayette Louisiana) and became a six-time-All American for the Ragin’ Cajuns in cross-country and track and field competitions while there. He also became the 1966-1967 Amateur Athletic Union 3,000m champion and won the mile at the 1966 British Selection Games. He graduated with a degree in education in 1969. That same year, he was granted citizenship of the United States.



  5. Default Re: McDonnell

    It somehow escaped my notice that John McDonnell got his coaching start at Lafayette High.

    Either that or I just forgot, either way it seems new to me.


  6. Default Re: John McDonnell

    Another RP thread on John McDonnell.

    https://forumeus.com/showthread.php/...nell-(1965-69)


  7. #7

    Default Re: John McDonnell

    In the early 1970's I ran track for Coach Lancon at Lafayette High. He got me to run the quarter mile (I hated that race). I remember Coach McDonnell coaching the cross country guys and he would run with them for practice. Coach Lancon made me run a couple days a week with Coach McDonnell and the rest long runners "for strength and endurance, he said the quarter milers and mile relay guys would benefit greatly from the "road" trip or something like that". Some of us would run with them up to New Flanders Road bridge and turn around and head back to LHS. Coach and the other guys would keep on going and would not get back until after track practice was over. They were animals.

    I don't remember much about him, except he was alway real positive, he did not have a Cajun accent and strongly suggested we purchase this "new" brand of shoe that was supposed to be real good. They was called Nike. Cost at Bell's Sporting Goods was $19.95.

    R.I.P. Coach McDonnell and God Bless!

    Last edited by Cajunmole; July 3rd, 2021 at 03:55 pm. Reason: Misspelled the word track. For the grammar police, I spelled it "tract" which is a parcel of land.

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