Story and photo courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations
NEW YORK -- Daniel Ireland, former Head Men and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at La Salle, and former Head Men’s Cross Country, Distance, and Middle Distance Coach at Yale University has been named Columbia’s Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy announced today.
“We interviewed a number of amazing candidates for the position of Director of Cross Country and Track & Field,” Murphy said. “After a comprehensive nationwide search, which included input from many cross country and track alumni, athletics administrators and select returning student-athletes, we identified Dan as our top choice.”
Senior Associate Athletics Director Jacqueline Blackett led the search process.
“I want to thank Jackie for leading an incredible search. She recruited many excellent applicants for the position – including two internal candidates,” Murphy said. “We are so appreciative of everyone who assisted with our search, especially our Alumni Search Advisory Committee. We are grateful for the contributions of our campus colleagues, especially those who work in Admissions & Financial Aid and Alumni & Development, for their assistance during the search.”
Ireland spent three years at La Salle, where he won both a men and women’s Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championship, was named A-10 Coach of the Year for both men and women’s cross country and coached individuals to great successes in indoor and outdoor track and field.
Ireland's teams were equally successful in the classroom as his cross country and track and field squads consistently achieved USTFCCCA All-Academic team status during his tenure.
“Columbia has a great combination of young talent and experienced veterans on the team right now, and Coach Ireland has the ability and leadership to cultivate that talent and continue the success in cross country and track and field that was started in recent years,” said Kyle Merber ’12CC, Ivy League Champion, Maniatty Award winner and the American Collegiate Record Holder at 1500m. “I am excited to see the program progress, and to watch the team continue to rewrite the record books and build on the tradition.”
In three years at La Salle, Ireland has coached two NCAA All-Americans, four NCAA Championships participants, 14 individual NCAA Regional Track qualifiers, one IC4A Champion, two ECAC Champions and 19 Atlantic 10 Conference Champions. His student-athletes have broken 10 school records and produced 108 All-East performances.
Adds Murphy, “We know that Dan will be a great head coach for Columbia Cross Country and Track & Field. He is an outstanding coach from a very deep pool of excellent coaches who interviewed for the position.”
“I am excited and humbled to be named the Director of Cross Country and Track and Field at Columbia University,” Ireland said. “Columbia has a long and storied tradition of success in cross country and track and field. I know that the young men and women who compete for Columbia are outstanding for their dedication to the sport, and their success in the classroom. I am excited to be working with many elite student-athletes.”
Formerly at Yale, Ireland’s teams enjoyed tremendous success during his 12-year tenure.
The Bulldogs regularly placed in the top 10 at NCAA Cross Country Regionals, including a fourth and fifth place finish in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Yale has also performed well at the IC4A Championship, placing in the top eight every year since 2003, including third in 2006.
Ireland coached a pair of All-Americans, 11 NCAA Regional Track Qualifiers, three IC4A Champions, and six Ivy League Champions at Yale. A total of 137 runners earned All-East status under his guidance and 41 earned all-Ivy League honors.
In addition, his runners set 17 school records and had 83 performances that placed among the top 15 in Bulldog history.
In 2010, Ireland served as the NCAA Northeast Regional Cross Country Meet Director, coordinating all aspects of the men's and women's championship. For the past two seasons, he has also served as the NCAA Northeast Region Cross Country representative.
Prior to coming to Yale in 1999, Ireland spent six years as an Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at Georgetown. During his time there, the Hoyas won 14 Big East team championships in men's and women's cross country and track.
In cross country, Georgetown finished in the top 10 at NCAAs five times on the women's side and once on the men's side. In track, the Hoyas finished in the top 10 nationally as a team a total of six times.
He also spent time coaching the preeminent distance running club
in the country, the Reebok Enclave in Washington, D.C. for two
seasons. During this time he worked with four Olympians.
Ireland ran for the Hoyas from 1988-91, qualifying for NCAAs three times in cross country. He won the 1991 Big East 10,000m outdoors and was a two-time All-Big East selection in cross country.
“I look forward to getting started right away, and defending our Ivy League Championship in men’s cross country this fall – and adding many more championships at the indoor, outdoor and cross country Heps over the years,” adds Ireland.
Ireland graduated from Georgetown in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in international relations and received his master's in liberal arts from Georgetown in 1998. A native of Woodbridge, Va., Ireland was inducted into Woodbridge High School's Hall of Fame in 2009.
“In reviewing all of the candidates for this position, Dan’s experience, leadership and understanding of The Ivy League really stood out,” said Murphy. “He has achieved success as a student-athlete, an assistant coach and a head coach. We are excited for him to come on board.”