View Full Version : Pat Tyson to GU

05-28-2008, 07:48 AM
Many of us are thrilled to hear the very good news that coach Pat Tyson will head the Zags CC team next year.

05-28-2008, 08:24 AM
That is GREAT news! Time to take down the Pilots and end their dominance of WCC XC!

Angelo Roncalli
05-28-2008, 08:25 AM
Many of us are thrilled to hear the very good news that coach Pat Tyson will head the Zags CC team next year.

This is tremendous news. Tyson was Steve Prefontaine's teammate--and roommate--at Oregon and helped lead Oregon to an NCAA championship in the early '70's.

As a coach, Tyson is a legend. He's one of the greatest high school cross-country coaches of this generation, maybe all time. His presence alone will bring a much higher caliber of cross country and distance running athlete to GU. It's great to see that he'll be a full-time coach and that the program will be seriously upgraded.

05-28-2008, 08:48 AM
That's great that he is coming back home to Spokane! He has done great things at Mead. I agree, he will definitely help make GU a center for the running community.

Glad he wasn't at GU when I was running because I wouldn't have made his teams!

05-28-2008, 09:01 AM
From this morning's Spokesman Review. "In 20 years at Mead, Tyson's boys cross country teams won 12 state championships- including 9 in a row- and finished among the top three at state 18 times."

05-28-2008, 09:14 AM
I have been lurking around this web site for years, I finally had to join after seeing this news. I ran track for Pat back at Mead. He is going to make an awesome addition to the University and turn GU CC into a real competitor. In addition to his coaching abilities he is a great person!

05-28-2008, 09:55 AM
As a former GU XC and Track distance runner at Gonzaga, I am extremely pleased to hear that Gonzaga has (FINALLY) decided to hire a full time coach.

Many, many fine athletes have competed with passion for Gonzaga over the years as distance runners with out the support of a full time coach or much financial support from Gonzaga in terms of scholarships.

For those unfamiliar with the history, Gonzaga had a fine competitive record despite these constraints in the late 80's and early 90's where we managed 9 consecutive years placing second in the WCC (WCAC) championships mostly under the part time leadership of Coach Tom Fuchs. We also competed for the very first time in the NCAA regional championships. Incorrectly (we found out later) competing in the Mountain regionional at first and then eventually going to the Pacific regions.

Under Coach Swaim, Gonzaga Cross Country also produced a national qualifier and WCC champion on the women's side and returned the men's team to lofty status in the conference race earlier this decade producing 2nd place again for the team in a much more competitive environment that existed in the 90's.

Coach Tyson has his work cut out for him if he hopes to compete with the University of Portland. Coach Rob Conner is a "legend" in his own right. Not only is Portland the perpetual WCC champion but they are year in and year out a factor in the National Picture, placing second in the Pacific region this past year and once again making it to the nationals, the cross country equivalent of March Madness.

I would suspect it will be several years before Coach Tyson will be able to be nipping at Portland's heels.

I hope that Gonzaga is indeed serious about making the Cross Country team competitive. It will take more than just hiring a full time coach. Coach Tyson will need support from the University in the form of (you guessed it) $$$. I know that Tyson is a legend in the sport and his name alone will peak the interest of potential prospects, but that will only go so far. Gonzaga will need to be able to offer financial resources, scholarships, to potential student athletes for Tyson to have the opportunity to build a team that can be competitve. He also is going to have to be able to bring these teams to high level meets so they get the experience they need to compete against a great team like Portland.

I wish him the best and will support him any way I can.

Good luck!

PS - Hondo, Thank you very much for telling us the news. I am very grateful!

05-28-2008, 10:36 AM
Was surprised when I saw the news in this mornings Review as I didn't see anything on last night's sports.

Was going to P.M. you dog, as I knew you would be interested. I agree with you that it will take a few years but the article seemed to indicate that the school is going to be putting some money into the sport.

For those of us that love Cross Country, great news!!

05-28-2008, 10:46 AM
"I hope that Gonzaga is indeed serious about making the Cross Country team competitive." I don't know the details but my gut tells me that if Gonzaga wasn't serious about CC then Tyson would not be the new coach.

05-28-2008, 10:49 AM
"I hope that Gonzaga is indeed serious about making the Cross Country team competitive." I don't know the details but my gut tells me that if Gonzaga wasn't serious about CC then Tyson would not be the new coach.

I think you're probably correct. :D

05-28-2008, 11:33 AM
Link to Gonzaga press release:


sofa king
05-28-2008, 04:38 PM
As an early-mid 90's track and XC runner this is the most shocking thing I can imagine. The track program was a joke to put it lightly, and the XC team was severely underfunded. I'm pretty sure there still isn't even a track at GU so this is a step in the right direction. The ghost of Andrew Rosdahl is coming for revenge!

05-28-2008, 07:04 PM
Just a thought . . .

perhaps committing to a full time Cross Country coach etc. is somewhat due to the $ucce$$ of the men's basketball team.

Good news.

05-28-2008, 10:11 PM
Tyson has had at least some level of interest in GU since he was at Kentucky. It is nice to see that the University was able to step up and make this hire happen when the opportunity presented itself. I've had my doubts about the University's support for xc and track. It will take an increase in funding to compete at the same level as UP, but Gonzaga is taking a big step in the right direction. I applaud Mike Roth for being willing to make this hire and bring a full-time (and a darn good one at that) coach to the program.

05-29-2008, 07:03 AM
Just a thought . . .

perhaps committing to a full time Cross Country coach etc. is somewhat due to the $ucce$$ of the men's basketball team.

Good news.

Perhaps. Returning the favor maybe?

In the lean days of Gonzaga Basketball, Fitz sent a letter to the NCAA justifying the D1 status of Gonzaga based on the success of....

Gonzaga Men's Cross Country. ;)

05-29-2008, 08:52 AM
Congrats to Gonzaga for landing a solid coach and the Pied Piper of local high school running. He is a great asset as a person and salesman for the sport. It may also open up the door to the current Bellarmine running factory. Pat Tyson is a former Lincoln Abe from Tacoma. After completing his track career at Oregon and with Pre, he set his sights on coaching and one of his first applications was with the former athletic director at Bellarmine (and prior Gonzaga Prep grad) Ed Fallon. Unfortunately for Bellarmine (at the time) and fortunately for Mead and the Inland Empire, he didn't get hired by Fallon. The rest they say is history. I also believe that for Pat to commit to Gonzaga knowing the support they have had up to this point, that he would not have taken it if they were not going to make a full time commitment to the program. Who knows, this could be just the start of a full track and field program.

05-29-2008, 06:40 PM
Huge news and very impressive! Wow!

PT is a legend and I know that Rob Conner is both smiling that the WCC get a great X/C coach and although will never admit it, is sweating a bit.

It may take a bit of time to transition to D1 level, but once he does, watch out.

Many X/C runners & fans have been waiting years for PT to make the move to D1. I thought it would have been to Oregon, but since didn't make the move permanent a couple of years ago with Oregon's "transitional period", I thought he'd never make the move to D1.

Great, Great news for both Gonzaga and X/C in general.

05-29-2008, 07:55 PM
Just to clarify, Tyson did previously make a move to D-1 when he went to Kentucky for a year. His move to GU is exciting and will hopefully lead to a situation he is truly happy with and will lead to him being at GU for an extended time period.

05-29-2008, 09:33 PM
I was a member of Tyson's first three xc championships at Mead. He is a great coach, and I think this is a great opportunity for him. I know he has bounced around a bit since leaving Mead, but he loves Spokane, and I think he will be at GU for a long time.

05-29-2008, 10:36 PM
Congrats on the great hire! Very good catch.

If I recall correctly from previous conversations here, the GU XC team has limited scholarship(s) available... if Tyson is going to have success, the scholarships need to be there, too... any progress on that front? I would think that would have been one of Tyson's requirements in taking the job...?

As far as Coach Conner sweating a bit... I think that is a while off! ;) UP doesn't run the "A" squad in the WCC... the "B" squad wins the conference... :D

05-30-2008, 06:01 AM
Pilot Nut - Schollies do need to be there. However, you don't nearly need the # of schollies that UP has to compete against UP or others D1 schools. 5 or 6 is more than adequate in X/C, however, you can develop a person under the radar screen w/o a schollie to levels beyond runners with schollies or who weren't seriously considered by elite running schools. I have seen countless examples of this in X/C. The most recent being Nick Symonds of recent Willamette U. fame (DIII). Great cross country runner, world class 800m runner.

In terms of teams - Lubbuck Christian (NAIA) used to crush the top DI elite schools all the time, same thing with Adam State (when they were NAIA) and one year beat Wisconsin who became the NCAA champion that year (A team and all), Malone won the NAIA meet this year and crushed several D1 schools along the way some of whom (Ohio State) made it to the D1 National Meet.

I know of a few NAIA teams that have competed against UP's A team that have made Coach Conner sweat a bit more than he'd like over the years.

X/C is one sport where the distance between NAIA and D1 isn't as great as most people think; schollies or no schollies. Heart, desire, coaching. In that order.

Didn't know about Kentucky. Nice Info.