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John Harvard's Journal

Track Coach Haggerty Retires

May-June 2006

Frank Haggerty ’68, head coach of men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field since 1982 and assistant coach for seven years beforehand, will retire on June 30. Harvard’s ninth head track coach, Haggerty is the first to direct both the men’s and women’s programs. “For 31 years, I have had the privilege of teaching Harvard students,” he said in a statement. “I am as proud of our four Rhodes Scholars as I am of those who won championships.”

Under Haggerty, Harvard won 10 Ivy League/Heptagonal championships. In 1989, his women’s squad took ninth place at the NCAA championships, the best finish by an Ivy League school in NCAA history. The Crimson women’s cross-country team also made a fourth-place finish at the 1983 NCAAs.

Frank Haggerty
Courtesy of Harvard Sports Information

Four of Haggerty’s athletes have won a combined six NCAA individual championships; they include Meredith Rainey ’90 (800-meter run) and Dora Gyorffy ’01 (high jump), who won two titles apiece. This feat is all the more remarkable in that no other Ivy League college has produced an NCAA champion in women’s track and field. Several of Haggerty’s athletes went on to compete in the Olympics. In addition to Rainey (800-meter run in 1992 and 1996) and Gyorffy (high jump in 2000), Chris Lambert ’03 (200-meter dash in 2004), Nick Sweeney ’92 (discus in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004), and Brenda Taylor ’01 (400-meter hurdles in 2004) have participated in the Games.

Haggerty himself was a three-time NCAA qualifier in the 440-yard hurdles and a member of record-setting mile relay teams, both indoors and out.