Q&A with Cross Country Coach Tom McGlynn


Coach Tom McGlynn poses for a photo at the historical Crystal Springs Cross Country Course.

The NDB community is excited to introduce NDB’s new cross country coach, Tom McGlynn. McGlynn is a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier and ran competitively at Penn State during college. After college, McGlynn founded an app called “Runcoach,” which gives runners personalized training based on their goals. The Catalyst interviewed McGlynn to discover more about his background in running and his goals for NDB’s cross country program.

The Catalyst (TC): How long have you been running?

Tom McGlynn (TM): I started running when I was 18, when I was a senior in high school, and I’m going to be 50 in a week, so I’ve been running for 32 years.

TC: What events did you run when you were competing and do you still compete?

TM: I ran the mile, the 5,000, the 10,000 and the marathon. The marathon was probably my best event, as well as the half marathon. I still compete from time to time with a masters cross country group called West Valley Track Club.

TC: What are your favorite things about running?

TM: My number one favorite thing about running is probably the way it makes me feel and how it helps me concentrate, sleep, balance and take stress away from my daily life. Number two, I actually like the feeling I get when I’m running in addition to afterwards. And then number three is I love the convenience of running, just go right out your door and start running.

TC: When did you start coaching?

TM: I started coaching in 1997, and then I didn’t coach again until 2002, and then I’ve been coaching since 2002.

TC: How did you come to coach at NDB?

TM: Very randomly. I was going to help, and then Coach Kristi unfortunately couldn’t return, so that’s how I became the coach.

TC: What are your goals for the cross country program this year and in the future?

TM: My goals are to make it a very positive experience and try to help the girls and the team improve from beginning to the end. Specifically I think that this team can qualify for CCS and has a shot at qualifying for States, so those are specific goals. And then for the long term, I think that Notre Dame could become a leading cross country and track and field program for girls in the Bay Area who are serious about academics and athletics. I hope to create a running culture so that we can get even more student-athletes out and learn to run and enjoy it, and hopefully become runners for life.

TC: What is your biggest piece of advice for student-athletes?

TM: My college coach once told me that there’s three things in college: there’s academics, athletics and social life. And he told me you can do two of them well. So I like to tell people that you can’t do everything in terms of athletics, academics, social life or extracurriculars, so it’s important to stay balanced and then to focus on what you’re doing at the time. So focus on the present moment. If you’re at cross country practice, it’s good to focus on running, stretching and training, and when you’re studying, it’s good to focus on that so that you are able to balance it all.

The NDB community is excited to have Coach Tom McGlynn as a part of the growing athletic program at NDB.