New Track & Field Coach Interview


The Catalyst / Megan Worry

Douglas joined the athletic department this year.

Notre Dame’s upcoming track and field season has a brand new head coach—Ron Douglas. He went to Azusa Pacific Christian University for track & field and football. After graduating, he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at USC. Along with coaching at Notre Dame, he is also a special education teacher.

The Catalyst (TC): What are your first impressions of being a part of the Notre Dame athletic community?
Ron Douglas (RD): At first, you could tell people were doing sports for more leisure. It was just like something that needed to be put on college applications to say we did a sport. So now, I would say I’ve noticed that there seems to be more commitment and that people actually want to do this for more than just that. There’s commitment, more focus, more drive, which I’ve been really impressed with.

TC: What inclined you to start coaching?
RD: It’s like a challenge. So I’ve coached college football for a while, and that was a very long taxing, grinding, situation. It was 60-hour weeks, and always going, traveling, and stuff like that. And I love track, it’s my favorite sport, I just just never got to coach it. I just got to train athletes in it. So once I got to USC and coached there over at their track with their track athletes, I fell in love with it, and when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to take up the challenge. And this is the opportunity that presented itself.

TC: What background do you have with track and field?
RD: My background is the strength and conditioning coach, and then I did it in high school and college. So I did it for a while, and then when I got to college you realize, because in high school you’re just fast. But in college you realize that in order to do anything you have to put in a lot of work.

TC: In high school what did you run?
RD: The 4 by 100 meter, 100 meter dash, and 200 meter dash. The 4 by 400 meter when my coach really wanted to make me work.

TC: What do you think about the job so far?
RD: So far it’s been exciting, I guess exciting is the word. Now you see people more excited to go to meets, more excited to do things and challenge and push themselves. So it’s been really exciting and I’m really excited to see what we can do in the future.

TC: Why do you like track and field, and what brought you to it?
RD: I think it’s the most challenging sport to get excited about. And so I think when people choose to do track and field but also choose to put in the extra hours that are necessary to be good at track and field, that’s what makes me excited to coach it. So just the fact that, you know, you guys and the athletes of Notre Dame come out to practice to run around an oval, it’s hard to get excited about that you guys getting excited makes everything worth it.

TC: Overall, what do you hope to accomplish by the end of the season?
RD: I think what I want to accomplish by the end of the season is just to get the people on our team to believe in themselves as much as I believe in them.

TC: What are your hopes for years after this?
RD: I don’t want us to be an afterthought, I know what we can do, and so I want us to also believe in that and basically believe we belong in these bigger invitationals and things like that. And that’s my hope for years to come, and that takes time.