Mark VanAlstyne is in his third year as the head cross country and distance coach for the University of North Carolina track and field and cross country programs. Prior to Carolina, he served 21 seasons at the helm of North Florida’s track and field program.
During the 2014 cross country season, VanAlstyne coached the women’s cross country team to their first ACC Championship in 10 years. VanAsltyne also qualified both teams for the NCAA Cross Country Championship, a feat that had never been accomplished by Carolina before. The men ultimately placed 12th, their highest finish at the Championship since 1985 while the women finished 22nd. With the men’s team competing at the Championship, VanAlstyne guided the men to two consecutive championships, which hadn’t been done for nearly 40 years in North Carolina history. Under VanAlstyne’s guidance the team’s had eight All-ACC Honorees (Annie LeHardy, Lianne Farber,Karley Rempel, Caroline Alcorta, Lizzy Whelan, Ryan Walling, John Raneri, and Pat Schellberg) and eight All-Region Honorees (Annie LeHardy, Lianne Farber, Karley Rempel, Ryan Walling, John Raneri, Stephen Mulherin, Pat Schellberg, and Scott Morgan).
The 2013-14 seasons for Carolina distance saw the men’s team place 17th at the NCAA XC Championships, Annie LeHardy earn All-America honors with a 25th-place finish at the NCAA XC Championships, a sweep of the indoor 3,000 at the ACC Indoor Championships from Annie LeHardy and Isaac Presson, two ACC Performers of the Week from Lizzy Whelan and Isaac Presson, 11 All-Academic nominations between cross country and track and field, six USTFCCCA All-Academic individuals, six NCAA First Round Qualifiers, three individuals along with the women’s DMR team compete at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, and the entire cross country and track and field men’s program as a whole rank 13th in the nation.
VanAlstyne coached six Tar Heels to the first round of the NCAA National Championships, including Lizzy Whelan andKarley Rempel in the 1,500, Annie LeHardy, Isaac Presson and Pat Schellberg in the 5,000, and Steve Magnuson in the steeplechase. Whelan went on to compete in the 1,500 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she finished 17th.
VanAlstyne acted as an assistant athletic director at North Florida and was essential in transitioning the program from NCAA Division II to Division I in 2005. He coached six national champions, 35 All-Americas in track and 12 All-Americas in cross country while leading the Ospreys. One of VanAlstyne’s athletes went on to win a U.S. Championship while another gained a berth in the 2004 Olympic Marathon.
VanAlstyne has accrued numerous coaching honors, including the 2002 NCAA South Region Coach of the Year, 2003 Peach Belt Conference Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year and the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, and most recently 2014 ACC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
VanAlstyne was inducted into the North Florida Hall of Fame in October of 2013 for his coaching and athletic accomplishments.
A graduate of North Florida and a former stand-out athlete there, VanAlstyne holds the school record for the marathon while his 10,000 meters time ranks third all-time in the school record books. VanAlstyne is married to Patty, who was a six-time All-America track & field athlete at North Florida. They have a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Kaley.
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|Position:||Head XC Coach, Asst. Coach Track & Field (Distance)|