Irish record holder Mark Carroll will leave Providence, Rhode Island, for the first time since he left Ireland for college, and relocate to Auburn, Alabama to become head cross country and track and field coach of the Auburn University Tigers. Could Auburn become another haven for Irish distance athletes, much like Providence has for years? I can already hear “War Eagle” echoing through the hills of Ireland.
AUBURN- Former Irish Olympian and European champion distance runner Mark Carroll has been named Auburn’s head cross country coach, head track and field coach Ralph Spry announced Friday. Carroll will also serve as an assistant track and field coach in charge of the distance program.
Considered one of Ireland’s greatest All-Time athletes, Carroll has most recently held the post of U.S. Athlete Manager for Athletics Ireland, where he guided a trio of top Irish runners in Gareth Turnbull, Mark Christie and Liam Reale, while also training several other Irish runners stateside.
“I am very excited to be appointed the head cross country and distance coach at Auburn,” said Carroll. “Former head coach Peter Watson did a great job taking the men to a No. 5 ranking in the nation last season, and I plan to continue that success with my 18 years of collegiate and professional experience.”
“Mark is a very impressive young person, and coach,” said track and field head coach Ralph Spry. “He brings a wealth of experience to the program, being a world-class distance runner himself and having coached many world class athletes. Our distance program will continue to move forward without missing a beat, and we’re excited to have him on board.”
Throughout his career, Carroll has competed in a variety of events, but has specialized mainly in the 3,000- and 5,000-meters. As a 19-year old, he earned the first major title of his career, capturing the 1991 European Junior Title in the 5K in Thessalonika, Greece.
Nine years later in 2000, he earned the title of European Indoor Champion in the 3K. In Budapest in 1998, he took third in the European Track and Field Championships to earn a bronze medal. In 1999, the Cork, Ireland, native was ranked No.1 in the World Indoor Mile Ranking List with a time of 3:57.62.
Carroll is a four-time IAAF World Track and Field member, and holds the Irish national record in the 3K (7:30.36), which was set in 1999, as well as the 5K set in 1998 with a time of 13:03:93. He also held the national record of 27:46.42 in the 10K that was set in 2000, a record that has since been broken.
He has participated in several marathons in the later stages of his career, highlighted by a sixth-place finish in the 2002 New York Marathon. His time of 2:10:54 sits only 61 seconds off of the Irish national record of 2:09:17.
Carroll missed the 1996 Atlanta Olympics due to injury, but participated in the 2000 Olympics in the 5K in Sydney, Australia, missing out on the final heat by one place. Four years later he competed in the 2004 Athens games, also in the 5K.
During his collegiate days at Providence College, the Corkman earned six All-American honors as well as seven Big East titles (cross country, 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters (twice), distance medley relay, and 4 x 800 meters). His crowning achievement as a Friar came at the 1995 NCAA Indoor Championships, as he won an NCAA Championship in the 5,000 meters.
Carroll holds a Coaching Ireland level two coaching certificate that he acquired in 2008.
Carroll married the former Amy Rudolph in October of 2005. Rudolph, an accomplished runner in her own right, is a two-time Olympian, as well as a U.S. Indoor Champion in the 3,000 meters.
Story courtesy of Jason Lewis, Auburn Class of 1998.
Full Story At: Auburn Athletics