In a move that shook the collegiate track & field world, the University of Washington announced today that longtime Oregon track coaches Maurica and Andy Powell have joined the Huskies.
Maurica will take on the role of Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, a first for the school. Her husband Andy will take over as head coach of the teams. Maurica will coach the women’s distance runners, as well as overseeing the whole program, while Andy will coach the men’s distance team and manage the day-to-day operations, according to the official release.
During their 13 years in Eugene, the Powells led the Ducks to 19 NCAA team titles. Before they arrived on campus, Oregon had won just one conference championship on the track since 1992, with no titles for either team coming until the men won the Pac-10 title in 2003. Murica and Andy also helped rebuild the cross country program, leading the Men of Oregon to back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008, snapping a 30-year drought.
This is a huge loss for the Ducks, and it hurts even worse considering that they are on their way to Seattle. In cross country, the Washington men haven't won a conference title since 1993 while the women haven't won since 2009. I have no doubt they’ll turn Washington into a powerhouse, which should make for some good meets in the fall and spring between the two schools.