by RIKKILYNN SHIELDS, Editor
On Sept. 21, Manhattan College announced that John Lovett, one of the greatest athletes in the school’s history was returning to serve as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams.
Lovett is a five-time All-American, 1997 Jasper Hall of Fame inductee and part of Manhattan’s world-record setting team at the 1973 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Quadrangle: How does it feel to be named the assistant coach of track and field/cross country at the college you attended, and also hold a spot in the Hall of Fame?
John Lovett: It is an honor to be part of the great track tradition at Manhattan College and to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest track coaches in our sport such as Fred Dwyer, Frank Gagliano, George Eastment. I am fortunate to have been chosen to be assistant coach alongside Kerri Gallagher who has brought her wealth of knowledge and experience to our young track athletes at Manhattan.
TQ: What was your experience like at Manhattan College?
JL: The highlight of my Manhattan College experience has been meeting all of the wonderful people at the school on and off the track. The Brothers, teachers, classmates and teammates all had an influence on who I am today. I had the opportunity to receive a great education and be part of the best track team in the country.
TQ: What events did you run while in college?
JL: I competed in the 220 yards, 440 yards, 600 yards, 880 yards, mile and cross country. I was a two-time IC4A half mile champion. I finished third in the NCAA Indoor half mile, and also was part of the distance medley relay team that won the NCAA Indoor championship and set a new world record. I was named an All-American for each of my four years at Manhattan.
TQ: How does it feel being part of the Hall of Fame here at MC?
JL: First and foremost, it is a tremendous honor to have been chosen as a member of our prestigious hall of fame. When I glance up at the banners in Draddy Gym, I am in awe of the company that I am in and very grateful for this honor. I realized all of the hard work and dedication the coaches and teammates made in giving me the opportunity to succeed. As I walk across the track, I look at all of the Hall of Famers listed and it reminds me of how lucky I am.
TQ: What does it mean to you to be back at Manhattan?
JL: When I was a student-athlete at Manhattan college my dream was to run and attend class without having to do homework. Forty years later my dream has come true. I have returned to the track team and no homework is required. Dreams do come true.
TQ: How does it feel being a coach instead of an athlete?
JL: I feel that I am in a very fortunate position to come back as an assistant coach to the school that shaped me as an athlete. It feels great to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with the team.
TQ: What are your thoughts on the team so far?
JL: I am very excited about the track team’s spirit. Kerri [Gallagher] brings enthusiasm and a winning attitude from our practice sessions to the starting line.
TQ: Do you have any plans/goals for this up and coming track and field season?
JL: My plans are to assist Kerri [Gallagher] in any way that I can to help the reach the goals she has mapped out for this upcoming track season.