LetsRun.com Pro Coaches Tour: Brooks Beasts’ Danny Mackey

By LetsRun.com
January 27, 2022

We asked you what you wanted on LetsRun in 2022, and many of you said you wanted to hear more from the top coaches in America.

So the LetsRun.com Track Talk Coaches Tour started last week. Once a week we are talking to a coach of one of the top pro groups in America.

Brooks Beasts Coach Danny Mackey

This week we sat down with Brooks Beasts head coach Danny Mackey.

Mackey is starting his 10th year as coach of the Beasts, and he and the club are coming off their most successful year yet, with Josh Kerr earning the club its first Olympic medal, a bronze in the 1500. But as you’ll see in the interview below, Mackey does not base the club’s success on Olympic medals (it’s more about keeping the athletes healthy and PRing). 

(If you’d like to get the video as a podcast immediately, join the LetsRun Supporters Club)

Brooks Beasts Overview

Location: Seattle, Washington
Started: 2013

Mackey is the only head coach in the history of the Brooks Beasts. He started as a 32-year-old unproven coach and a decade later the club has Diamond League wins, and World Indoor and Olympic medals.

Our Favorite Quotes:

1. Coach or Athlete – Who is Most Important?

“[The] athlete makes the coach. There’s no debate about that.  If I’m at my best, I’m like maybe [worth] 2%, 3% for Josh [Kerr]… I will likely look like a better coach if we keep signing people like Isaiah [Harris].” (5:38)

2. Can Josh Kerr Break the 1500 World Record?

“We’ve talked about it, like, is that possible? And so, he thinks it is, I think he’s right.” (but it’s not a main priority, and you’ll need to listen to find out why) (31:25)

Club members

Men:
Josh Kerr
Olympic bronze medallist, NCAA & UK Champ 1500 3:29.05
Drew Windle World Indoor silver, NCAA D2 star 800 1:44.63
Henry Wynne NCAA champion (Virginia), Olympic Trials 5th place 1500 3:34.08
Brannon Kidder 2019 Worlds team 800, Olympic Trials 5th place 800 1:44.99
Izaic Yorks 2nd 2018 USATF 1500m 1500 3:36.52
David Ribich NCAA DII record holder 1500 3:36.70
Garrett Heath Olympic Trials finalist 1500 3:34.12, 3000 7:37.97, 5000 13:16

Additions:
Isaiah Harris
NCAA champ (Penn State), DL winner, 2017 Worlds 800 1:44.42
Devin Dixon NCAA runner-up (Texas A&M) 400 45.22, 800 1:44.76
Waleed Suliman Olympic Trials finalist 1500 3:36.53

Women:

Marta Pen Freitas Pires 2x Olympian (Portugal), NCAA champion (Miss St) 800 2:00.99, 1500 4:03.99
Allie Buchalski NCAA runner-up (Furman), 5th Olympic Trials 5000m 1500 4:06.19, 5000 14:57
Karisa Nelson NCAA champion mile (Samford) 1500 4:05.20
Nia Akins 2x NCAA runner-up x 2 (Penn) 800 2:00.24

Additions:
Laurie Barton 2x NCAA runner-up (Clemson) 800 2:00.65

  • Video timestamps
  • Start How much does the Olympic medal change things for the group? Highlights from 2021
  • 5:38 Does the coach make the athlete or the athlete the coach?
  • 8:37 On becoming a coach and thinking of quitting
  • 14:54 Allie Ostrander leaving the team
  • 19:07 Additions to the team – Devin Dixon & Isaiah Harris
  • 31:25 Can Josh Kerr break the 1500 world record?
  • 33:34 Millrose
  • 35:45 More on women’s team, Nia Akins, and what he thinks of Athing Mu going from 2:01 to 1:55

Previous Pro Coaches Tour Talks: OAC’s Dathan Ritzenhein

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