RRW: Sean Brosnan, Shalane Flanagan Headed for NCAA Coaching Jobs

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(02-Aug) — Two prominent distance coaches, one from the high school ranks and one from a pro team, have taken collegiate coaching jobs for the fall.  Sean Brosnan, the former miler who took Newbury Park High School in California to national prominence, and Shalane Flanagan, the Olympic and World Cross Country Championships medalist who has been the assistant coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, have taken coaching positions at UCLA and the University of Oregon, respectively.  Both will hold the titles of assistant coach.

Shalane Flanagan winning the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon (photo courtesy of New York Road Runners)

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Brosnan, 45, who has a mile best of 4:02.31, led the Newbury Park High School boys team to the #1 ranking in the United States in cross country for the last three seasons.  His teams have won four state titles (2018, 2019, 2021 boys; 2019 girls) and five CIF Southern Section state championships (2018, 2019, 2021 boys; 2019, 2021 girls). The 2021 boys squad set numerous records, posting the lowest team score in high school national championship history with 28 points, the lowest score in any division at the State meet with 16 points, and the only perfect score ever at the CIF Southern Section Championships.

At Newbury Park Brosnan coached the brothers Leo, Lex (twins) and Nico Young, and Aaron and Colin Sahlman.  Nico Young won the individual Nike Cross Nationals title in 2019, and set the national high school indoor 3000m record of 7:56.97 in 2020 before joining Mike Smith’s University of Northern Arizona squad in the fall of 2020.  During 2022, Lex Young ran 7:57.06 for 3000m indoors and 13:43.95 for 5000m outdoors.  Colin Sahlman ran 3:58.81 for the mile indoors in 2022, and 3:56.24 outdoors.  Moreover, the Young and Sahlman brothers teamed up to run a national high school record for 4 x 1 mile this season: 16:29.31.

“I’m thrilled to add Coach Brosnan to our staff,” said UCLA’s director of track and field and cross country, Avery Anderson, through a news release.  “Sean is one of the best coaches in the country. His resume speaks for itself. His ability to coach and develop athletes to a national caliber is unparalleled, and I’m excited for the student-athletes in our program and for future Bruin recruits.”

Flanagan, 41, retired from professional running after taking third at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018 (she won the race in 2017, the first win by a USA women there in 40 years).  She immediately joined the Nike Bowerman Track Club coaching staff under head coach Jerry Schumacher and has been coaching there ever since.  Her move to the University of Oregon follows the recent announcement that Schumacher was taking over as head coach at Oregon replacing Robert Johnson.

“Shalane will be a phenomenal addition to our staff,” Schumacher said in a press release.  “Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and her seamless transition into coaching has been exceptional. Most importantly, she will be an amazing resource and mentor for our student-athletes as they navigate both their athletic careers and lives off the track. Shalane has the experience, drive, and compassion to be an outstanding leader for our student-athletes, and I can’t wait to see the impact she will have on our team.”

Both Schumacher and Flanagan will need to relocate from the Portland area to Eugene to work at the University of Oregon.  They will reportedly continue to coach the Nike Bowerman Track Club while holding their Oregon jobs, but the mechanics of that have not been made public.  In addition, the status of existing associate coaches, Helen Lehman-Winters and Ben Thomas, is unclear.

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