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Publish date: Oct 22, 2010

Edinboro honors long-time coach with cross country course

Doug Watts, in red, honored at an Edinboro University Cross Country meet.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania recently honored coach longtime coach Doug Watts with the dedication of the Doug Watts Cross Country Course.

Watts is in his 42nd year at Edinboro as men’s coach and 26th with the women. His runners have won four individual national titles in men’s cross country and five in men’s track and field, ranging from David Antognoli in 1971 to Yi Min Wu in 1998.

Watts has coached more than 200 all-Americans (147 men and 56 women), and 16 of his athletes have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Watts’ emphasis on “being the best you can be” also includes academic excellence, as evidenced by his teams’ consistently high graduation rates and high grade-point averages.

Athletics Director Bruce Baumgartner and Edinboro President Jeremy Brown offered comments to spectators, current members of the cross country teams and alumni before the start of the Sept. 25 race at which the course was dedicated. Brown described Watts’ first year at Edinboro in 1969 as “one small step for Doug Watts and one giant leap for Edinboro University.” Before 1969, the program wasn’t competitive within the conference, but within five years, it had won its first of six national titles in men’s cross country.

Both of Watts’ cross country teams currently are ranked in the top 15 in Division II, and the men’s team hopes to extend Edinboro’s Division II record to 32 straight years of qualifying for the national championships.

In December, Watts will be inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.