Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Carlson Named Head Men's Cross Country Coach

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Serving as the men’s assistant coach for cross country and specializing in distance and middle distance on the track since November 2011, Sean Carlson has been promoted to Head Men’s Cross Country Coach as announced by the University Friday. 

“I am grateful to have the support of Coach Sparks, [sport administrator] Claire Leatherwood Slebonick and [University Vice President James E. Rohr Director of Athletics] Jack Swarbrick,” Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Carlson said. “The opportunity to lead the Notre Dame men’s cross country team is humbling and I am excited to continue to build on what we are creating. Notre Dame is truly a special place and I am honored to be here.”

During his tenure with the Irish, he has coached men to two national titles, 14 NCAA All-Americans and an ACC title. The 2018 season marked the men’s teams’ first-ever ACC Championship and saw them earn an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships.

Under his tutelage, last fall the men cracked the USTFCCCA rankings for the first time since 2012 while breaking into the top-10 for the first time in over a decade following their performance at the ACC meet. After a strong cross country season, the men’s team continued to excel on the track behind Carlson as the distance medley relay squad of Dylan Jacobs, Edward Cheatham, Samuel Voelz and Yared Nuguse set a school, facility and conference record time of 9:26.10, just 0.12 seconds shy of the fastest NCAA time ever recorded. The quartet earned ACC and NCAA weekly honors following the race on their way to winning an indoor national title in the event. 

The outdoor season saw even more success as eight men qualified for distance and middle distance events at the NCAA East Region Prelim, with Nuguse advancing out to the championship meet where he would eventually take home the 1,500m crown. 

“This title change is a reflection of the great work Sean has put in over the last three years leading our men's distance group,” Hatherly-Piane Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Matt Sparks said. 

Along with the two NCAA event titles in 2018-19, Carlson also helped coach the 2012 DMR national championship team as a first year assistant.

Prior to his time at Notre Dame, Carlson was a cross country and head distance track coach at Saint Charles North High School in Saint Charles, Ill. 

Carlson attended North Central College where he was a member of both the cross country and track and field teams, serving as team captain and earning All-American honors. His team claimed both indoor and outdoor NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships. 

In addition to being named the head coach of men’s cross country, Carlson will continue to serve as an assistant track and field coach with an emphasis on the men’s middle distance and distance events.

“He has truly created a cultural shift with his vision. We look forward to his leadership of our men for years to come,” Sparks added.

— ND —