Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Hatherly's gift endows track and field coaching position

Feb. 16, 2018

University of Notre Dame alumnus John “Tony” Hatherly and his wife, Christina, have made a $3 million gift to his alma mater to endow the track and field head coaching position.

The endowment for the John Hatherly-Joe Piane Head Track and Field Coach will help to underwrite the salary of the head coach, provide stability and resources for long-term goals and create funds for use within the department. The naming honors Hatherly and Joe Piane, the recently retired head coach of the Notre Dame men’s and women’s track and field teams.

“We are immensely appreciative of the Hatherlys’ generous gift on multiple levels,” said Jack Swarbrick, vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics. “First, it effectively helps position our track and field programs for optimal success in the years to come. Second, it provides a tangible tribute to all that Joe Piane did to build those programs over nearly 40 years.”

Alan Turner, now in his fourth year leading the Fighting Irish program, is the first John Hatherly-Joe Piane Head Track and Field Coach.

“John Hatherly is a great guy who loves Notre Dame and loves track and field,” Turner said. “Having someone endow a coaching position in track and field is almost unheard of; there are only a few places that have actually done that for our sport. This gift makes Notre Dame even more special. We talk about it being special all the time, but it is the people who really step up and help make it that way. We will forever be indebted to John Hatherly.”

Raised in the small, working-class Canadian town of Thunder Bay, Hatherly, a 1982 graduate of Notre Dame, was a distance runner for the Irish. He is the founder and managing partner of Wynnchurch Capital, a private equity firm with offices in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

“Notre Dame has been a major influence in my life, as an athlete, as a businessman and as a Catholic,” Hatherly said. “If it wasn’t for track and field, I couldn’t have attended Notre Dame and may not have been able to go to college at all. This endowment to support the track and field program is to help give other students the same opportunity I had. I am honored to have my name alongside that of my coach at Notre Dame, Joe Piane.”

Hatherly founded Wynnchurch Capital in 1999. The firm manages more than $2.2 billion in private equity capital across multiple funds. Prior to founding Wynnchurch, Hatherly worked as a senior executive at GE Capital’s Merchant Banking Group.

Hatherly earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin. He serves on the boards of Groupe Moreau, Ironform Holdings, Surepoint Holdings, WC Foss Investment, Stampede Meats, Indiana Limestone, Notre Dame’s Advisory Council for the Student-Athlete and the University of Wisconsin’s Business School Innovation Council.

Turner is in his eighth year at Notre Dame, having served the first four under Piane as associate head coach and assistant coach. His head coaching tenure has been highlighted by the Irish women finishing 11th in the 2016 NCAA cross-country championships, and national indoor titles in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races by Molly Seidel.

Prior to Notre Dame, Turner coached for five seasons at Southern Illinois University and two years at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois.

Turner is a graduate of Indiana University, where he was a three-time All-American. He was the NCAA indoor long jump national champion in 1991 and was runner-up at the outdoor championships that spring. He won five Big Ten Conference titles and was a three-time team captain while leading the Hoosiers to five consecutive conference team titles.

Piane retired in 2014 after 39 years as head coach of the Irish men’s cross-country and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs. He was a two time national cross-country coach of the year and produced 189 All-Americans. His tenure was the second-longest in Notre Dame’s history, surpassed only by the 42-year career of baseball coach Jake Kline.

“That John would think to include me in naming the endowment of the head coaching position was a huge surprise and a great honor,” Piane said. “I am tremendously appreciative, and I know this will be of great help to our program.”

Piane won 26 Big East Conference championships in cross-country and track and field. His many other accomplishments included:

  • 26 All-America honors by his Irish men’s cross-country runners.11 top-10 NCAA men’s cross-country team finishes, highlighted by third-place finishes in 1990 and 2005.
  • 97 men’s track and field All-Americans; the women’s team received 66 such accolades since 1994.
  • Two NCAA championship performances — in 2001 when Ryan Shay won the NCAA outdoor 10,000 meters and in 2012 when Johnathan Shawel, Chris Giesting, Randall Babb and Jeremy Rae finished first in the distance medley relay.
  • 166 Big East individual or relay titles in track and field and cross-country, with 12 Irish named as the conference’s outstanding track or field performer at its indoor or outdoor meets.

Piane also assisted the U.S. national track field program in a variety of assignments.