Oct. 24, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – John Millar has been promoted to associate track and field coach, Irish head coach Joe Piane announced Friday.
One of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world, John Millar enters his 18th season at Notre Dame and has developed the Irish sprint groups into a force in the BIG EAST Conference. Millar’s tenure at Notre Dame, which included serving as the speed coach for all Notre Dame athletic teams for several years, is the third longest of any current Irish assistant coach in any sport.
“He’s been with us for 18 years, and we hope this means he’ll be here for the next 18,” Piane said.
Millar’s sprinters and hurdlers have continued to have success for the Irish on both the men’s and women’s side of the field.
As a sophomore in 2008, Balazs Molnar grabbed all-BIG EAST indoor honors with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash. Freshmen Cora Dayon and Natalie Johnson earned their first all-BIG EAST indoor honors in the 500 meters, finishing second and third, respectively. The men’s 4×100-meter relay team finished third at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships and played a major role in helping the Irish men’s squad to their fifth outdoor conference title. For their efforts, Millar and the other Irish coaches were named the 2008 Men’s Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year.
The native of Toronto, Canada, took a break from his coaching duties at Notre Dame in early March of 1999 to serve as the head coach of the USA women’s track squad, which earned eight medals at the `99 World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan.
Millar is a seasoned veteran of coaching athletes both on the national and international levels. During a six-year stint at Texas, he coached 96 NCAA All-Americans, including 10 national champions, and helped guide the Lady Longhorns to four national titles.
Prior to his position at Texas, Millar was an assistant at Tennessee for two years where he worked with 1984 Olympic gold-medal hurdler Benita Fitzgerald-Brown. In addition, he served as an assistant coach on the Canadian Olympic track staff and assisted in training world-class hurdler Mark McCoy. He also served as USA Track and Field’s national women’s hurdle coordinator, coach of the North team at the 1992 U.S. Olympic Festival and assistant coach of the USA Junior National Team at the 1993 Pan-Am Junior Championships.
Millar was head coach at York University in Toronto from 1981 to 1983 where he served as chief director for both the men’s and women’s programs in track & field. He led the school to a Canadian national championship in 1981. He also traveled to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, as a member of the Canadian track & field coaching staff.