CANTON Longtime Malone University cross country head coach Jack Hazen received another prestigious honor as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association inducted him into organization’s Coaches Hall of Fame last week.
"I am very honored and extremely humbled to learn of my selection into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame," Hazen said. "This hall represents many of my friends, mentors and legends of our sport. I am thrilled to join this distinguished group."
Hazen, who began his 51st year at the helm of the Pioneer cross country program this fall, was previously inducted into the Malone Athletics Hall of Fame, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame, the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Hall of Fame, the Asbury University Hall of Fame, the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) Hall of Fame and the Marlboro High School Hall of Fame.
The USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame was established in 1995 and exists to recognize coaches who have brought great distinction to themselves, their institutions and to the sports of cross country and track and field.
Malone athletic director Charlie Grimes, who previously served alongside Hazen as Malone’s track and field head coach for 11 seasons, noted that the veteran coach means a lot not just to the cross country program, but to the campus as a whole.
"Jack is a beloved member of the Malone community," Grimes said. "Seeing our longtime mentor and friend receive this well-deserved honor is very special to me and the entire athletic department."
In addition to leading the Malone men’s cross country program for the past 50 years, Hazen has also served as women’s cross country coach for 26 years. During his tenure, the Pioneers have captured a total of four NAIA men’s cross country national titles (1972, 2007, 2008, 2009) and one women’s national championship (1999).
Additionally, the men’s cross country program qualified for the national meet every year during the institution’s time in the NAIA, never losing a conference or district meet from 1968 to 2010 - a streak of 43 years - and recording 35 top-10 NAIA national finishes during Hazen’s tenure. Despite moving up to NCAA Division II, the Pioneers are still ranked as the all-time winningest program by the NAIA.
Beyond the Malone campus, where he also served as Malone’s head coach of men’s track and field for 28 years and women’s track and field for three years, Hazen has written textbooks on coaching and has had numerous international coaching opportunities.
His most recent experience in that area came when he served as an assistant coach for the USA Track and Field Team at the 2012 London Olympics, where he worked with Team USA’s distance runners. He has also served as head manager for the 1999 Junior Pan American Track & Field Team, twice been the U.S. coach for men’s cross country at the World Championships in Boston and Capetown, South Africa, and was an assistant coach for the U.S. at the World Championship meet in Helsinki, Finland in 2005.
In total, Hazen has coached over 325 All-Americans, which represents more than 80 percent of the All-Americans in Malone athletics history, and has also coached two Olympians and served on the Track and Field competition management team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In the spring of 2016, Hazen received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the OATCCC, recognizing 100 total seasons of combined coaching service between track and field and cross country.
Along with Hazen, the 2017 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame class included: Amy Deem of the University of Miami, Peter Farwell of Williams College, Bob Kersee of UCLA, Fred Samara of Princeton University and Patrick Shane of Brigham Young University. The group was officially inducted at the USTFCCCA National Convention on Dec. 13 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Reach Andy at 330-580-8936
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB