Villanova coach Jack Pyrah dies

Posted: July 20, 2007

Jack Pyrah, longtime cross country and track coach at Villanova, has died at age 88.

Pyrah worked with many of Villanova's greatest runners, including Marty Liquori, Eamonn Coughlan, Sydney Maree and current coach Marcus O'Sullivan.

"Jack was a great example to the athletes on the Villanova team," O'Sullivan said in a statement issued by the university. "He was a huge inspiration to me as both a runner and a coach. His loyalty and dedication to Villanova was unmatched . . . We will truly miss having Jack's presence around the Villanova track and field program."

Pyrah joined the Wildcats' staff in 1966 as head cross country and assistant track coach to the late Jumbo Elliott. His teams won NCAA Division I cross-country titles in 1966, '67, '68, and 1970.

He retired from coaching in 1991, and was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame last December.

Funeral arrangements are pending. *

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