John Evangelista | Assistant Coach | Men’s and Women’s Cross Country | Marywood University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

  • The qualities we are looking for are the following:
  • Does the student have a passion for the sport?  We can teach them to run but if they do not have desire they can only go so far.
  • Do they run for themselves or can they make others better?  I look for individuals that want to take charge and be leaders and not followers.
  • Must have good grades.
  • Make sure the program and the university is the right fit.
  • Willingness to learn and be a team player.

Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

We have one individual that never ran cross-country in high-school and now she is the team’s best runner. Last year she won the conference title for Marywood and made National as a junior. All the qualities I have described above she has and more. She has an attitude which is a pleasure to teach. She has gotten better every year she has been at Marywood and she may leave the program as the best runner we have ever had. The funny story is she ran steeplechase in high school, and in her state race, she fell twice and just missed the school record. I think her best days in running are still to come and I expect, long after college, she will become a very good distance runner. You may coach for a long time at division 3 and never get an athlete this good or the willingness to be great. For me, it is an honor to coach such a special athlete and one that I will cherish long after her career at Marywood.