Heading into his tenth season as the mens cross country coach, two-time Olympian Ed Eyestone has established a team that is considered to be one of the elite programs in the nation. Since his arrival in 2000, the Cougars have won the Mountain West Conference Championship eight times.
Eyestone, who was a 10-time All-American at BYU as an athlete, has guided his teams to greatness as the head coach. Beginning with a national ranking of 23rd in his first season, Eyestones teams have been in the nations top 25 every year since then, including a 5th-place finish in 2004.
Since taking on the head coaching responsibilities, Eyestone has coached six cross country athletes to nine All-American citations and an individual National Champion. John Hedengren earned All-American status in the 2000 season, becoming the first All-American for BYU since Mark Johanson earned the award in 1995. Nathan Robison earned the All-American honor at the end of the 2003 season, Chandler Goodwin received the award in 2005 and 2007 and Josh Rohatinsky earned it in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006 Josh Rohatinsky crowned his college cross country career by winning the National Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana. Kyle Perry became an All-American, finishing in 10th place in 2008. Most recently, Miles Batty earned All-American honors after a 15th place finish at the National Cross Country Championships in 2010. Eyestone has also coached athletes to 33 All-American citations in track.
Eyestone earned his first MWC Coach of the Year award in 2002 after his teams winning performance at the conference championships. He has since been honored with five additional MWC Coach of the Year awards, including the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Not only has he coached several great athletes during his coaching career, but Eyestone has also served as a commentator for ESPN and Fox Sports Elite Racing for 12 years and has been a columnist for Runners World magazine since 1999. In 2008 Eyestone was the head distance analyst for NBCs coverage of the Beijing Olympics.
1998 Hall of Fame Inductee
Ten-time All-American Ed Eyestone got used to seeing double - or was it deja vu?
In almost every instance the Samoan-born runner proved that his will to win was stronger than the obstacles before him, obstacles that brought him to his knees (literally) early in his career.
When the 6-1 prep star from Ogden first started at BYU in 1980, he had to be sprayed with water after he collapsed from heat exhaustion while running the 10,000 meters. This was at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
Earlier that same season at a dual meet in Eugene, Oregon, he literally crawled toward the finish line, struggling to finish the 5,000.
As a senior in 1985, however, Eyestone won both the NCAA 5,000 and 10,000 meters, back-to-back at that same Austin, Texas, site where he had struggled as a freshman.
After winning every collegiate cross country race he entered that year, Ed was the 1984 NCAA cross country champion. Only two other athletes, Gerry Lindgren and Suleiman Nyambui, have ever won the rare triple crown of national titles in the 5,000 and 10,000, and cross country all in the same year.
Eyestone won the first of his NCAA 10,000-meter crowns in 1984, on a return trip to Eugene. His 1984 NCAA cross country title came at Penn State, where two years earlier his mother, Virginia, had graduated with her doctorate.
In 1985 he set an NCAA record of 27:41.05 in the 10,000 at Mt. SAC.
His other All-America citations came from two top-10 finishes (eighth in 1982 and ninth in 1983) at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, from a fifth-place finish in the NCAA indoor two-mile (1983), from a sixth-place finish in the NCAA outdoor 10,000 (1983), and from finishing second in the NCAA indoor 3,000 in both 1984 and 1985.
At a time when WAC rival UTEP had a legion of gifted African distance runners, it was Eyestone who claimed champion titles for BYU in 1983 and 1984 in cross country, in 1984 and 1985 for the 5,000, in 1984 for the indoor mile, and in 1985 for the indoor two-mile and 10,000. Consequently, he was the first non-football player to win the WAC's Stan Bates Award.
Eyestone never seemed to stop running. He was an Olympic marathoner twice, first in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, and then in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, the same area where he earlier served an LDS Church mission.
Eyestone has a career-best marathon time of 2:10:59, and five times he has been named U.S. Road Racer of the Year.
He earned two degrees from BYU, a bachelor's in psychology and a master's in exercise science. A GTE/CoSida Academic All-American with a 3.69 cumulative GPA, he won the prestigious NCAA Top Six Award.