Mike McCabe, Union Catholic's head track and field coach, made history on Thursday when he was named the National Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
McCabe, selected as the N.J. Girls T&F Coach of the Year for the sixth straight time this past year by the USTFCCCA, is the first coach from New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic Region (boys or girls) to be selected by the USTFCCCA as a National Coach of the Year.
"I am honored to be selected National Girls track and field coach of the year by the USTFCCCA,'' said McCabe, who was also be inducted into Union Catholic's Hall of Fame next month. "This was the most balanced team in Union Catholic history. It was a pleasure to coach this group during such a challenging year. I want to thank my coaching staff, athletes and parents for all they have done to make this possible.''
McCabe, who just completed his 18th season as head coach at UC, will be honored in December at the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Florida, which will be held at the Grande Lakes Resort.
During this past outdoor season, McCabe's girls team flexed its amazing display of balance to smash multiple meet scoring records as the Vikings steamrolled their way to a sixth straight undefeated season to solidify its status as the No. 1 team in New Jersey.
The Vikings captured the Union County Relay title, the Union County Track and Field Championship, and the State Non-Public A title each for the sixth straight time, and ran the fastest times in the state in three relays, were ranked in the top eight in the state in every relay, and earned several All-American honors at the Nike National Championships.
Just how balanced and dominate was the attack for the Vikings?
At the Union County Relays, the Vikings won seven events, scored in the top three in all 16 events, and racked up a mind-blowing 138 points. That's just 22 away from a perfect score. And at the Union County T&F Championships, UC rolled up 83 points in the field and 81 on the track to win the meet with 164 points, 100 more than the runner-up.
It was more of the same at the State Non-Public A Championships when the Vikings won nine events, scored in every event, and rang up 189 points to shatter the All Groups meet record (all Groups combined) of 179 points that the Vikings scored in 2019. To give you an idea of just how impressive that performance is, the maximum number of points that can be scored in the 18 events is 390. That means the Vikings scored 48.5 percent of all the possible points!
"We've had incredible teams over the years -- 2015 comes to mind, when we started this little run, because we had Sydney McLaughlin and our 4×400 went 3:35 -- but this one stands out because of how much depth we had across all event areas," said McCabe. "How many coaches can say they had athletes score in every single event of a state meet? That's unheard of. I still can't wrap my head around it."
At the national level, the Vikings were just as impressive as 12 different girls earned All-American honors in seven relays at the Nike Nationals last month at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
"We've been so successful for a while that we instill a mentality in our team that, 'Everybody is coming for us. You have to bring your 'A' game, because everybody else will be," McCabe said. "Our girls buy in each year, because they want to continue the run and the tradition that we've built here over the years."
MCCABE BY THE NUMBERS
(All 3 Seasons Combined)
277 - All-Americans
91 - National Champions (including athletes that ran on relays)
61 - Union County Titles (33 boys / 28 girls)
51 - Number of seasons coached (XC / indoor and outdoor combined)
47 - NJ Meet of Champions Titles (30 individuals / 17 relays)
29 - Union County Conference Titles (19 boys / 10 girls)
26 - State Titles (19 girls / 7 boys)
18- Number of years as the head coach at Union Catholic.
15 - Current State Records (14 girls, one boys): Note-UC held 4 other state records that have since been broken.
7 - The number of years since UC's girls lost to a NJ team (last loss was at the Outdoor Non-Public A State Championships in 2014 when UC placed 5th)
4 - Current National Records (all girls). Note: UC held one other national record that has been broken.
2 - National Team Titles (2013, 2014 - Boys Indoors)