Pat Healy’s illustrious 40-year coaching career came to an end after the 2016 outdoor track & field season when he announced his retirement from UW-La Crosse.
Healy began coaching at Dallas High School in Oregon from 1976 to 1983 and moved to the collegiate ranks in 1983 as an assistant at his alma mater, Western Oregon State (now known as Western Oregon University.
After three years in Monmouth, Oregon, Healy jumped to Southern Oregon State and eventually made his way into the Eagles’ nest in 1991, where he would remain until he stepped down this past spring.
Healy started as the head coach of the UW-La Crosse women’s cross country team in 1991 and assumed control of the women’s track & field program the following year. While Healy’s cross country teams were successful in their own right with two top-4 finishes at NCAAs, it’s what his teams did on the track and in the field that made UW-La Crosse a national mainstay on the Division III level.
From 1992 to 2014, the Eagles finished in the top-4 21 times between the NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including five runner-up finishes indoors (1993, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2014) and two outdoors (1993, 1997).
UW-La Crosse — and better yet, Healy — finally broke through in 2015. The Eagles swept the indoor-outdoor titles and Healy became just the third coach in history to be named USTFCCCA Indoor Coach of the Year and USTFCCCA Outdoor Coach of the Year in the same academic year.
In his final year at UW-La Crosse, Healy’s teams took sixth indoors and fourth outdoors, adding yet another top-4 finish to the already staggering total. All told, the Eagles were top-10 in 41 of a possible 50 NCAA championship meets.
His teams at UW-La Crosse featured a total of 467 All-Americans, which included 261 outdoors, 196 indoors and 10 in cross country.
At the conference level, the Eagles were head and shoulders above the rest. UW-La Crosse won 16 indoor titles and 16 of the last 19 outdoor crowns.
Healy was named USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year a total of six times and Midwest Region Coach of the Year four times.
“It is hard to envision our athletic program without Pat at the helm of the women’s track & field program,” UW-La Crosse athletic director Kim Blum said when Healy announced his pending retirement. “Pat has led our team for 25 years, an unprecedented era of success.”