Patrick Shane created his legacy from the ground up.
After a standout career as a member of the BYU track & field team from 1966 to 1970 and a six-year stint as head cross country and track & field coach at Provo (Utah) High School from 1974 to 1980, Shane returned to his alma mater as the first head coach of women’s cross country.
Shane proved to be an incredible architect and established a rock-solid foundation on which a perennial powerhouse was built.
From Shane’s first season in 1981 until his last in 2016, he guided the Cougars to 31 appearances at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships including 19 consecutive trips from 1989 to 2007. BYU also nabbed five consecutive bids from 1982 to 1986.
Under Shane’s direction, the Cougars reached the pinnacle in the late 1990s to early 2000s when they won four national titles (1997, 1999, 2001, 2002) and finished runner-up an additional three times (1998, 2000, 2003).
There was not a more dominant team in the current era than BYU in 2001. The Cougars, led by Michaela Mannova (fifth), Jessie Kindschi (seventh) and Tara Northcutt (ninth), outscored NC State by 86 points (62 to 148). That’s the largest margin of victory by a women’s team since the race distance changed from 5000 meters to 6000 meters that same year.
Mannova, Kindschi and Northcutt were three of the 30 women who earned a total of 51 All-America honors under Shane’s watch in cross country.
Needless to say, BYU also made quick work of the competition on the conference and regional level. Shane’s Cougars won 24 conference championships and 16 regional titles in his 36 years.
Shane also served as the distance and mid-distance coach with the women’s track & field team at BYU and was the head coach of the program from 2011 to 2013. It was in 2011 when the Cougars swept the indoor and outdoor team titles in the Mountain West Conference.
During his tenure at BYU, Shane tutored 66 women to All-America status and between them, they earned 150 citations. Out of those 66 women, nine won individual NCAA titles with the first coming in 1983 when Aisling Molloy won the indoor mile and last in 2012 when Nachelle Mackie completed the indoor-outdoor sweep of the 800-meter crowns.
Outside of the collegiate ranks, Shane served as head coach of three different national teams and mentored six athletes who would later compete in the Olympics.
Shane’s legacy continues to lives on as his son Chris is the head cross country coach and distance coach at Eastern Washington University.