Release courtesy of Illinois Tech athletics communications
CHICAGO, Ill. – Illinois Tech Athletics is happy to announce the promotion of Tyler McQuality to the head coach of the Scarlet Hawk men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. McQuality, who was the lead assistant coach for each program in 2018-19, will begin as head coach immediately. He will succeed Keith Burke as head coach of both teams, who has resigned from Illinois Tech to pursue other opportunities.
"Tyler made a big impact on our cross country and track and field programs this past year," said Director of Athletics Joe Hakes. "He comes out of the top cross country program in Division III in the nation at North Central. Tyler has shown good understanding of the Illinois Tech student experience and how to connect that with their athletic pursuits. He has worked hard in his assistant coaching role in recruiting. We see a lot of potential for growth in the next few years."
The Scarlet Hawks saw great progress in the one year McQuality was on staff. In Tech's first year as NCAA Division III and Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) members, both Evan Balizado and Cole Dammeier were named All-NACC in cross country as the men's program finished in sixth. In Track and Field, the Scarlet Hawk men placed seventh in both the indoor and outdoor championships, as Dammeier won the conference's 10,000m outdoor race. On the women's side, Tech placed ninth in the indoor championships and 10th in the outdoor championships as several Hawk athletes saw progress each week under McQuality's tutelage.
"I am honored and excited to be named the next Head Coach of both the track and field and cross country programs and continue to build upon my first year here," said McQuality. "I can't think of a place I would rather be. This team is in a good spot moving forward with our culture and expectations of what we want to achieve and how we are going to get there. We will continue to improve our student-athlete's success and experience both in the classroom and in competition."
Tyler has already show a knack for taking an outstanding athletic career and translating it into coaching prowess. At North Central, he was a four-time all-conference selection for the Cardinals, who won three NCAA Division III championships and six College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championships in his career. He was also an All-Academic student-athlete in the CCIW.
Aside from his track and coaching career, McQuality has spent time with both Dick Pond and Athletics and Naperville Running Company as a Sales Associate, where he established relations with local high school coaches. Experience with the Chicago Area Runners Association also has fostered relationships with runners in Chicagoland.
With his strong background, McQuality's vision in enhancing both programs is clear.
"The type of student-athletes we are looking to bring in are those that are passionate about running; we don't have time standards," said McQuality. "Athletes who want to work hard to be the best they can be is all we are looking for. We want to provide skills that will not only translate in competition, but also in the classroom and throughout the course of their lives."