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McDonnell resigns head coach position

Submitted by scott wilson
Phone: (907) 474-6807

02/02/04

In an effort to pursue other opportunities, Bill McDonnell announced his resignation today as head coach of the men's and women's cross country and skiing programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"When I first came to Fairbanks, I wanted to be here five years. I knew I wasn't going to coach skiing forever, however, the growth and success of the program progressed at such a quick rate that I started to consider staying at UAF," said McDonnell. "While I have been coaching here, I have also been working on my MBA (masters of business administration). An opportunity came open where I could use my MBA, so I pursued it and was offered a position."

"While we regret to see Bill leave, we're excited about his new opportunity and wish him the best of success," said Dr. Cory Schwartz, UAF Director of Athletics. "Bill came into our program five years ago and has made significant contributions toward elevating the skiing program."

In just the last two seasons, McDonnell has helped the Nanooks to a berth in the NCAA National Championship each year.

In 2002, the Nanooks qualified five athletes for the national championship with three of them earning All-American status. UAF finished ninth overall, a program best at the time. That record stood only one season as the Nanooks came back in 2003 and finished sixth at the national championship. UAF sent six skiers to the championship meet with two earning All-American status.

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