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Mark Young ‘68 to Retire After Cross Country Season

Head coach Mark Young '68. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Head coach Mark Young '68. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

David Shoehalter to be Yale’s New Mark T. Young ’68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –
Mark Young ’68, Yale’s Mark T. Young ’68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, announced on Friday that he will retire from that position at the conclusion of the upcoming cross country season. Young, who is entering his 31st season as a coach at Yale, will remain with the program coaching the women’s track and field team’s distance and middle distance runners through the spring. Associate head coach David Shoehalter will be Yale’s new Mark T. Young ’68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field.

Young’s retirement caps a career that has been marked by many significant accomplishments. Since returning to his alma mater as a coach in 1980, Young has led Yale to six Heptagonal Championships and four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships in women’s cross country. The Bulldogs have also won four ECAC titles under Young's guidance. The director position that now bears his name was endowed in his honor in 2008.

“I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish here at Yale during my tenure, and would like to thank all of the individuals who have been a part of it,” Young said. “We have demonstrated that student-athletes can achieve at the highest levels of their sport while simultaneously striving for academic excellence. Having worked with Dave Shoehalter for 17 years I am thrilled that he will take on the role of director when I retire, because that ensures continuity to that overall philosophy.”

Young was the national Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1987, when he led Yale to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships -- the best finish ever for an Ivy League women’s team. He also earned District I Cross Country Coach of the Year honors for the third straight time that season. In track and field Young was named NCAA District I Outdoor Track Coach of the Year in 1987, when Yale won the outdoor Heptagonal Championship and finished second indoors.

In addition to those numerous team accomplishments, many individuals have been recognized for their achievements during Young's tenure. Yale has had 19 All-America selections in cross country and 17 in track and field under him.

Young’s contributions to the sport have extended far beyond New Haven. He served as an assistant coach for the United States Olympic Track and Field team for the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia. In March of 1995, he was the head coach of the U.S. Women's Team at the World Indoor Championships in Barcelona, Spain. In the summer of 1999, he was an assistant coach at the World University Games in Mallorca, Spain. He held the same post in 1993 at the World University Games in Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1990, Young served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior National Team when it traveled to Bulgaria for the World Championships. He also served as an assistant track coach for the East Team at the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival, and was the head coach for the same squad in 1989.

Off the track, Young chaired the NCAA Track and Field Committee from 1989-1992 and served as Co-Commissioner of the 1995 Special Olympics World Games Athletics Venue.

A 1968 Yale graduate, Young captained the Bulldogs to an outdoor Heptagonal Championship in his senior year. He won individual IC4A titles at 440 yards outdoors and 600 yards indoors, and also anchored the mile relay team to the current Yale outdoor record (3:09.6) and an IC4A championship. Young also played football for Yale.

“Throughout his time at Yale, Mark Young has been dedicated to Yale’s ideals of academic and athletic excellence,” said Tom Beckett, Yale’s Director of Athletics. “He has been an outstanding teacher and coach, and hundreds of Yale student-athletes have benefitted from his knowledge and his passion for this university. He will be greatly missed, but we are fortunate to have associate head coach David Shoehalter in place to continue the philosophy that Coach Young helped establish here at Yale.”

Shoehalter is entering his 17th season at Yale, and works primarily with the sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers. He has coached numerous Bulldogs to All-Ivy, All-East and All-American honors.

“It is an honor to have worked with Mark Young, and we all wish him well in his retirement,” said Shoehalter. “We will work hard to uphold the Yale track and field tradition that he has been a part of as a student-athlete and as a coach.”

A 1989 graduate of Penn with a degree in history, Shoehalter captained the Quakers as a senior and was a scorer in the hurdles and the pentathlon at the Heptagonal Championships. He earned medals in the hurdles and was a member of the 4x400 relay team for the USA in the 1989 World Maccabiah Games.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity