The Alabama men’s track & field/cross country team is the 2017-18 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) John McDonnell NCAA Division I Men’s Program of the Year, the association announced Tuesday. The honor is the first for the Alabama program.

“This is a great honor for Alabama track & field and cross country,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “It demonstrates that we’ve built an all-around program here. This is a highly-competitive sport so to be able to be great in all three seasons means you have great athletes, great coaches and great commitment. It’s a true credit to our student-athletes for the way they competed and our assistant coaches for their dedication to the program.”

“I also want to thank The University of Alabama, our director of athletics Greg Byrne and our sport oversight, Brad Ledford, for their support of our program,” Waters added. “I especially want to thank our entire coaching staff – Dion Miller, Miguel Pate, Adam Tribble, Blaine Wiley, Derek Yush, Mike Bartolina, Connor Mahoney-Ashberry and David Virgets. This award is about them and every young man on our roster.”

The Program of the Year award has been presented annually since 2009 to the track & field and cross country program with the best combined finish at the NCAA cross country, indoor and outdoor national championships. The Crimson Tide finished 14th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, ninth at the indoor championships and tied for fifth at the outdoor championships for 28.5 total points to edge out Arkansas, which finished second with 31 points.

Waters and his staff will be honored at the USTFCCCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas in December.

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