Release courtesy of Benedictine University athletics communications
LISLE, Ill. --- It is with great pleasure that Benedictine University announces the appointment of Paul Zavala as the head men's and women's cross country and track and field coach.
Zavala served as the cross country head coach at Benedictine in 2019 and coached both the men's and women's individual NACC Champions in Marcos Garcia and Emma Roberts. The men's team won the conference championship for the first time as a member of the NACC and for the first time since 1991. The men also won the indoor and outdoor conference championship in track and field.
While assisting with track and field, Zavala directed the first distance All-American since 1984 and the first-ever individual to qualify for both the indoor and outdoor national championships in a distance event. On the women's side, school records were set in the 4x800 meter relay and the Distance Medley Relay. Distance records set by the men were the mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters.
Zavala had been serving as the interim head coach this summer.
"I would like to thank again the Director of Athletics, Mark McHorney, for giving me the opportunity to lead our Track & Field Program alongside our Cross Country Team," Zavala said. "I look forward to continue the commitment of providing student-athletes with a great experience and our team's tradition of competitive success."
Zavala came to Benedictine in the fall of 2018 to direct the cross country programs following seven years at Robert Morris University as the head coach of cross country and track and field. Zavala helped develop an eight-time national champion for Puerto Rico in Mizael Carrera. Carrera won national titles in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, half-marathon and cross country while also competing in the Pan American Cross Country Cup.
Inducted into the Robert Morris Hall of Fame in 2011 as a four-time all-conference choice as an athlete, Zavala is a member of USA Track & Field Athletics, Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association, and U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He also carries coaching certifications in USA Track & Field Level 1, Level 2-Distance, and Level 2 - Sprint / Hurdles / Relays.
The 2019 cross country season begins for both teams on August 30 at the University of St. Francis Twilight.