Stanford Legend Peter Tegen Announces Retirement
May 23, 2008
Stanford's legendary head cross country and track coach, Peter Tegen, has announced that he will be retiring following the 2008 track season after 44 years of coaching. Going into his final NCAA Championship, Tegen has an impressive list of accomplishments. Throughout his 33 years of collegiate coaching, Tegen has coached athletes to 44 individual national titles and a 302 All-American Honors. He has won 45 conference titles and is a 5 time National Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Tegen is one of the most respected coaches in the nation and has been an invaluable addition to the Stanford program. He has put countless amounts of time and effort into the team and has engulfed himself into the Stanford community. His time here at Stanford will forever remain a significant part of Stanford history.
'Peter is an extraordinary coach and has been a tremendous addition to Stanford' said Edrick Floreal, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track & Field. 'He has continued carrying forward the Stanford middle distance and distance legacy and replacing him will be a daunting task. What Peter has done here at Stanford is unrivaled. David Vidal will remain on the farm as the assistant track and cross country coach in order to make the transition between the athletes and the new coach smoother and seamless. Our commitment to Stanford's cross country and distance legacy will remain unfaltering in this important transition. The search for a highly qualified coach will begin immediately.'
'Deciding to retire was a very difficult decision process with my close family, friends and staff but I am happy to close my coaching career on a very positive note here at Stanford University' said Tegen. 'With the current talent on the team, the superb incoming recruiting class and the leadership within the program, I have no doubt that the Stanford legacy will continue and I will forever remain the best friend and supporter of our program.'
In the summer of 2005, Tegen was drawn to Stanford and named the Head Men's and Women's Cross Country and Distance Coach by Edrick Floreal, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track & Field. After 3 years on the Farm, Tegen coached 20 individuals to a total of 53 All-American honors and 25 new marks were added to Stanford's top 10 all-time outdoor and top 5 all-time indoor lists. He has been a four time Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year and a three time Division 1 National Cross Country Coach of the Year while at Stanford. The women's cross country team has won the national cross country championship in every year Tegen has coached at Stanford. In the 2006 outdoor season, Tegen coached the American Record setting women's 4x1500m at the 2006 Penn Relays and in the 2007 track season, Tegen coached the Stanford men to a national title in the DMR at the 2007 NCAA Indoor National Championships. It was the 3rd time in school history to win the event. Furthermore, in 2006 the Division 1 women's cross country coach of the year award was renamed the 'Peter Tegen Division 1 National Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.' Tegen has won this honor in each of the two years since it was renamed.
A native of the Dresden area in Germany, Tegen came to West Germany following the Second World War, received his undergraduate degrees from the Duetsche Sporthochschule and University of Koln in 1965, and his graduate degrees in English and Sports Sciences from the University of Freiburg. Tegen taught English and coached gymnastics and track in Germany before traveling the world as a German sports science diplomat. He traveled 2 years through Africa and Latin America before coming to the University of Wisconsin in 1973. While in Latin America, Tegen was the coach of the Peruvian National team in 1971 and 1972 and traveled to Munich, Germany in 1972 as an Olympic Team Coach for Peru.
In 1973, Tegen started the cross country program and remained at the University of Wisconsin for 30 years, garnering more conference champions, national champions, and NCAA All-Americans than any other coach in the Big Ten Conference. Tegen coached athletes to Six Different Olympic Games ('72, '84, '92, '96, '00, '04). His long list of elite runners include Olympians Kathy Butler (1996, 2004), Suzy Favor-Hamilton (1992, 2000) and Cindy Bremser (1984). He also consistently coached athletes to World Championships in track & field and cross country. Tegen served as the head coach of the U.S. women's cross country team that finished sixth at the 1997 World Championships. That performance was the highest U.S. team finish since 1985. Tegen has twice been selected by USA Track & Field to lead squads of middle distance runners on European Tours. In 2005, Tegen was named the Outstanding NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Coach of the Past 25 Years by the USA Coaches Association for his extraordinary coaching accomplishments.
Tegen will certainly be missed on the farm, but his influence on the Stanford program will always be engrained in Stanford legacy.