Dan Mecca Honored at Faculty Convocation
Mecca was presented with a gift from Manhattan College President Brennan O'Donnell, Ph. D., as well as the following citation:
Dan Mecca came to Manhattan as an assistant track & field/cross country coach under the legendary Fred Dwyer, and he took over as head coach when Dwyer retired in 1993. Since taking the reins, he has maintained the Jaspers' storied tradition, winning multiple MAAC and Metropolitan Championships and qualifying at least one athlete for the NCAA Championships every year. Over the years, Dan has coached 28 NCAA All-Americans, including four NCAA National Champions.
Several of Dan's athletes have carried on their success beyond their years at Manhattan, most notably Jacob Freeman, the 2010 U.S. national champion in the hammer throw and a contender for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in that event. His athletes have competed in such prestigious competitions as the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Junior Championships, World University Games and Pan American Games, representing the United States, Ireland, Sweden, Jamaica, Serbia and the Dominican Republic.
If he's not in his office, Dan's probably at practice. He sometimes spends hours at the track, working separately with each different event group throughout the day. It's not uncommon for him to spend time with the throwers, then go to cross country practice, before coming back to coach the pole vaulters. And somehow still finding time to talk to a recruit!
Dan is a track & field junkie, as anyone who's received one of his early-hours e-mails or heard one of his many stories from his years in the sport can attest. He can convert a mark from English to metric (or vice versa) in his head quicker than most people can look it up. A world-renowned throws coach, his cell phone is full of numbers belonging to world-class throwers and other coaches from around the globe.
Dan has had the opportunity to serve as a national team coach for both the United States and Ireland. He has traveled all over the country, as well as numerous international locations, teaching the proper techniques in the throwing events. Dan has also been both a technical advisor and judge at the Millrose Games and worked in numerous capacities with various national and regional track & field committees.
In addition, he was an integral member of the planning committee during this summer's track renovations in Draddy Gymnasium. The new 200-meter surface is one of the finest in the Northeast, and it was constructed with the same material that is used for the tracks at the Olympics and World Championships.
Dan and his wife, Kathleen, have three children: Christopher, who lives in New Jersey with his wife, Jamie; Patrick, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Manhattan; and Caelyn, a senior Dean's List student and member of Epsilon Sigma Pi.
Congratulations Dan, and thank you for 25 years of wonderful service to Manhattan College!