BISMARCK, N.D. - Some can say that Mike Thorson is one of the best coaches that the University of Mary has had. Today is Mike’s final day.
Mike Thorson has been with the U-Mary track and field program for 24 years. He’s won 47 conference championships, 38 individual and relay national titles, and after today, he’s calling it a career.
The University honored Thorson today at the U-Mary campus, and while he says his time with the Marauders has been some of his best years, he tells us why now is the time to retire. “Why am I going to just walk away? Well, I've got one very simple reason. Because I couldn't meet my own personal expectations, you know we always tell our teams, you will rise to the level of expectation, well, I didn't. And I think that the reality really hit home in the outdoor National Championships in Florida in May."
A good test to see if you picked the right career is, if given the chance, would you do it again?
"If I could start over tomorrow, and do another 24, I'd do it in a heartbeat,” Thorson says. “Because I have truly, truly been blessed. It’s been a privilege to be at this university, I've got a lifetime of memories in 24 years."
With the retirement announcement from Coach Thorson, it would only seem right they name the next best man for the job today, that man is Marauders Cross Country coach, Dennis Newell. Mike introduced the new head track coach in what seemed like the most fitting way possible. He passed the baton over to Coach Newell.
"It's pretty emotional,” Newell says. “It's bittersweet for me. I've worked for Coach for 12 years now, and it's been one of the greatest opportunities in my life. Not just as a coach, but just as a human being, to have somebody as instrumental as Mike in my life."
Now that Coach Newell is the track and field and cross country coach, he was asked if things would stay the same or get to be a bit more busy, and his response, he can’t imagine much will change.