For 34 years, Mike Mangan has been a highly successful high-school coaching fixture in Northern Virginia in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.
Now, the former Langley High head coach is taking his talents south.
Mangan recently was named the new men’s and women’s head cross country coach at Webber International University in central Florida near Orlando. Webber is a small NAIA private school with an enrollment between 700 and 800 students.
“I’ve lived in Fairfax County my whole life. Now, it’s time for the Mangan family to move on,” said Mangan, a graduate of W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax. “Coaching in college is something I’ve wanted to try, to see if my skills can work at that level. Webber is a unique school. There’s a lot of work to do and that’s fine. I’m a grinder and I’m excited.”
Mangan’s job officially begins Aug. 1, but he’s already started recruiting runners.
Mangan coached at Langley, where his wife Rebecca is a graduate, for 12 years, including the final four as the program’s head coach. He then moved on to Lake Braddock Secondary School, where he coached the last 20 years.
Mangan also was an official starter of area cross country meets, and he began the popular nighttime Lake Braddock cross country relays.
At Lake Braddock, his cross country teams, boys and girls, combined to win 11 state championships and many region and district crowns. He also was involved in Braddock’s track and field programs as an assistant or head coach, where those teams won many titles, as well.
Mangan’s high-school coaching tenure also included positions at private-school St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in Alexandria.
Among his many successful high-school runners were Lake Braddock graduates Kate Murphy and Katy Kunc. Murphy ran in a previous U.S. Olympic women’s trials in track and field. Kunc will do so this summer in the women’s steeplechase.
“We’ve been hitting the repeat button for many years, so this will be new for our family,” Mangan said. “I love the reaction of young runners having success, and we want that to start happening a lot at Webber,” Mangan said.