Harvard Athletics Announces Track and Field/Cross Country Director Endowment

Harvard Athletics Announces Track and Field/Cross Country Director Endowment

Harvard's McCurdy Outdoor Track (Harvard Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
Bob Scalise, The Nichols Family Director of Athletics, and Harvard University are pleased to announce the endowment of the 17th head coach position: The William W. “Bill” McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country.

The endowment was made possible by a generous gift from Jean-Marc Chapus ’81, MBA ’86 and his wife Victoria E. Chapus. The announcement marks Harvard’s fifth coaching endowment in the last 19 months, and gives the Harvard athletic department 18 endowed positions.

“We are grateful that Jean-Marc Chapus and his wife Victoria have endowed our director of track and field/cross country,” said Scalise. “This endowment will help ensure the vitality of our program while honoring the long-standing tradition of track and field/cross country at Harvard. It is wonderful and fitting that in doing so, we are also honoring our legendary coach, Bill McCurdy, whose success and impact on the lives of our student-athletes was remarkable.”

“I am honored to be named the William W. “Bill” McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country,” said current director Jason Saretsky. “Coach McCurdy was a legend, and we are working hard to continue the rich tradition of success established during his more than 30 years at Harvard. I can’t thank the Chapus family enough for their generous and meaningful gift. The impact on our program will be felt for many years to come and will greatly enhance the overall experience of our current and future student-athletes.”

Jean-Marc Chapus was a four-year letterwinner on the Harvard track and field team and served as captain of the squad his senior season in 1980-81. He earned All-East accolades as a part of the 4x100 relay team in 1980 and was the anchor leg of Harvard’s fifth-fastest 4x100 relay team in program history. He was also a member of Harvard’s third-fastest indoor 4x400 relay team, and received the team’s Bingham Relay Award and Schick Sprint Award following his junior season. His wife, Victoria, was a track and field athlete at UCLA, and was named Director of the USA Track & Field Foundation Board in 2012.

William “Bill” McCurdy headed the Harvard track and field and cross country programs for 31 years from 1951-82. With 147 career track and field victories and just 29 career defeats, he is far away Harvard’s most successful coach, both in terms of winning percentage (.835) and total victories. In his time as coach, the men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country teams yielded 19 combined heptagonal championships and 37 Greater Boston Championship titles.