New York coaching great and former St. John's school record holder joins Red Storm coaching staff.
John McCree returned to his alma mater in the Fall of 2014 to guide St. John’s storied throwing program. Since his arrival in Queens, McCree has helped elevate the Red Storm throwing program to new heights. During the 2015-16 campaign, the Red Storm throwers completed a podium-sweep in the 2016 BIG EAST Indoor Championships and claimed the top-two spots at the 2016 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships. During that indoor championships, Nyla Woods, Ann Dagrin and Patricia Clark went first, second and third in the weight throw. At the outdoor championships, Nyla Woods and Ann Dagrin went first and second in the hammer throw and Jennifer Odoemene garnered All-BIG EAST honors with a second-place finish in the discus throw.
Since his start in Queens, Coach McCree has helped elevate now-senior Nyla Woods to the national-level. In her first three seasons, Woods earned a spot at the Outdoor NCAA East Regionals for the hammer throw and is a multiple Big East and Metropolitan champion. During the 2016-17 season Red Storm throwers scored consistently across the Big East indoor & outdoor championships, with Nyla Woods winning the indoor 20 lbs Weight and the outdoor Hammer Throw championships.
McCree, a Newark, NJ, native, brings more than 43 years of coaching experience from both the collegiate and high school levels, including stints at Manhattan College, Queens College, New York Institute of Technology, St. Francis Prep and St. Anthony’s High School. He holds the rare coaching distinction of having worked with throwers that achieved All-America status in NCAA Division I, II and III as well as in high school, all in the hammer throw.
McCree’s high school coaching career produced seven national champions, including four in the weight throw, two in the hammer and one in the shot put. One of his athletes went on to become a Junior Pan Am champion in Brazil and a Junior World Champion in Poland, as well as a two-time Track & Field News “Athlete of the Year.”
McCree’s athletes set a number of US national class records in the HS weight 85'6" and hammer throw 255'11" along with a NY state record in the boys shot put at 68’ 11.75"
During an 18-year stretch, Coach McCree had athletes qualify for the high school national championships each and every year. In 2013, an unprecedented seven of his athletes qualified for the national championships in the same event, the weight throw. His hammer throwers won the Eastern State Championships 8 years in a row. A mark of his long-lasting success and coaching longevity, one of McCree’s athletes broke the New York State mark in the high school hammer throw in 1979, and in 2007, another one of his throwers broke it again.
A number of McCree's former athletes are currently coaching the throws on the college and high school levels.
As a student-athlete at St. John’s, McCree set school records in the hammer and weight throws, becoming the first in program history to break the 200’ and 60’ barriers, respectively. He was nationally ranked and qualified for the Division I NCAA Championships all four of his years in Queens, winning a pair of Metropolitan Championships and Kansas Relays titles while also medaling at the Florida Relays, Penn Relays, Olympic Invitational and the prestigious Millrose Games.
Upon graduation from St. John’s he was the recipient of three major University honors, including the Ernest Haberle Award for top track & field performer, the Dr. Peter Vitulli Award for the student-athlete that overcomes the most hardships, and the Lt. Frank Haggerty Award for the outstanding student-athlete at St. John’s University.
As a competitor in the hammer throw, shot put and discus at Essex Catholic High School in Newark, NJ,
McCree was schooled in the throwing events by legendary coach Tony Naclerio, the 1996 U.S. Olympic throws coach.
Under Naclerio, he broke the N.J. state record in the hammer, won the parochial N.J. state championship in the discus and was a member of the four-man shot put relay that set and still holds the national record of 231’8”.
McCree, who graduated from St. John’s with a bachelor degree in Criminal Justice, worked as a Federal Agent for over 21 years as a U.S. Postal Inspector, while coaching part time. He retired from government work in 2008.
McCree has been elected into the Essex Catholic Hall of Fame, the Bloomfield, N.J., Hall of Fame and the Newark, N.J. Athletic Hall of Fame.He currently resides in Seaford, NY, with his wife Mary.