Orangeburg, N.Y. (7/15/14) Dominican College of Blauvelt Director of Athletics, Joseph S. Clinton, has announced that Howard McNiff has been named the new head women's cross country and track and field coach.
"I would like to welcome Howie to our coaching staff," Clinton said. "He is legendary in this area in the sport of running and I am confident that he will be able to make our women's cross country and track and field teams into one of the strongest programs in our conference and in the northeast."
McNiff comes to Dominican after spending the past three years as the head boys cross country and track and field coach at his high school alma mater, Albertus Magnus High School.
"I am very excited to join the Dominican coaching staff," McNiff said. "I would like to thank Joe Clinton, President Sister Mary Eileen O'Brien and the rest of the athletic administration staff. I am looking forward to the opportunity to coach on the collegiate level and making the DC cross country and track and field programs one of the best in the area.
McNiff spent his collegiate career at Fordham University on a full scholarship where he earned 12 varsity letters. He recorded personal best times of 4:07 for the mile, a time bettered by only a handful of Rocklanders, and 8:50 for the two mile, second-fastest ever by a Rockland collegian. He also ran a 3:49 leadoff leg (about a 4:07 mile equivalent) on Fordham's third-place 4x1,500-meter relay at the 1976 Penn Relays. Fordham's time surpassed the existing national record.
At Albertus Magnus High School, he ran cross country, indoor track and outdoor track and field. In cross country, he captured the New York State Intersectional Class B championship and won his division in the Eastern States Championships in 1972, set eight course records, and captured the Rockland County meet. In 1971, he led Albertus to the Rockland Public School Athletic League title with Neil Coleman and Steve Maloney, and was first-team All-County both years.
In indoor track, he was the Section 9 mile and two-mile champ in 1973 and also won the Cardinal Hayes Games two-mile. In spring track, he was the Rockland County mile champion two straight years; first-team All-County in the mile run and two-mile relay in 1972 and in the mile in 1973; the Section 9 Class B two mile and State Qualifier mile titlist in '73; undefeated in dual meets in '73; and runner-up in the two mile at the prestigious Penn Relays, losing only to a top runner from Virginia.
McNiff ran several high-quality marathons in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the 1981 New York City Marathon, he clocked 2 hours 24 minutes 11 seconds, the second-fastest 26.2-miler ever by a Rocklander.
McNiff is a Rockland County native and local running legend. He is a member of the Rockland County Track and Field Hall of Fam (2004), the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame (1998) and the Albertus Magnus High School Hall of Fame.
Mcniff spent 31 years as a NY State Senior Court Officer and retired in 2010.