Hopedale’s Track, Cross-country Coach

Maguire’s Focus & Approach Make Him A Dynamic Leader
Issue Date: 
October, 2017
Article Body: 

Tim Maguire is a coach for all seasons and he’s also a coach for all the right reasons.
The 31-year-old Maguire is Hopedale High’s girls varsity coach in cross-country and outdoor track and he’s the head coach of both the boys and girls indoor track squads. During his seven years in each of the three venues, Maguire has guided the cross-country contingent to one Dual Valley Conference crown and the boys indoor team to four league titles and one district championship.
The cross-country team, which was league champs in 2015, came close to registering three straight DVC crowns. They came up a point short in 2014 and 2016.
Maguire’s success is quite apparent but what’s more telling is his approach to coaching, the objectives he sets and the positive atmosphere he creates.
A biology teacher in the classroom, Maguire strives diligently to also be a teacher when he’s coaching.
“It’s imperative to show kids what they must understand and what’s needed to improve,’’ he emphasized. “I strive to help them develop skills and technique. Cross-country and track don’t always involve strategy. Skills are needed for distance running, hurdles, jumping and field events. I also try to be consistent each day by being prepared, executing a plan and leading by example. I’m easy-going but I want our competitors to be focused and to develop mental toughness.’’
Winning might define Maguire’s teams but it’s not what defines his style. His philosophy of coaching is all about reaching one’s potential.
“Seeing kids improve is so important,’’ said the native of Barrington, R.I. “I stress realizing one’s potential and that includes being the best they can be and also being a good leader and a good teammate. I don’t ever want our participants to put limits on themselves.’’
Maguire is acutely aware that athletics teach life lessons and he’s genuinely pleased when members of his squads overcome adversity, set goals, and assume responsibility.
“I emphasize things like accountability, leadership and time management,’’ he noted. “It’s a plus when a competitor is responsible and dedicated to the team. I also stress positive thinking. Kids often think about failure. I tell them to be flexible with their mind. It’s good to set goals but be flexible to reset your goals if you don’t reach them.’’
Maguire disagrees with those who view track as a lonely sport. He regards it as isolated.
“It’s fulfilling to know that you’re in complete control of the effort you’re going to give,’’ he emphasized. “Others can’t influence what you’re achieving. It’s you, and only you, who can push yourself physically.’’
Maguire, who ran track and cross-country at Barrington High and Colby College, likes the dual-pronged nature of those sports. “Track, especially, is unique because an individual can achieve success, and by doing so, is also scoring points for the team. One can fulfill his or her goals and also enjoy working towards a common goal for the team.’’
Maguire often gets candidates who use track or cross-country to sharpen their skills for another sport. He views that as okay because “there’s nothing wrong with improving oneself.’’
“A lot of kids do it but I encourage them to enjoy track for what it is,’’ he said. “I’m glad it can help them in some area for another sport. I admire kids who want to improve.’’
When assembling a roster, Maguire looks for specific attributes that will eventually enhance a team’s success and its chemistry.
“Mental toughness is No. 1,’’ he emphasized. “It’s needed to perform effectively and consistently. Mental toughness also helps to become a good role model and a good leader. Other attributes that matter are responsibility and accountability. And, I look for athletes who are skilled, know technique and possess speed and quickness.’’
Now in his eighth year of coaching, Maguire has no problem rating his favorite triumph. It came in 2014 with the girls cross-country team. “We finished third in the districts and that qualified us for the state tourney,’’ he said. “I was proud of our achievement because we had worked hard to improve. We finished 12th in the states that year and in 2015, we were second in the districts and 7th in the states.’’
Maguire was a capable runner in high school but he improved in college. He was solid in the steeplechase, posting a personal best of 9:45 for an event that is 3,000 meters and includes 28 hurdles and seven water hazards. He was a captain at Colby and also competed in the New England Outdoor Championships.
After graduating with a major in biology and a minor in education, Maguire spent a year substituting at the high school level in Maine. In 2009, he joined the faculty at Hopedale. Closing in on a masters degree from Bridgewater State, Maguire and his wife Abbie reside in Providence.
Working with veteran coach Joe Drugan, Maguire labels him as “a mentor who taught me the art of coaching.’’
“Joe is the boys varsity cross-country and outdoor coach and an assistant indoors,’’ Maguire said. “He’s got great passion and he’s a terrific motivator.’’
This fall’s cross-country team is off to a good start, beating Douglas in its opening meet. Maguire is optimistic his squad can compete for the DVC title, finish 1-3 in the districts and qualify for the states.
“Five of our top seven runners are returnees,’’ he noted. “They’re Isabelle Doran, Michaela Casey, Carrie Maurais, Hailey Cote, and Erin McCarthy. They’re good leaders and high-caliber runners. Also, freshman Katelyn Brunt is back. She’s been running for us since Grade 7.’’
Athletic Director Bill Gaine offered his view on Maguire’s value to Hopedale’s coaching staff.
“Tim Maguire coaches three seasons in sports that have the largest numbers,’’ Gaine said. “Similar to coach (Joe) Drugan, there aren’t many high school coaches that dedicate more time to the most amount of kids. In addition, coach Maguire teaches a full-load of classes and remains a competitive marathon runner. We’re lucky to have someone so passionate about teaching our kids about discipline, work ethic, and a healthy lifestyle.’’