John Tucker is in his 23rd season directing his alma mater’s men’s cross country team, serving also as an assistant coach with the men’s and women’s track programs. He is a three-time USA Track & Field Level II certified coach.
Tucker has helped establish the cross country program into one of the best in the league and the region over his 22 years. W&L has won the league championship seven times and has placed second six other times in his time at the helm. W&L has also finished in the top eight in the region 15 of the last 22 seasons, including a first-place finish in 1995 to earn a trip to the NCAA Division III championships. Tucker was named the NCAA South Region Coach of the Year that year and has been named the ODAC Coach of the Year six times, including following the 2007 season. Tucker led the Generals to four-straight league titles from 2004-2007.
Tucker is a 1977 graduate of W&L, where he was a four-year track letterman and a two-year captain. The sprinter was a member of ODAC champion and school-record setting relay teams in 1976 and 1977. He also won the Forest Fletcher Trophy for overall excellence and sportsmanship his last two years.
Following graduation, Tucker served as an assistant track coach at neighboring Virginia Military Institute. In 1984, he became the head coach of track and cross country at Charlotte Country Day School, leading the school to two state and three conference championships before returning to his alma mater in 1989.
Tucker is still an active competitor at the master’s level, earning All-America honors in five different events and collecting four silver medals in USA Track & Field national competitions. In 2000, Tucker was the gold medalist at the USA Track & Field National Championships in the 50-54 pentathalon which includes the long jump, javelin, 200 meters, discus and 1,500 meters.
Tucker and his wife, Sandra, make their home in Rockbridge County.