Larry Wieczorek: In It For the Long Run

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s been nearly 10 years since Larry Wieczorek (72BS) retired as the University of Iowa’s cross country and track and field program director. Even though he’s hung up his stopwatch and whistle, he has not forgotten the fond memories and the countless student-athletes that he worked with during his career.

“I still think about coaching and the athletes, but I never felt that I should be back there doing it,” says Wieczorek. “When I go to a meet or watch an event on television, I still feel it as a coach. That’s still kind of fun for me. I still have the passion for the sport.”

That love for the sport gained roots in Iowa City.

Growing up in the west Chicago suburb of Maywood, Illinois, Wieczorek didn’t compete in his first race until he was a sophomore in high school.

“I loved every sport, so I played everything,” says Wieczorek. “But I kept moving further and further down the bench. I went out for cross and track my sophomore year in high school, and I found out that I could run.”

What followed was back-to-back Illinois high school state championships in the one-mile run and a lot of attention from collegiate coaches throughout the Midwest.

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