Ed Eyestone: Mormon Athlete
Edward D. Eyestone is a long-distance runner and two-time Olympic marathoner. He was inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor in March 2014. He had been named WCC Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2013.
Eyestone was born on June 15, 1961, in American Samoa. In his hometown of Washington Terrace, Utah, Eyestone was the Utah State High School State Champion in cross-country and track and field.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s degree in exercise science, both from Brigham Young University. Eyestone became a 10-time NCAA All-American. In 1984, he was undefeated in NCAA cross-country events. He is one of only three runners to capture the NCAA “Triple Crown” by becoming the 1985 NCAA champion in cross-country, 5,000 meters, and 10,000 meters. In 1985, he set a then-NCAA record in the 10,000 meters with a time of 27:41:05. He finished his collegiate career with four NCAA championships and set the school record in the 10,000 meter, 5,000 meter, 3,000 meter, and 2 mile races. He was also an Academic All-American.
Post-college, Eyestone became a professional runner and was a five-time U.S. Road Racer of the Year. He is the last American, and only American since 1981, to win what is considered the world’s largest footrace, the San Francisco Bay to Breakers 12KM race. Eyestone began running in 1974 at the age of 13 and continued racing until 2000, at the age of 39. His personal best marathon is 2:10:59 and his personal best 10,000 meters is 27:40. He placed 29th with 2:19:09 in the 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympic Marathon, and13th with 2:15:23 in the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Olympic Marathon. He was one of the U.S. top American marathoners for nine years and among the top 10,000-meter runners for eight. A shoe contract with Reebok provided him financial stability to pursue the sport professionally.
Even while competing in college, he had his eye on coaching eventually, and prepared for it by obtaining his master’s degree and learning from coaches and other runners. He was an assistant coach at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, under distance coach Chick Hislop. He joined the BYU coaching staff in 2000 where he was men’s track assistant coach until 2013. He was named track and field head coach at Brigham Young University in 2013. He is also cross-country head coach. He is known for his personalized training of his athletes. Under his leadership, BYU has qualified for the NCAA cross-country championships every year, where they have finished in the top twenty-five each time. He has coached thirty-four All-Americans and has guided BYU to nine conference titles and eleven top three finishes in the Mountain Region Championships. The 2019 DI Men’s NCAA Cross Country championship win for BYU made Eyestone the first person to win and coach a national cross country championship in the history of the collegiate sport.
Eyestone is a distance and road-racing expert. He wrote a column for Runner's World magazine for about ten years and was a television commentator for ESPN and for Fox Sports Elite Racing. He served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of track and field and race walking for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Eyestone is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of six daughters.