Tradition Never Graduates in Coach Stewart’s Office

The+shelf+that%27s+home+to++valued+plaques+and+pictures+of+some+of+the+greatest+runners+to+come+through+McQuaid.+

Connor Kerr, '21

The shelf that’s home to valued plaques and pictures of some of the greatest runners to come through McQuaid.

Coach Todd Stewart’s office has been the “running headquarters” for the McQuaid Knights Cross Country and Track teams since the mid-nineties. From coaches to athletes, it’s become a place of tradition and excellence. 

What we know as Coach Stewart’s office has more history than any other place in the school. This same office began as the school bookstore and was managed by Coach Dave Warth in the early 90s. Then, around 1995, Coach Bob Bradley turned the bookstore into the office we know today and for a good reason.

The McQuaid Invitational had become one of the most prominent cross country meets in New York and the northeast. Every runner wanted to say they ran in the McQuaid Invitational. It had gotten so large that head coach Bob Bradley needed a landline for the hundreds of schools that were communicating with him. 

It would be 2005 when Coach Stewart moved into the legendary office space after Coach Bradley retired. Both Coaches were people of tradition. Littered along the walls and shelves are hundreds of articles, pictures, medals, ribbons, trophies, and plaques. All from national caliber teams, individuals, and relay squads. Many of these athletes were All-American athletes in high school and some even went on to compete in the Olympic trials. 

A McQuaid Jesuit flag signed by the 2009 cross country sectional championship team. It was the first time in 16 years since McQuaid had won.

“I’ve been in here now for 15 years. I love this place, I call this office home. I’m here more than I am at home,” says Coach Stewart as he chuckles. 

The office has become home for hundreds of athletes through the years. It’s the unofficial team headquarters. Athletes come in and talk about everything. Whether it’s school or the lows and highs of life or about running. It’s also a place where students can take a moment to relax during a stressful day. 

“I love watching kid’s coming in. It’s a vault of emotions, it’s a vault of excellence, this is one of the coolest places in all of McQuaid Jesuit,” says Coach Stewart.

Some could argue that their running career started in this office. Many come in as a soccer player or hockey player, and come out as a sectional champion in a whole new sport. Something that’s happened to alumni like Mike Tripp, Nick Ciolkowski, and Abel Hagos who were all national caliber athletes. 

Jacob Anderson, ‘22 says, “I’ve known Coach Stew for 6 years, he’s known me longer. My running career exists partly in that office.” 

There’s no doubt that this office holds a special place in the hearts of hundreds of people. It’s the mecca of all things running related. It’s the vault of emotions and the vault of excellence. A tradition that will never graduate.