Jim McIlwain

Jim McIlwain

Orange Coast College’s Track and Field Complex will have a new name after a ceremony dedicating the facility to Hall of Famer Jim McIlwain on Friday.

McIlwain was an instrumental part in creating a women’s track and field program at OCC, the second school in the state to create such a program. It was also the first in California to create a women’s cross country team.

“Maybe it’s because we were among the first to establish women’s teams, but our women’s programs on this campus — in all sports — have consistently been among the best in the state. I’m proud of that,” McIlwain said in a 2005 Orange Slices article. 

After one season as an assistant coach, McIlwain coached the cross country team for 10 years and the track and field teams for 12 years.

McIlwain is the founder of the Southwestern Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. In 1984 McIlwain was selected as the Coast Community College District’s Innovator of the Year following his work in establishing OCC’s nationally recognized Sports Medicine Center. He started the Exercise Science and Sports Medicine laboratories in 1977.

In 1987 he was named the athletic director and dean of the Health and Physical Education division, a job he held for four years.

After over 40 years of service at OCC, McIlwain was inducted into the OCC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

McIlwain’s effect on OCC spanned outside of athletics on campus.

From 1991 to 2004 McIlwain was vice president of Administrative Services. After the retirement of President David A. Grant, McIlwain served as interim president in 1995. He stayed president until July 1996 when the full-time president took office.

“I will always remember the joy I experienced coaching so many wonderful athletes over the years,” McIlwain said. “For 40 years I was fortunate to have the support and friendship of the people of Orange Coast College and the Coast Community College District.  I cannot think of a better place to have spent my professional career.”

The dedication will be held at Friday at 10:45 a.m. at the 2019 Coast Classic Invitational.

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