Nebraska assistant track and field coach Mark Colligan, 47, was found unresponsive in his hotel room early Wednesday afternoon. Colligan passed away while in Des Moines with the Huskers for the NCAA Championships.
Colligan has been on the Nebraska coaching staff since 1987 and served as the Huskers’ throws coach. He has coached five individuals who have won a combined 12 national championships and he has coached a total of 74 Big 12 Conference champions.
Colligan joined the Nebraska coaching staff after an outstanding career for the Huskers. He lettered twice and received the squad’s most-improved athlete award in 1983 and 1986. As a senior in 1986, Colligan was voted team captain and won the Big Eight outdoor shot put crown with a mark of 63-2 3/4. He also qualified for the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships as a senior.
A 1986 graduate of Nebraska, Colligan earned his degree in business administration. He is survived by his wife Jean, daughter, Jessica, and two sons, Max and Sam.
Statement from Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne
“We are very saddened to hear of Mark Colligan’s unexpected death. He has been taken from us at far too young of an age. We are very aware of the needs of his family at this most difficult time, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Mark was a fine student-athlete for us here at Nebraska and he has done an outstanding job coaching our throws events, including numerous conference and NCAA champions.”
Statement from Nebraska Track and Field Coach Gary Pepin
“The Nebraska track and field family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our Throws Coach Mark Colligan. Mark has been a part of our program as an athlete and a coach for over 25 years and it has been a pleasure to have him has both a colleague and friend. Mark was a vital member in the success of our program and he will be missed both on and off the track. Our thoughts go out to his wife and children and we ask the Husker family to keep them in their thoughts."