Livingston Leads Runners to Success

Britney Dixon, Managing Editor

After winning a championship, you’d expect to be jumping up and down cheering with your teammates, but you might not anticipate your 48-year-old coach jumping higher than you.

As head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams, Sean Livingston of Barrington, R.I. has always put a main focus on being a motivator for his athletes. He and his staff bring energy to every meet to get their teams in the right mindset.

Livingston followed in his father’s footsteps and ran his first eight-mile race at 8 years old.

“I struggled, but I got through it,” Livingston said. “It was pretty cool actually.”

Road races became a family staple and led to Livingston starting cross country in middle school. His goal was always to be the best out of everyone in his grade.

Livingston went on to win the New Hampshire Cross Country Championships and also won the New England Track and Field Championships in the 3200 meter run.

In high school, he was coached by his father, but said that he never wanted to mix coaching life with his family life, so he stayed away from coaching his daughters, Abigail and Caroline.

Livingston continued to run competitively into his 30s, but began his coaching career at Barrington High School at 28 years old. He stayed there for six years until being offered a position at RWU as the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams in 2009.

His goal was to break four minutes in the mile. He got close at the age of 26 with a time of 4 minutes, 4.5 seconds.

“I was proud of myself for still getting faster after college,” Livingston said.

Livingston got his bachelor’s degree in history from Ithaca College, but was unsure whether he wanted to become a teacher or study law. He was a three-time All-American athletes and was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

He worked for eight years in a Rhode Island Social Security agency which gave him the perspective he needed to work with teens. It wasn’t until he started at RWU that he knew he wanted to coach full time until retirement.

Since Livingston has been at RWU, track and field has become a varsity sport and he has established a staff below him — his assistant coaches Renae and Chris Cicchinelli.

He has led 10 male Commonwealth Coast Conference Runners of the Year, seven male CCC Rookies of the Year, six female CCC Runners of the Year and three female CCC Rookies of the Year. Also in the conference, he coached 58 All-CCC male runners, 39 All-CCC female runners, the first All-Americans in RWU cross country history — Hannah Zydanowicz and Tim McGowen — and the first track and field athlete to reach NCAA Championships — Savannah Fox Tree-McGrath.

Livingston’s efforts have also led several teams to become CCC champions through his enthusiasm and dedication.

“I found the crossroads between running and coaching,” Livingston said. “And I love it.”