If you have participated or watched any prestigious cross country or track and field meets in California, Tim O'Rourke's (photo above courtesy of Sarah Reingewirtz) voice will be a most familiar one to you. California state cross country meet? Yup, that's him. California state track and field meet? Yup, that's him as well. Foot Locker National meet? Yup, that's him again. Mt. SAC Invitationals? You are right again.
If you just take Tim's announcing prowess alone, he would be worthy of being a California cross country and track and field legend but he was and still is much more than just an announcer. When Tim retired from teaching and was honored by the LA84 clinics, his friend and fellow coach Ken Reeves described Tim as a teacher, tech specialist, administrator, coach, meet director, camp coach, announcer, friend/mentor, worker, and TV personality (see below with photo courtesy of Foot Locker XC)!
Related Article: CA Coaching Legends, Ken Reeves.
Tim O'Rourke started coaching at his alma mater Arroyo HS in 1978. The year before Tim became the coach, Arroyo had forfeited every meet due to lack of athletes. In just three years, O'Rourke turned Arroyo into a league and state section power. From 1978 to 1998, Arroyo had a dual meet record of 139-7 (5 of those losses took place in his first year) including 14 straight years of undefeated dual meet teams as well as 15 varsity league titles. O'Rourke had a prominent role in the first California state cross country meet as you will see below. He was also named Gatorade National Cross Country Coach of the year in 1997 (photo below courtesy of Aron Taylor and XC Nation).
As a track and field coach, O'Rourke's teams posted a sterling dual meet record of 146-9. He was named California Track and Field coach of the year in 1997. He was inducted in the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame in 2000. In fact, O'Rourke has been inducted in 5 halls of fame!
Tim has also been a tireless clinician all over the state and has worked at the LA84 Clinic for over 20 years and thousands of coaches.
In 2015, O'Rourke (photo to left courtesy of Runner Workshop) received the Jim Brownfield Mentor Coach award and was introduced by coach Reeves.
"This year's winner, Tim O'Rourke of Arroyo High School in El Monte, would have made Jim proud. He is a Hall of Fame coach who daily gives back to the sport and the coaches of the sport. If you saw the movie McFarland USA, it is factual that McFarland won the state championship in 1987 in Division III. However, the first ever California State Championship team that year was Arroyo, coached by Tim O'Rourke. The Division 1 champs that year, their team time would have once again captured the D1 title this past year. Standing the test of time, the 1987 team ended up being ranked #1 in the Nation by Harrier Magazine and XC Nation. For his excellence as a cross-country coach, Tim was selected as the Gatorade National Coach of the Year in 1995 and the California State Track and Field Coach of the year in 1997. But Tim's legacy is not just about his excellence as a coach. He, like Jim Brownfield has motivated thousands of us to be better coaches. As the director of the LA84 Coaching Education program in both Cross-Country and Track and Field, his programs have impacted the sports, helping raise the level of the sport across the state. As a meet director, he is in charge of numerous meets, including the largest cross-country meet in the world, the Mt. Sac Invitational, where over 25,000 traverse the famed course in two days. As an announcer, there is none better. His great calls at the California State Cross-Country Meet and the California State Track and Field meet electrify and educate the crowds. A true icon in the state, Tim is known throughout the state as the ultimate educator, motivating all around him to step up. I am sure even tonight, with his brief time at the podium, he will find a way to mentor us. It is an hour to introduce the 2015 Jim Brownfield Award winner, Tim O'Rourke."