Bob MacFarlane enters his 11th year in charge of both the men’s and women’s running programs in 2021, and during that time the St. Bonaventure graduate has made vast improvements to both squads. Since his return to St. Bonaventure in 2010, both teams have enjoyed successful seasons and continue to improve year after year.
During his tenure he has coached two-time All-Conference runner Kerry Caher and guided the women's team to their first-ever Little Three Invitational championship in school history. He also led the women's team to a top 10 finish at the Paul Short Invitational which was the best finish in program history.
Eight of the Bonnies' top 10 all-time women's individual 5K cross country times have been turned in since MacFarlane took over the program while seven of the of the men's individual top-10 8K times in program history have come under his watch.
MacFarlane has grown the program not only in success but in number as well - he took over a pair of teams that had nine combined runners on the men's and women's teams, but over 40 runners have made up the program each season following the addition of men's and women's track teams in 2016.
In 2019, Bona's men's cross country team earned victory in Erie's Race in the Park while freshman Logan Caruso became the program's first student-athlete to take multiple Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors in the same season. Following the shortened 2020-21 season, sophomore Darion Gregory earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team for his efforts in competition and the classroom.
Academically, the Bonnies have enjoyed a wealth of success during MacFarlane's tenure. The men's cross country team was honored by the NCAA in Spring 2016 after ranking in the top 10 percent of the nation in Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the previous year. The women's cross country team posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.543 in 2015-16. In Spring 2017, the NCAA honored the women's cross country program for ranking in the top 10 percent of the nation in APR. The women's team took the NCAA APR honors again in Spring 2019.
In 2017, MacFarlane guided the rebirth of the men's and women's track programs as the Bonnies officially competed in track for the first time since 1990.
Before joining SBU in the summer of 2010, MacFarlane served as the head varsity girls cross country coach at the Bradford Area School District for seven years.
There he led the cross country team to a 66-4 dual meet record as well as five Pennsylvania District IX AAA titles and coached four individual district champions. MacFarlane coached five state qualifying teams and one state medalist.
MacFarlane served as the Bradford Area head girls track and field coach in 2008-09, but was the assistant coach for the girls’ team for 13 years prior. During his time at Bradford, he assisted the team to eight Pennsylvania District IX AAA Championships including a Pennsylvania State title in 1996. MacFarlane was also the distance coach for the Bradford Indoor Track and Field team for eight years.
In 2003-04, MacFarlane had the chance to be the head coach for Team New York/Pennsylvania when they traveled to Australia for international meets. Under his direction, the 2003 team won the international title.
MacFarlane is retired from the Bradford (Pa.) School District after teaching social studies for 34 years. He also retired from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford after 10 years in which he taught world regional geography and methods of social studies teaching. MacFarlane took an early retirement from both positions to concentrate on his coaching duties at St. Bonaventure.
He graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary and secondary education with a concentration in history from St. Bonaventure in 1977 and also received his master’s of education from St. Bonaventure. MacFarlane’s daughter, Heather, resides in New York City and his son, Kyle, lives in Los Angeles.