WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Department of Athletics and cross country program mourns the loss of former head cross country coach and alumna Emily MacEwen, who passed away peacefully last week following a brave and courageous battle with cancer. MacEwen, 29, of Colchester, guided the USJ cross country program for four seasons from 2013-2016 and earned her master's degree in school counseling from USJ in 2016.
MacEwen was a standout runner in both cross country and track and field at Division I Monmouth University (N.J.) before taking over the reigns as head coach of the USJ cross country program in the fall of 2013. MacEwen earned a number of all-conference honors as a Hawk, won numerous relay championships and was part of team championships every year of her career as a student-athlete. She graduated from Monmouth in 2013 with a degree in psychology and collected multiple All-Northeast Conference Academic team honors.
MacEwen helped Monmouth win six combined indoor and outdoor track and field team championships from 2010-13. Individually, she was a 2010 Second Team All-NEC selection as part of the 4x800m relay, a 2011 NEC Indoor Champion in the distance medley relay, 2011 and 2012 NEC Outdoor Champion in the 4x800m relay, 2012 Second Team All-NEC in the 800m and distance medley relay, and 2012 All-East in the 4x800m relay. Along with teammates Amanda Eller, Lindsay Walsh and Christina Nelson, MacEwen is the OceanFirst Bank Center facility record holder from 2011 in the distance medley relay.
As a senior in 2013, MacEwen led off the distance medley relay team that set a new indoor school record of 11:44.56. In addition, MacEwan was part of a 4x800m relay that set a new school record of 9:01 at the Penn Relays and earned Monmouth its first top-ten finish in the event. She led off the winning distance medley relay team at the NEC Indoor Championships in 2013, helping the Monmouth women repeat as team champions and was a key part of the victorious 4x800m team at the 2013 NEC Outdoor Championships where the women won their fifth straight NEC team title.
Following graduation from Monmouth, MacEwen returned back home to Connecticut and was hired to lead the USJ cross country program in the fall of 2013, while starting her master's degree in school counseling at USJ. The Blue Jays saw continued success year-over-year as a team under MacEwen's tutelage. At the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships, USJ placed 11th in 2013, seventh in 2014, sixth in 2015, and fourth in 2016. The fourth place finish, in what would be MacEwen's final season, marked the highest team result for the Blue Jays since USJ placed third at the 2000 GNAC Championships.
MacEwen also coached the most decorated cross country runner in USJ history Kaneen Gomez-Hixson. Under MacEwen's guidence, Gomez-Hixon became just the second USJ runner to win the GNAC Championships, claiming the gold medal twice (2015, 2016). Only two other runners in GNAC history have ever won the GNAC Championships more than once. Gomez-Hixson concluded her career a three-time First Team All-GNAC runner.
After departing from USJ, MacEwen was an Interim School Counselor down the road at West Hartford's Hall High School from December 2016 to June 2017 before transitioning to Voluntown Elementary School as a School Counselor in August 2017. She loved her job and was passionate for the children that she was entrusted to guide.
A celebration of Emily's life at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in recognition of the excellent care they provided her. Please send in memory of Emily MacEwen, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Office of Development, P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY 10087.
If anyone has any photos of or with Emily that they would like to share in the photo gallery above to help celebrate her life, please email them to Assistant Athletic Director Josh Ingham at email@example.com.