He started running when he was seven years old and finished an eight mile race at the age of eight.
“That was my introduction to running,” Coach Sean Livingston said.
Livingston coaches the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He has been coaching at RWU for the last 16 years. He started off coaching at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Livingston was introduced to running by his family. His siblings all ran at some point while he was growing up. His dad also coached him in high school. Once he graduated, he began running at Ithaca College in upstate New York. He received the head coaching position at RWU in 2004.
Coach Livingston is the coach of four programs at RWU. At times, he said it can be challenging.
“The behind scenes stuff that a head coach has to handle and deal with can be a lot, but then you are talking about four programs," Livingston said.
"You are dealing with a bunch of different things. Recruiting, scheduling, administrative stuff, on top of having to oversee 60 to 70 kids academically and athletically can be a lot."
Even though he admits the job can bring on a lot, he would not have it any other way.
“He has been a huge leader and support to all the teams,” said junior runner Tyler Marchioni.
“He knows exactly what he is doing because he has been doing this for years. He has helped guide everyone to each person’s individual success, which has helped to make the team successful.”
Lauren Donovan, a senior on the Women's Cross Country team, believes he has helped with more than just running.
“He is the one that pushes us to work hard and dedicate a few hours a day to improving our running, but also [our] mindset[s],” Donovan said.
Livingston does not have a set coach philosophy, but there are a few key things he believes are beneficial to running.
“Work ethic is really important — attitude, effort. We work hard, but we are smart,” Livingston said.
Livingston focuses on individualizing each practice for what each player needs. This is because he understands each runner is different.
Livingston is focused on working hard during practice, but he also makes sure runners have fun with the sport.
“Coach Sean as well as my teammates are the reason why I have stuck with Cross Country for the past four years," Donovan said.
"Many student athletes end up quitting due to the poor relationship that they may have with their coach. However, this is the complete opposite for me. Having an encouraging and supportive coach for the past four years is what has not only made me improve as a running but as a person."
Senior Chris Chipchak, who runs on the Men's Cross Country and Track and Field teams, would agree.
Livingston reflected on why he enjoys coaching.
“I have been running for a long time and I know it helped me with other things in life. Some of my best friends I’ve met though running, my wife I met though running, my daughters both run. It is not just about having to run to enjoy things, but I think it helps you get through other things.”
His main hope is that runners leave RWU with their passion for running after they graduate and then choose to continue running. He said the sport is about more than just its results.
“It's about relationships you make with coaches and teammates. I want [the team] to look back and have a positive experience and remember what they accomplished,” Livingston said.