Will Palmer arrived on the Hilltop in September 2016 as an assistant coach with the Georgetown track & field / cross country program. Bringing more than five years of experience in the track & field coaching world, Palmer rounds out a talented staff as he will assist in all facets with the middle distance and distance athletes as well as program-wide recruiting efforts.
The Bethesda, Md., native returns to the DMV after a one-year stint as an assistant coach on the Western Kentucky track & field / cross country staff. He was responsible for the women’s cross country resurgence as the team turned in their best overall season in five years, finishing third at the Conference USA Championships and 14th at the NCAA Southeast Region meet. On the track, his middle distance and distance athletes scored valuable points to contribute to a pair of C-USA Team Championships (2016 men’s indoor and outdoor) and a pair of C-USA podium finishes (2nd – 2016 women’s indoor; 3rd – 2016 women’s outdoor). He also coached Endalow Takele to the men’s 10,000-meter title at the C-USA outdoor championships.
While working with the Hilltoppers, Palmer performed a number of duties, including: event coach for women’s cross country, event coach for men’s and women’s middle distance and distance, domestic and international recruiting for middle distance and distance as well as team travel. He also oversaw the academic performance of the distance and field event athletes and performed administrative tasks as WKU hosted the 2015 C-USA Cross Country Championships.
Prior to his time at Western Kentucky, Palmer spent two years as an assistant track & field / cross country coach at Iowa State University, working under Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Martin Smith and alongside Head Women’s Cross Country Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. During those two seasons (2013-15), the Cyclones captured a pair of Big 12 women’s cross country team championships, extending their streak to five years. Iowa State turned in a runner-up performance at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships, tying its best finish in program history. On the track, Palmer coached two women to four school-record performances in the 3,000-meter steeplechase during the outdoor season.
In addition to his coaching and recruiting duties with the Cyclones, Palmer was tasked with reenergizing the Iowa State Classic, now a premier indoor track meet on the NCAA circuit with high performance middle distance and distance races geared toward achieving NCAA-qualifying performances. In two years, 45 athletes who competed in Ames went on to race at the NCAA indoor track & field championships. In the process, 10 new meet and six new facility records were established. Palmer also helped host a trio of Big 12 Championships (2014 indoor, 2015 indoor, 2015 outdoor) and the 2013 NCAA Midwest Region Cross Country Championship.
Palmer got his start in the collegiate track & field in Norman, Okla., where he served as the director of operations for the University of Oklahoma track & field / cross country program for two seasons (2011-13). During his time with the Sooners, he worked for Martin Smith, who would go on to give him his first collegiate coaching job at Iowa State. At OU, he was responsible for coordinating team and recruiting travel, served as the home meet director and served as the team liaison with other offices within the athletics department.
Palmer made the most of his undergraduate experience while at Williams College, interning with both the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (summer 2010) and Team Indiana Elite (winter 2010), a professional distance running training group based in Bloomington. He was a four-year letterwinner on the men’s cross country and track & field. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in 2011.