June 1, 2016
After a year that saw the Georgetown University men’s cross country team post a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships, a relay team capture a national championship and the track & field program win two wheels at the Penn Relays, Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced today that Michael Smith has been named the Director of the men’s and women’s track & field / cross country program.
Smith, who came to the Hilltop as the head coach of the women’s cross country team and as an assistant coach with the track & field program, continued Georgetown’s stellar 2015-16 season this past weekend, with nine student-athletes qualifying for the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships, to be held at historic Heyward Field in Eugene, Ore. next week.
“I’m very excited to have Mike as the director of our track & field program,” Reed said. “He has proven to be one of the top mentors for collegiate runners in the country and his experience and knowledge will help Georgetown’s program remain among the elite in the country.”
Since taking over the program, the Georgetown track & field program has seen tremendous success as the women captured the distance medley relay (DMR) title at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. It was the third DMR title in program history. The women then went on to achieve a feat only three other schools in NCAA history have accomplished as they completed the DMR double, winning the NCAA indoor title and the Penn Relays outdoor championship in the same year. The Hoyas took home two wheels from the 2016 Penn Relays, just the second time in program history the Blue & Gray has won two wheels on the women’s side at the world’s oldest and largest track & field meet.
In his first year, the men’s cross country turned in a 10th-place showing at the 2015 NCAA Championships, the best team finish since 2008. The GU men were led by Jonathan Green, who finished fifth – the best individual finish for a Hoya since 2000.
Smith, a former All-America runner for the Hoyas, was added to the Georgetown staff in September 2012 and worked primarily with the Hoya women’s middle distance and distance runners before being elevated to the role of director of track & field and cross country. In just three years, Smith guided 11 student-athletes to 35 All-America honors, including three-consecutive years of podium finishes in the women’s indoor distance medley relay (DMR).
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead a program at an institution that I care a great deal about,” Smith said. “Having gone to school at Georgetown and been a member of the team as an undergraduate, I have a full understanding of the tradition of success the track & field program has had here. I look forward to the challenge and am excited to keep Georgetown track & field and cross country among the best in the country.”
Smith continued the excellent tradition of the women’s cross country program in the 2014 season. The Hoyas won both the BIG EAST Conference Championship as well as the Mid-Atlantic Region title, a feat the team had not accomplished since the 2001 season. Additionally, All-American Katrina Coogan had a superb cross country season, winning both individual titles at the BIG EAST and Mid-Atlantic Regional, something not accomplished by a Hoya student-athlete since 2007. The Hoyas ended the season with a podium finish at the NCAA Championships, taking fourth place overall. Coogan, Samantha Nadel and Andrea Keklak each earned All-America honors in the sport, the most since 2010 when five Hoyas earned the honor.
The indoor track & field season was highlighted by four athletes qualifying for the NCAA championships in individual events as well as a relay team. They entered the championships with the top time in the distance medley relay, with three of the four relay members competing in individual events. Coogan turned in her best performance in the women’s 3,000-meter run, clinching fourth place and earning All-America honors. The Blue & Gray finished seventh in the DMR, the seventh-consecutive podium finish for the Hoyas and the third-straight under Smith’s direction.
The outdoor season saw 10 women travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for the NCAA Track & Field Championships – East Preliminary. GU showcased its depth with competitors ranging from the 800m through the 10,000m, as three advanced to the finals site in Eugene, Ore.
The 2013-14 campaign was highlighted by a fifth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships, a season that included a win at Pre-Nationals and a second-place performance at the 2013 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Region Championships. Nine of his athletes were named all-conference while seven were tabbed all-region.
During the indoor season, the Hoya women achieved a multitude of accomplishments including setting a school record in the women’s distance medley relay (10:55.63) and the indoor mile (4:33.44) - the DMR time was also a facility and meet record at the famed Armory in New York City. All-American Sabrina Southerland set a school record and was a BIG EAST individual champion in the women’s 800-meter run. The indoor season culminated in Albuquerque, N.M., at the NCAA Championships where All-American Keklak broke on to the national scene with a fourth-place finish in the 800m. Coogan doubled up on her efforts, finishing fifth in the women’s 3,000m, while also anchoring the seventh-place women’s distance medley relay, earning the foursome a spot on the podium.
The outdoor season saw Smith guide 14 athletes to the East Preliminary of the NCAA Championships, with three moving on to the finals site in Eugene, Ore. Georgetown boasted the deepest 800m team in the country as four athletes qualified for the opening round of NCAAs. All-Americans Rachel Schneider and Chelsea Cox completed their careers on the Hilltop, qualifying for the finals site of the NCAA Championships in the 1,500m and 800m, respectively, all four years of eligibility.
Smith’s first season with the Hoyas was the 2012-13 campaign. In the fall, the Blue & Gray brought home the first BIG EAST Cross Country team championship since the 2001 season. GU finished 12th at the NCAA Cross Country Championship and six finished the season all-conference and five finished all-region. Cox set the school record for an 800-meter relay carry at the 2013 Penn Relays, splitting 2:01.7.
Smith arrived on the Hilltop from Flagstaff, Ariz., where he assisted physiologist Dr. Jack Daniels, often regarded as the “World’s Best Coach” from 2006-09 at the Center for High Altitude Training, a U.S. Olympic training site for long distance runners.
A former Hoya co-captain, Smith was an All-BIG EAST, All-Region and All-America cross country runner. He won the Mid-Atlantic Regional as well as earned All-America honors in 2002. With a marathon best of 2:19:43, Smith was a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon, competing in November 2007.
Smith is a 2002 graduate of Georgetown and a 2006 graduate of American University. He resides in Washington, D.C.