WASHINGTON - Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Patrick Henner announced Michael Smith as the new head women's cross country coach and assistant track & field coach today. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge in the sport and returns to his alma mater after a career of working with world-class athletes in the sport, specializing in long distance runners, specifically at high altitudes.
"We are very excited to name Mike Smith as the head women's cross country coach," Henner said. "Mike's experience as both an athlete, and as a coach of all ability levels, has prepared him well to lead our women's distance program. Under Mike's guidance the underlying principles and philosophy that has brought so much success for our women's track athletes over the past 25 years will not change. Mike will also bring in fresh new ideas gained from his experiences to move our women's program forward."
Smith, a former All-America runner for the Hoyas, joins the Georgetown staff, taking over as head women's cross country coach. Smith arrives 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.
"I can't imagine a better situation for Georgetown than to choose Mike Smith as a coach," Daniels said. "Flagstaff's loss is definitely Georgetown's gain, I believe Mike can be one of the most outstanding college coaches this country has seen."
Smith's work included overseeing the training and management of some of the country's most high-profile distance runners training at altitude. At the Center for High Altitude Training, Smith's duties included management of international training camps, funding of U.S. distance runners, as well as maintaining liaisons with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in operation of the Center's Community Olympic Development Program.
In 2009, Smith was named the elite athlete liaison for Hypo2 Sport Management, in Flagstaff, Ariz. Smith's work with Hypo2 saw the training camp management of 147 athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics. In the summer of 2012, Smith was chosen to work with the coaching staff of the Japanese Association of Athletic Federation's women's marathon team for the 2012 Olympic Games. While specializing in long distance runners, Smith's sport management work also covered the altitude training of the Australian Football League's Collingwood Magpies, Brisbane Lions, and Gold Coast Suns.
Smith was the founder, coach, and executive director of Team Run Flagstaff, a 501c3 non-profit organization providing community running programs to a membership of over 300. His coaching saw him work with runners of all levels, from beginner to professional. Smith's programs have been multiple recipients of the Flagstaff Community Foundation's Health and Human Services grants.
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. He was a member of Student-Athlete Advisory Council as well as the recipient of Rev. Edmund Bunn Memorial Award in 2003, an award that goes to the outstanding cross country runner at Georgetown.
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. He is a three-time winner of the 120-mile Gore Tex TransRockies Stage race, as well as the winner of the 2009 Trail Running World Master Race in Dortmund, Germany.
Smith is a 2002 graduate of Georgetown and a 2006 graduate of American University. He resides in Washington, D.C.