Thundering Herd Men Finish inside the Top-10 at UNC Charlotte
Jeff Small will enter 2012-13 for his 15th season as the head cross country and track and field coach at Marshall University.
Under the leadership of Small, Marshall has enjoyed championship success, most notably in 2003 when Erin Compton won first place in the discus throw at the Mid American Conference Championship. Compton's performance qualified her for the NCAA Championships, where she then went on to place eighth.
More recently, Matt Schiffbauer became the first Herd cross country runner to participate in the NCAA Championships since 1979 after placing tenth at the 2011 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional by a mere .1 seconds. Star track athlete Elaine Derricott also made her mark on the championship stage, placing first in the C-USA Outdoor Heptathlon back in the spring of 2011.
Marshall began capturing MAC Championships back in 1999 when Tara Lee became Marshall's first MAC Champion by winning the 60-meter hurdles at the indoor meet. In 2000, James Kneeland won the 800-meter at the Indoor Championships and B.J. Epps won the 400-meter hurdles at the outdoor meet to become Marshall's second and third MAC Champions. In 2001, Casey Batey and Erin Compton brought championship success to Marshall by winning the 3000-meter steeplechase and the discus throw, respectively, and in 2002, Casey Batey won his second MAC Championship by winning the 3000-meter steeplechase. Batey also became Marshall's first NCAA qualifier since since rejoining the MAC in 1997.
In 1997, before rejoing the MAC, Small led Marshall's men's team to its first Southern Conference Indoor Championship. He was named Southern Conference Indoor Coach of the Year for his efforts, and future NFL All-Pro receiver, Randy Moss, was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year after winning the 55-meter and 200-meter and setting four school records in four races (preliminaries and finals).
In Small's first year at Marshall, the men produced eight All-Southern Conference performances to finish third at the Southern Conference Indoor Championships, the Herd's highest finish since 1988. Marshall had seven athletes earn All-Southern Conference honors during the outdoor season.
Before coming to Marshall, Small was the Assistant Men's and Women's Track & Field Coach and Head Cross Country Coach for the University of South Carolina. From 1989-1995, Small coached one NCAA qualifier, five All-Region, four All-SEC and 15 All-Metro Conference runners in cross country.
Small began his coaching career as the Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach at the Florida Institute of Technology from 1985-1988. While there, Small led the Panthers to two men's and women's Sunshine State Conference Championships.
The accomplishments of Small's athletes are not limited to on the track, as they are also successful in the classroom. Since Small's arrival at Marshall, the women's team has led all women's teams once and surpassed the average for all women's athletes on four occasions while earning a team GPA of 3.0 or higher three times.
Small's familiarity with success stems from his background as an athlete. He competed at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo where he lettered four years in track and three years in cross country. He was a member of the 1978 and 1979 Division II National Championship cross country teams and the 1979 and 1980 Division II National Championship track and field teams. Small was a three-time NCAA Division II qualifier in the 3000-meter Steeplechase and an All-American in 1979, finishing third. In 1979, he was the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Champion in the Steeplechase. Small graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1981.
Small earned his USA Track & Field Level I Certification in 1994. He is a member of the United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA), the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association (WICCA), and the United States Cross Country Coaches Association (USCCA).
He is married to the former LeeAnne Shaver of Melbourne, Fla. They have two children, Nicholas (26) and Summer (18). He is the son of Richard and Beverly Small, has two brothers, Steve and Mike, and a sister, Marsha. Small was born April 10, 1958, in Harvey, Ill.