SWEET BRIAR, Va. — Sweet Briar College has hired Jacob Smith, most recently an assistant cross country/track and field coach at Coe College, as its head cross country and strength and conditioning coach. Prior to his time at Coe, Smith was the assistant cross country/track and field coach at Christopher Newport University.
“Coach Smith has a proven record with developing runners and maximizing performance,” said Jodi Canfield, athletics director at Sweet Briar. “He has the opportunity to use our wonderful campus as a training ground for his runners. In addition to his coaching experience in cross-country, his knowledge and expertise in the area of strength and conditioning will be a valuable asset for all our teams.”
Smith said he is excited to join the Sweet Briar community. “I am grateful that Dr. Canfield and the search committee chose me to lead the cross county program and continue to build a strength and conditioning program for the entire athletics department. It will be a privilege to support all the Vixen student-athletes and coaches.”
Smith joined the Coe coaching staff prior to the 2018 track and field season, following a two-year stint at Christopher Newport. At Christopher Newport, Smith created and implemented running and strength programs for distance and middle-distance runners, while assisting in recruiting efforts for the cross country and track and field programs.
The Captains finished third at the 2017 NCAA Championships in men’s cross country, while the women qualified for nationals in 2015.
In addition to coaching at Coe and Christopher Newport, Smith coached for two seasons at SUNY-Cortland and one season at Bowling Green State University.
During his time at SUNY-Cortland, the Red Dragons finished earned a national championship in men’s cross country during the 2009 season and in 2007, the men’s outdoor track and field program finished second in the nation. SUNY-Cortland distance and middle-distance runners earned 14 All-American honors during Smith’s time with the Red Dragons.
Beyond collegiate coaching, Smith spent four years at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., coaching professional triathletes, including 2016 Olympic gold-medalist, Gwen Jorgensen, as well as Olympians Sarah Haskins, Katie Zaferes, Sarah True, Hunter Kemper and Greg Billington.
Smith received his Master of Science in exercise science in 2009 and his Bachelor of Science in exercise science and psychology from Bowling Green State in 2006. Smith competed as a distance runner at Bowling Green State and also served six years in the United States Air Force, including two tours of active duty.