BATON ROUGE – After more than 20 years in service of the LSU Track & Field program as both a student-athlete and coach, it was announced Tuesday that Mark Elliott has resigned his position as assistant head coach of the program and has been named the new director of track and field at Clemson University.
Elliott has been instrumental in the rise of LSU Track & Field as the most decorated combined program in the history of collegiate track and field as he has played a role in LSU capturing 21 national championships and 18 SEC championships since first joining the squad for the 1989 season as one of the NCAA’s premier distance runners.
Following his two-year collegiate career from 1989-90, Elliott served as an assistant coach at LSU from 1993-2005 before being named the team’s assistant head coach in 2006.
Elliott coached the Tigers and Lady Tigers to six NCAA event titles, 22 SEC event titles, 37 All-America honors and 12 current school records while leading LSU’s middle distance and distance group.
“I appreciate being a part of the LSU family for so long. As a student and as a coach, I’ve always been committed to this great program and what we’ve worked to achieve these many years,” Elliott said. “An ambition of mine has always been to one day be a head coach of a Division I program. I now have that opportunity at Clemson University. It’s difficult for me to leave LSU, a program that I will always love and cherish. But I now look forward to a new challenge of leading a great program at Clemson.”
Elliott has been appointed the new director of track and field at Clemson University following a historic 2013 season in which LSU’s middle distance and distance runners were among the team leaders once again.
Junior Natoya Goule became the first Lady Tiger in program history to sweep NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor championships in the women’s 800-meter run as the nation’s premier middle distance runner in 2013. She set school records of 2:02.00 to win the NCAA Indoor title and 2:00.06 to win the NCAA Outdoor title to become LSU’s fourth national champion in the 800 meters in program history.
Goule has since become the first Lady Tiger to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters by dropping her school record to 1:59.93 at the Jamaican Senior Championships in Kingston on June 22 with Elliott coaching her to a berth on Team Jamaica for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics to be held in Moscow, Russia, later this summer.
Goule is now the fifth Lady Tiger national champion that Elliott has coached in the women’s 800 meters, joining the likes of NCAA Indoor champions Marian Burnett (2002) and LaTavia Thomas (2008) and NCAA Outdoor champions Claudine Williams (1999) and Neisha Bernard-Thomas (2004) during his tenure as one of the nation’s pre-eminent assistant coaches.
Lipsey also wrapped up her collegiate career in 2013 as one of the most decorated Lady Tigers in the 800 meters in program history as a three-time SEC champion and five-time All-American in the event.
Lipsey, who won back-to-back SEC Indoor titles during her junior and senior seasons and an SEC Outdoor crown a year ago, also won the NCAA Outdoor silver medal in 2012 and NCAA Indoor bronze medal in 2013 as an all-time great in the 800 meters for the Lady Tigers. She is also a former indoor school-record holder in the event during her collegiate career in Baton Rouge.
Carleton also enjoyed a historic senior season as a team leader in 2013 as she became the first Lady Tiger in program history crowned an SEC champion in a distance over 3,000 meters.
Carleton was crowned the SEC Indoor champion in the 5,000 meters this season before advancing to the national finals in the event at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in her final race as a Lady Tiger to wrap up the outdoor season. Carleton set three school records in the indoor and outdoor 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters to highlight the most decorated career by a Lady Tiger distance runner.
A four-time All-American in his own right during his collegiate career, Elliott was a catalyst in the Tigers winning back-to-back NCAA Outdoor team championships during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He also led the Tigers to a sweep of SEC Indoor and SEC Outdoor team titles in each of his two collegiate seasons with the program.
“We certainly want to wish Mark the best of luck as he leads a great program at Clemson University,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “He has made a tremendous impact on our program as both an athlete and as a coach while helping to build the most successful combined program in track and field in more than 20 years of service to this great University.
“We believe that Mark has the knowledge and experience necessary to continue building the men’s and women’s programs at Clemson that have already enjoyed great success in recent years.”