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Track and field head coach Jill Lancaster resigns

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Thomas Gleaton

Copy editor 

An era of Troy University sports ended this past June, when track and field coach Jill Lancaster resigned her position.

Athletic Director John Hartwell announced her immediate departure, citing “family medical concerns.”

“We will begin a national search immediately for the next coach to lead our track and field and cross country programs,” Hartwell said.

Lancaster began her career as an assistant at her alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. She then moved to Kansas, Toledo and Kansas State, before returning to Oklahoma to become the co-head coach.

Lancaster worked for nine years with Troy’s program and seven as head coach. She led the Trojans to several NCAA First Round Championships.

Since Lancaster took over as head of both programs, seven Trojans have earned All-American honors. One student-athlete, Nicola Bolla, set a Sun Belt record in the hammer throw in 2013.

Lancaster’s legacy is the most successful tenure since Troy’s move to Division I. This leaves a high benchmark for the next coach.

Six weeks later, the search ended. Yale University coach Marc Davis was hired for Lancaster’s position.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Marc to the Troy Family, as his results over a decade and a half at Yale speak for themselves,” Hartwell said. “His enthusiasm is contagious and his vision for the future of the Troy track & field and cross country programs is one every Trojan can be excited about.”

Davis graduated from Lafayette College in 1995, where he ran under Coach David Shoehalter, who is the current coach at Yale. He was a two-time Patriot League champion sprinter. His coaching career began when he joined the staff at his alma mater in 1995.

Davis also worked as an assistant at Millersville University, starting in January 1997. Some of his Marauder runners went to the NCAA Division II Championships.

Davis joined Yale in 2000, and he became the head coach of the men’s track program in 2011. There, he worked with his Lafayette coach and led Bulldogs to Ivy League Championships in relay and sprint events. Under the guidance of both Davis and Shoehalter, many runners set school records in multiple events.

 “Marc has competed and coached at the highest level in collegiate athletics and he will be a great asset to this athletics department,” Hartwell said.

Currently, Davis serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

 “I’m ready to get down to Troy and start working,” Davis said. “We have an outstanding returning nucleus of student-athletes and I’m excited about the future of the Troy track & field and cross country programs. There are a lot of talented athletes in the South and I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to coach in this part of the country.”