NEW ORLEANS – The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) released its 2017 NCAA Division I Regional Awards this morning, with Northern Arizona's Director of TF/XC Mike Smith garnering the 2017 Mountain Region Women's "Coach of the Year" title.
The award is based on the accomplishments of the Lumberjack women during the 2017 outdoor track & field campaign while under Smith's tutelage. This spring, NAU won the 2017 Big Sky Conference Championship by nine points over second-place Montana as the team secured its second-consecutive outdoor conference title and 10th in program history. In total, the Lumberjacks boasted five conference champions and 11 All-Big Sky performances in Sacramento, Calif.
From there, eight Lumberjack women went onto compete in Austin, Texas, at NCAA West Regionals. While a number of the athletes made legitimate pushes for a spot at NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., later this week, hammer thrower Brooke Andersen nabbed the lone NAU ticket on the women's side.
This is the first such regional honor for Smith, who has also been awarded three of a possible four Big Sky Conference "Coach of the Year" titles since taking over the program in December.
Smith is assisted by the following coaches: Kenny McDaniel (sprints/hurdles), Nathan Ott (throws), Roderick Townsend (jumps), Becca DeLoache (mid-distance/distance), Jarred Cornfield (mid-distance/distance), Carl Caughell (sprints/hurdles) and Ty Butts (jumps).