Davidson restructures cross country and track and field program
DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Director of athletics Jim Murphy announced the restructuring of Davidson’s cross country and track and field program Thursday, naming longtime women’s head coach Jen Straub the director of men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, and adding Renny Waldron as the associate head coach of men’s cross country and track and field.
In the new arrangement, Straub will oversee Davidson’s entire cross country and track and field program, while continuing to focus on coaching the women’s cross country, distance and middle distance runners. Waldron, who recruited and coached Eric Jenkins at Northeastern, presently the fastest American runner at his age in the 5,000-meter run, will oversee the men’s side, while focusing on the cross country, distance and middle distance runners. Rory Carpenter, who has been an assistant men’s track and field coach the past two seasons at Davidson, will now work with both the men’s and women’s track and field athletes.
Davidson will add one more track and field assistant coach in August.
Since the early 1990s, Davidson operated with separate men’s and women’s cross country and track programs with separate head coaches. In the wake of Gary Andrew’s retirement as the head coach of the men’s program after nearly 29 successful years, effective at the end of this past season, Murphy elected to combine the two teams’ coaching staffs moving forward.
“The restructuring takes advantage of Coach Straub’s great experience and best utilizes our coaching resources for all of our track and field student-athletes,” Murphy said. “Jen has a great understanding of the type of athlete that can be successful at Davidson. I believe this will be an exciting change for our teams. We also hope to host a track meet in the near future on our new track surface.”
Waldron, a graduate of fellow Atlantic 10 member Massachusetts, served as the recruiting coordinator and assistant men’s cross country and track and field coach at Connecticut this past season, where he guided the cross country team to its highest conference championship finish in more than 20 years. He coached several All-AAC team members during the indoor season, including the mile champion. Outdoors, a total of five Huskies earned podium finishes in the four middle distance and distance events, including a 1-2 finish in the 1,500-meter run.
"I am very excited to have Renny Waldron join the cross country and track and field staff here at Davidson,” Straub said. “His experience coaching at institutions such as Northeastern, Harvard and UConn is invaluable, and his transition will be seamless. His success with the development of athletes over the years is unmatched, and I am excited to see him work with the team here. Renny is an experienced recruiter and is a true advocate of the student-athlete.”
Waldron worked as a volunteer assistant at Harvard during the 2013 season, guiding a Crimson distance runner to the NCAA final round for the first time since 1997.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Davidson community and to be working with Coach Straub,” Waldron said. “I am excited for the possibilities that lay ahead for Davidson cross country and track and field as the program joins the A-10.”
Prior to working in Cambridge, Waldron served as the assistant track and field coach and cross country coordinator at Northeastern from 2006-12. Waldron saw 18 school records fall in the distance events, and helped six individuals to CAA titles from 2010-12. He helped Northeastern to its highest finish in the conference, and mentored Jenkins, who posted a pair of sub-4-minute-mile times and was the only freshman to qualify for the NCAA final in the 1,500m in 2011.