CROSS COUNTRY | Hoyas Hire Smith
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
Former Hoya standout Mike Smith (COL ’03) will return to his alma mater as the new women’s cross country head coach and assistant track and field coach, the university announced Monday afternoon.
He replaces Chris Miltenberg (MSB ’03), his teammate for four years at Georgetown, who left the Hilltop last month to become director of track and field and head cross country coach at Stanford.
“Mike’s experience as both an athlete and as a coach of all ability levels has prepared him well to lead our women’s distance program,” Georgetown Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said in a statement.
During his collegiate career with the Blue and Gray, Smith was a team co-captain and received all-Big East and All-American honors. After graduation, Smith qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a marathon time of 2:19:43.
This summer, Smith worked with the Japanese women’s marathon team at the London Olympics. Two Japanese marathoners finished in the top 25 in that event.
Smith also worked with Olympians as an elite athlete liaison for Hypo2 Sport Management in Flagstaff, Ariz. In that position, he was responsible for managing a training camp for 147 of this year’s Olympic athletes.
Before working at Hypo2, Smith worked for renowned physiologist and running coach Jack Daniels, Ph.D., at the Center for High Altitude Training in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Daniels, a well-known trainer of Olympic athletes who Runner’s World once called “world’s best coach,” was quick to praise his former assistant.
“I can’t imagine a better situation for Georgetown than to choose Mike Smith as a coach,” Daniels wrote in a Georgetown press release. “Flagstaff’s loss is definitely Georgetown’s gain. I believe Mike can be one of the most outstanding college coaches this country has seen.”
While living in Flagstaff, Smith also worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee and founded Team Run Flagstaff, a nonprofit that organizes community running programs for runners of varying ability levels.
In an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Sun, Erin Stout of Running Times praised Smith’s work with Team Run Flagstaff.
“His spirit and genuine kindness have inspired all ages and abilities to run, which itself is a feat,” Stout wrote. “Smith’s departure leaves so many with deep sadness and bewilderment about how we will survive without him.”
Smith takes over the team in a very favorable spot, with Miltenberg leaving behind the No. 3 team in the nation.
Henner, who coached Smith during his collegiate career, emphasized the continuity that the new coach brings to the program.
“Under Mike’s guidance, the underlying principles and philosophy that have brought so much success for our women’s track athletes over the past 25 years will not change,” Henner said. “Mike will also bring in fresh new ideas gained from his experiences to move our women’s program forward.”