The College of Charleston Athletics Department and Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Amy Seago announced the hiring of Heather Schmidt and Ben Yocum as assistant coaches for the 2010-11 season.
"I'm thrilled to welcome Ben Yocum and Heather Schmidt to the College of Charleston," said Coach Seago. "Ben competed as a decathlete in college and was most recently a graduate assistant at his alma mater - the University of South Carolina - where he worked with some of the best coaches and athletes in the country. Heather just finished a three year coaching stint at Coffeyville Community College where she has built a remarkable resume' in the jumping events. Additionally, this summer she participated in the "Emerging Elite Coaches" program at the Olympic training center."
Schmidt comes to Charleston after a three-year stint with the Coffeyville Community College track and field program. While there she was responsible for many facets of the program including recruiting and training of the athletes in the men's and women's jumps. During Schmidt's tenure, seven of the 12 school records at CCC were broken in the jumping events. As recruiting coordinator, she played an integral role in increasing the women's program from seven to 30 athletes in one year and in 2009 the team jumped from eighth in the region to second. During her coaching career Schmidt has helped produce two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans, 12 Coaches Association All-Americans and 38 National Meet Qualifiers.
Schmidt earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in 2004. While there she competed in the long, high and triple jumps and well as in the javelin, sprints and relays. She also played volleyball and basketball. Schmidt was a graduate and teaching assistant while earning her Master's Degree in Psychology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio from 2004-06.
Schmidt is USATF Level 1 certified and was selected to attend the USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Camp in Chula Vista, Calif.
Yocum spent the last two years working with the University of South Carolina Track and Field team. He assisted the staff with all administrative duties including the preparation for and execution of training sessions, equipment for practice and competition ordering, inventory, issues and storage. He also managed home meets for Track and Field as well as Cross Country events.
From 2006-08 Yocum was an assistant coach at Benedict, working primarily with the pole vaults and throws. He also designed and implemented the strength training program for the track and field athletes. The Charlotte, N.C. native coached two conference champions and three all-conference athletes.
Yocum was a member of the Appalachian State Track and Field team as a freshman in 2000, where he was an All-Conference member in the decathlon. He transferred to South Carolina and competed for three seasons, specializing in the decathlon and pentathlon. While there he was a Southeastern Conference three-time Scholar-Athlete, three-time letter winner and Iron Gamecock award winner. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Experimental Psychology from USC in 2003.
Yocum is expected to finish his requirements for a Master's of Science in Exercise Science from USC this month and has earned a USATF Level 1 certification as well as a Level II in Jumps.
"Both Heather and Ben have impressed me with their enthusiasm, hard work ethic and knowledge in the sport of Track & Field. I have lofty goals for the Track & Field and Cross Country teams and with their help, our program will reach new heights. I'd like to thank the Administration for their commitment to our sport and for enabling me to bring both of these remarkable young coaches on board."