Jeff Pigg began his tenure as Georgia’s cross country coach in June 2008 after spending the last six years as the head cross country coach at the University of Florida.
The Gators had one of their strongest showings in the program’s history during the 2007-08 academic year. During the fall cross country season, Pigg led the Florida men to a second-place finish at the Southeastern Conference meet. In fact, the Gators finished third-place or better during all of Pigg’s six cross country seasons in Gainesville.
After the Florida men and women advanced to the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships together for the first time in school history, the women further strengthened their program by earning a spot at the national meet for two straight seasons, which had also never happened. The Florida women finished 11th at the 2007 NCAA Championships, which was the highest finish in school history.
Leading the way for the Florida women during the 2008 track season were freshman Rebecca Lowe and senior Lindsay Sundell. While Lowe finished fifth in the 5000-meter run (15:50) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year after winning both the 5000 and the 10,000 at the SEC Outdoor Championships, Sundell was the runner-up to Georgia’s Sarah Madebach in the steeplechase at the SEC meet and later competed in the Olympic Trials in Eugene.
A tireless worker whose enthusiasm inspires his athletes, Pigg has coached more than 30 All-Americans in his 19 years of collegiate coaching. A 1988 graduate of Florida, Pigg returned to Gainesville in 2002 and spearheaded a turnaround in the Gators' cross country program.
In the 2004 cross country season, Pigg guided the Florida men's team to its first national ranking since 1994 and a second-place finish at the SEC Championships. For an encore, he guided the Gators to a top-10 ranking during the 2005 season and upped the ante in 2006 by guiding the Gators to another top-10 national ranking and a runner-up finish at the SEC meet.
The outstanding 2006 cross country season came on the heels of a solid 2006 outdoor track campaign in which Pigg helped lead the Gators to the SEC indoor title in the distance medley relay and coached Shane Stroup to All-America honors in the mile and an SEC outdoor title in the 800.
The 2005 cross country season followed a banner showing by Florida’s distance athletes on the track. At the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Stroup broke Pigg's 1500 Florida record by crossing the line in 3:38.57 to finish fifth. During Pigg’s tenure in Gainesville, his athletes rewrote the Florida record books.
In 2004, Pigg guided Florida's Daniel Parker and Steve Zieminski to All-America honors in the steeplechase. In addition, the Gator distance medley relay team earned All-America honors in 2004. Zieminski won the SEC steeplechase title in 2004, while Parker finished third.
Pigg returned to Gainesville from Normal, Ill., where he spent two years as the head track and field and cross country coach at Illinois State University. In his first season, he guided the men's cross country team to its first Missouri Valley Conference title in eight years and was voted the Valley's Coach of the Year, which was followed by the school's first NCAA berth in 10 years.
The following year, senior Christian Goy capped his indoor eligibility by claiming the NCAA indoor mile title, improving his best time to 3:59.40. Female distance runner Stacia Beste finished her career by running 34:10 for 10,000 and earning All-America honors in the outdoor 10,000 at the NCAA Championships in Baton Rouge.
Another highlight from Pigg’s career was the 10-year span he spent as an assistant coach and head cross country coach at the University of Missouri from 1990-2000. In his decade at Missouri, he guided 25 athletes to All-America honors and numerous Big 12 titles. His women's cross country teams automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships five times and the men qualified three times. In 1992, Pigg coached Susan Bliss who earned All-America honors for a third place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She also was the Midwest Regional individual champion in 1992. The MU women won the Midwest Regional every year from 1995-97 and Rebecca Davis and Erin Windler were the 1996 and 1997 individual champions. Pigg received Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors each of those three seasons as well.
The 1998-99 season was a great one for Pigg and the Tiger distance and middle distance athletes. Pigg guided both the men and women's cross country teams to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history. He also coached his first NCAA champion, as Derrick Peterson won both the indoor and outdoor 800 and also became the American Collegiate record holder in that same event. In all, the Tigers earned 37 All-Big 12 Conference honors in distance and middle distance events that season alone.
Prior to accepting his position at Missouri, Pigg spent a year as the head track & field coach at Gainesville High School. He also was an assistant coach for the Gator track & field program from 1989-90. In his first coaching stint with the Gators, Pigg worked with several All-Americans and helped guide Florida to a second place team finish at the 1989 NCAA Indoor Championships.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Florida, Pigg was a member of Florida’s cross country and track and field teams that earned the SEC triple crown in 1987. He earned Cross Country All-SEC honors in the fall of 1985 and 1986 for the Gators and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1987. He had 10 top-10 finishes in cross country races in his career as a Gator and still ranks on several of the school's cross country top 10 lists. He earned two All-America honors and eight All-SEC honors in both cross country and track. He won the SEC indoor mile twice in his career as a Gator. Pigg’s personal-best times were 3:41.08 in the 1500-meter run and 1:48.75 in the 800. In 1986, he led the Gators to the SEC Cross Country Championships title and an eighth-place finish at NCAAs.
Pigg began his collegiate career at Missouri before transferring to Florida. In two seasons at Missouri, Pigg earned eight All-Big Eight honors. In the spring of 1985 he set a conference record and was an All-American in the 1000-yard run.
Pigg and his wife, Vicki, have two daughters, Olivia and Liberty, and a son, Cole.
Hometown: Rogersville, Mo.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, 1988
1988 - Head Track & Field Coach, Gainesville High School
1989-90 - Assistant Men's Track & Field Coach, University of Florida
1990-2000 - Head Cross Country/Assistant Track and Field Coach, University of Missouri
2000-2002 - Head Track & Field Coach, Illinois State University
2002-2008 – Head Cross Country Coach – Distance, University of Florida
2008-present – Cross Country Coach, University of Georgia
Midwest Region Coach of the Year: 1995, 1996, 1997
Men's Assistant Coach, United States Pan-American Games Team: 1999
Missouri Valley Coach of the Year: 2000
South Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year: 2005
South Region Men’s Coach of the Year: 2006