Mark Elliott enters his third season as Clemson’s head coach for men’s and women’s track & field and cross country in 2015-16. Elliott came to Clemson after coaching 20 seasons with LSU track & field, including eight as assistant head coach. In just two seasons, Elliott has rejuvenated both programs and restored the women’s team to national prominence.
Elliott guided the Clemson women to ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2014-15, just one year after finishing no better than eighth as a team. The Tigers also claimed a 12th-place tie at the NCAA Indoor Championships following Natoya Goule’s title run in the 800 meters. Goule was named ACC Women’s Indoor Track Performer of the Year and broke the ACC record in her specialty event after winning the Jamaican National Championship in June 2015.
Elliott earned several high marks for his achievements with the Tiger women. He was named ACC Coach of the Year for both seasons, and USTFCCCA Southeast Region Indoor Coach of the Year as well.
His influence spilled over to the Clemson men’s program in 2014-15 as well. The Tigers improved to fourth at the ACC Outdoor Championships, a seven-spot jump from the previous season. One of his athletes, Tevin Hester, was named ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track Performer of the Year, as well as MVP at both championships.
In his first season (2013-14) with the Tigers, Elliott’s athletes combined to record six All-America honors and nine All-ACC performances.
Elliott brought a winning pedigree to Clemson, as he helped the LSU men’s program to NCAA Championship indoor crowns in 2001 and 2004, and to an outdoor title in 2002. The Tiger women won indoor national titles from 1994-97 and 2002-04, and outdoor championships from 1994-97, 2003, 2008 and 2012.
Elliott’s athletes played an integral part in LSU’s success. With Elliott on staff, the Lady Tiger women won a total of 12 Southeastern Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships, six of both. He coached five individual NCAA Champions, all in the 800. He coached Marian Burnett to gold at the 2002 indoor national meet and Neisha Bernard-Thomas at the 2004 outdoor championship.
LaTavia Thomas followed with an individual crown at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships. Thomas was a 12-time All-American under Elliott’s guidance and swept the SEC Indoor and Outdoor crowns in the half-mile in 2007 and 2008. Her younger sister, Markeeta, signed with Clemson in 2015 after a highly-decorated prep career.
In 2013, he coached Goule to National Championship performances in the 800 at both NCAA meets. She and Charlene Lipsey combined to score 31 points and help the Lady Tigers to a pair of top-five team finishes. Goule won the 800 meters at the Jamaican Championships after becoming the first Lady Tiger to break two minutes in the event, and competed at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August 2013.
Goule and Lipsey combined to split 800-meter championships at the 2013 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, bringing Elliott’s total to 22 conference champions across 12 different student-athletes. In all, Elliott coached six SEC Indoor Champions and six SEC Outdoor Champions in the women’s 800 meters. He also coached conference champions in the men’s 800, men’s mile and women’s 5000 meters during his time on the Bayou.
Elliott brought success to the LSU men’s track & field program as well. In a four-year span from 2007-10, his athletes swept the SEC Indoor and Outdoor titles in the 800 meters three times. Jamaal James did it in 2007, followed by Elkana Kosgei in 2008 and Richard Jones in 2010. Kosgei was the 2008 NCAA Indoor silver medalist, while Jones broke the school record for the half-mile in 2010.
Elliott’s athletes have thrived on the international scene. He has coached five Olympians from LSU, including two-time 800 semifinalist Bernard-Thomas (2008, 2012) and two-time participant Burnett (2004, 2008). He also coached David Kiptoo, who placed sixth in the men’s 800 final at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.
He has experience coaching at the international level as well. Elliott served as the head coach for Guyana at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and for the 2007 World Championships. He was also an assistant coach for Grenada at the 2005 World Championships.
A 1991 graduate of LSU, Elliott earned four All-America honors with the Tigers. He was the silver medalist in the 3000 meters at the 1989 NCAA Indoor Championships. He was a part of four straight outdoor national championship teams, two at Blinn Junior College and two at LSU (1989, 1990). He won a pair of SEC individual titles and was a 14-time junior college All-American as well.
Elliott hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica. He has two children, Breanna and Ashley. He married Kimberly Gardner on Dec. 13, 2014.
Clemson Standouts Coached by Mark Elliott
NCAA Champions (1)
Women's Outdoor (8)
Men's Indoor (4)
Men's Outdoor (6)
LSU Standouts Coached by Mark Elliott
NCAA Champions (5)
Women's Indoor (3)
Women's Outdoor (2)
Women's Indoor (14)
Women's Outdoor (12)
Men's Indoor (10)
Men's Outdoor (3)
Individual SEC Champions (22)
Women's Indoor (7)
Women's Outdoor (6)
Men's Indoor (5)
Men's Outdoor (4)
Note: All-Americans are first team unless otherwise noted.