Arkansas Track and Field Camps

Coaching Staff

Chris Bucknam
Head Men's Coach

Chris Bucknam enters his 10th season as the head coach of the nationally dominant Arkansas men’s cross country and track and field program. A veteran in the coaching ranks, Bucknam took the Razorback head coaching position on June 27, 2008, after a 25-year stint at Northern Iowa.

Since assuming the head coaching position at Arkansas, Bucknam has enjoyed tremendous success in the form of 19 Southeastern Conference championships, seven NCAA regional titles, and 279 All-Americans, guiding the Razorbacks to 65 individual SEC event titles.

Nationally, Bucknam’s guidance has led the Razorbacks to 20 top 10 finishes since his arrival in Fayetteville. His cross country squads have placed in the top 10, four times in his tenure while track and field has 16 top 10s including four national runner-up finishes and a national title.

The 2015-16 season brought the program’s 15th SEC Triple Crown as Bucknam masterfully guided the Razorbacks to decisive conference victories during the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons. Arkansas’ dominance didn’t end at the league level, exceeding expectations at the national ranks as well with three top-six NCAA finishes – two of which were national runner-up performances.

Known for his development of elite distance runners Bucknam kicked off 2015 with a phenomenal cross country campaign which saw an unprecedented five different student-athletes take the lead for Arkansas during the season. Steamrolling through SECs and Regionals Bucknam’s crew surprised the polls placing just two spots shy of the podium – the program’s best NCAA finish since 2006 – off the heels of first-year All-Americans Jack Bruce and Frankline Tonui.

The Razorbacks success carried though to track season with Bucknam relying on a combined effort from all event groups to lead Arkansas to postseason titles. Arkansas’ tremendous versatility and depth were on full display as several newcomers forged their paths at the most different league championships in the country. His squad rose to the occasion as over 90 percent of the Razorbacks’ conference roster contributed at the SEC Championships and further delivering two NCAA national runner-up performances making the Razorback men the most complete team in the SEC.

One of the most phenomenal performances in the history of NCAA track and field came in 2016 from one of Bucknam’s Razorback leaders Jarrion Lawson. In an incredulous feat of athleticism Lawson captured three NCAA individual titles for the Razorbacks, completing the Jesse Owens triple with victories in the 100, 200 and long jump at the outdoor championship.

Last season’s success was a continuation of Arkansas long-standing tradition of excellence including the 2013 indoor track squad who captured Bucknam’s first and Arkansas’ 41st NCAA title.
Entering the competition as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, the Razorbacks did not disappoint the hometown crowd at the Randal Tyson Track Center as Arkansas scored 74 points and racked up 25 All-America honors at the meet. Two individuals captured NCAA titles and a collegiate record in the 4×400 relay added a third to the Razorbacks’ dominating performance.

Along with the indoor title, Arkansas placed 10th at the NCAA Cross Country Championship and third at the outdoor meet allowing the program to claim its first John McDonnell Program of the Year award, named after the legendary Arkansas coach whom Bucknam took over for following his retirement.

The national recognition as the best program in the nation was no fluke as Bucknam and his staff have been building to that for several years. In 2011-12, Arkansas won the program’s 13th SEC Triple Crown and the first with Bucknam at the helm. The Razorbacks duplicated the effort in 2012-13 giving them 11 league championships over the past five years. No other SEC school has more than two in that same time frame. For his part Bucknam has been named the SEC Coach of the Year 15 times and national coach of the year one time.

As the head coach, Bucknam’s charge is to look at the big picture and lead his team to championships, but that doesn’t deter him from his work with the Razorback distance crew. He has led the program to 142 marks that have etched themselves on Arkansas’ prestigious all-time top 10 lists including 12 school records since his arrival in 2008.
During his first season distance medley relay squad of Alex McClary, Ben Skidmore, Chris Bilbrew and Dorian Ulrey eclipsed an 11-year-old record, which had not even been close to being broken since it was set in 1998, at the UW Invitational when it ran 9:28.35. The outdoor school record was set by Shawn Forrest, when he shattered the 10,000-meter mark with a time of 27:52.10 at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

Ulrey’s three-year Arkansas career was one of the more celebrated in Razorback history as the Port Byron, Ill. native earned eight All-America honors, one NCAA Championship, seven SEC titles, two SEC Athlete of the Year awards and the league’s sportsmanship award. The lessons that Ulrey picked up in Fayetteville have served him well since he completed his eligibility as he continues to perform well professionally.

Along with the success of his student-athletes in the competition arena, Razorbacks have been equally as good in the classroom. Arkansas has placed six student-athletes on the Capital One Academic All-America squads over the past eight years, including three this past season and had more than 75 named to the SEC Academic Honor Rolls. The Razorbacks were named the USTFCCCA Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Team of the Year in 2015 in recognition of the program’s excellent cumulative gpa and athletic performance.

Prior to taking over the Arkansas program, Bucknam was a well-respected head coach at Northern Iowa where he led his teams to 35 conference championships, two top-10 and six top-20 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He was named conference coach of the year 33 times while in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and coached three individual national champions and 34 All-Americans who earned a total of 85 honors.

His time with the Panthers saw him lead the men’s program for 25 seasons and a combined track and field operation for the final 11 years. Bucknam’s career at Northern Iowa began as an assistant in 1979 before he assumed the head coaching job prior to the 1984 campaign. Along with his various conference coach of the year awards, Bucknam was also honored regionally for his acumen with nine USTFCCCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors.

Under Bucknam’s tutelage, Northern Iowa product Joey Woody was a three-time All-American and the 1997 national champion in the 400-meter hurdles. Woody placed second in the 400-meter hurdles at 2003 World Championships and was a member of the 1999 World Champion 4×400-meter relay team.

A native of Beverly, Mass., Bucknam attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, where he was a cross country and track letterman. He was elected cross country co-captain his senior year and is a member of the Norwich Athletic Hall of Fame. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1978. He earned his master’s degree in physical education from Northern Iowa in 1982.

He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of a son, Eric, and a daughter, Kate.

Doug Case
Assistant Men's Coach

Doug Case enters his 10th season as an assistant coach with the University of Arkansas cross country and track and field teams. He is charged with working with the Razorback sprinters, relay teams and pole vault and is starting his 23rd year of coaching at the collegiate level.

Since arriving in Fayetteville, following an extended stay at Northern Iowa, Case has revitalized the Arkansas sprint teams and led his student-athletes to 10 NCAA individual titles, including the first-ever championships in the pole vault, 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, 4×100-meter relay and indoor 4×400-meter relay, and 145 All-America honors. Case’s guidance has helped Razorbacks claim 19 Southeastern Conference individual championships and grab 19 of the last 27 SEC league titles in cross country and track & field.

The crowning achievement of Case’s time with Arkansas came during the 2013 indoor track season when he and longtime friend and mentor Chris Bucknam led the Razorbacks to the NCAA Championship. The duo followed up the win with a third-place finish at the outdoor meet which led to the University’s first John McDonnell Program of the Year award.

Case’s work at Arkansas has not gone unnoticed to his colleagues as he earned the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) South Central regional assistant coach of the year in 2011 and most recently for his efforts in 2015.

Along with his ability to teach his protégés to race and compete, Case has also put his stamp on the Razorback record books. In seven years, 67 marks on Arkansas’ top 10 performance lists across 16 events in two seasons belong to student-athletes developed by Case. This past season Case guided Arkansas sophomore Omar McLeod past the Razorback record books and into collegiate history to claim the NCAA all-time best spot at both 60-meter and 110-meter hurdles, the latter which had previously stood for 36 years. The two collegiate records were the second and third for Case having coached the 2013 4×400-meter relay team (currently second best performers in NCAA history) to a collegiate best during the indoor season that culminated to the team’s 41st national title.

Over the last two years Case developed McLeod from a young man with raw talent to one of the best high-hurdlers in the world. In his freshman season as a Razorback McLeod earned the title of SEC Freshman Runner of the Year for his second place performance in the 60-meter hurdles only to drop .12 seconds two weeks later to collect his first national title. With the guidance of Case, McLeod continued on to two more SEC titles, defended his indoor national title, collected two outdoor national titles breaking the Razorback 4×100-meter relay record with his teammates in the process.

He capped his amateur career as a Bowerman Trophy semifinalist and with a victory at the Jamaican National Championships as the first collegian to run a non-wind assisted sub-13 time in the 110-meter hurdles.

Along with McLeod, the 2015 NCAA Championship winning 4×100-meter team assembled by Case included SEC Freshman Runner of the Year Kenzo Cotton and individual indoor event All-Americans Jarrion Lawson and Marqueze Washington. The entire group followed their national championship performance with a sixth place finish in the 4×400-meter relay. In addition to managing the athletes in relay competition, Case was responsible for the breakthrough performance by Lawson at 100 meters who went from unknown in the event to the third fastest in the country in the a span of one month.

2016 brought further notoriety for the sprints and hurdles specialist as both Cotton and Lawson as well as McLeod (on the professional circuit) continued to thrive under Case’s guidance.

The collegiate duo and returning 4-x-100 relay members both placed nationally in individual sprint events during the indoor and outdoor season – Lawson accomplishing the coveted Jesse Owens triple with victories in the 100, 200 and long jump at the NCAA outdoor championship. Cotton and Lawson also assisted the 4-x-100 team once again racing to a spot on the podium with a third-place finish. In all, Case’s event group accounted for half of Arkansas’ point total, largely contributing to the program’s national runner-up finish.

Lawson and Cotton both qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials advancing to the semifinals in both the 100 and 200 in their debut at the event. As the seventh place finisher in the 100, Lawson earned a spot on Team USA’s 4-x-100 relay team, going on to assist them at the Olympic Games during the preliminary round of competition.

A product of the mentoring of both Case and assistant field events coach Travis Geopfert, Lawson was the first member of the Arkansas men’s track and field team to be a finalist for the sport’s most prestigious honor the Bowerman Award. He also was the first collegiate track athlete to earn an ESPYs nomination in the Best Male College Athlete category.

Still responsible for the development of McLeod, Case coached the Jamaican hurdle talent through several major competitions during 2016, watching on as the four-time NCAA champion implemented his techniques to race to a World indoor championship, a second Jamaican national title and an Olympic gold medal.

His work isn’t limited to the track as Case developed the abilities of All-American pole vaulter Andrew Irwin who in his time with Arkansas won two NCAA championships and five SEC titles. Case’s work with Irwin has won the Mt. Ida, Ark., native five All-America honors, SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year awards both indoor and out, the SEC Field Athlete of the Year for the 2012 outdoor season and USTFCCCA South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year accolades.

Prior to joining his mentor on the Arkansas coaching staff, Case was a very successful coach at Northern Iowa, leading his student-athletes to two individual national championships, 43 All-America honors and 68 national championship qualifiers. His athletes dominated the Missouri Valley Conference with 97 individual and relay championships in his time with the Panthers and set school records in 10 events.

While Case is proud of the efforts of all of his former competitors, 800-meter runner Tyler Mulder and pole vaulter Jacob Pauli hold a special place with Case after the tandem won national titles in 2008 and 2001, respectively. Mulder earned his title with a spectacular 1:49.20 at the national meet and Pauli went on to finish third at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championship.

Case’s career path saw him make a stop at Arkansas State before taking the head coaching position at Drake and eventually Northern Iowa. At Arkansas State, the Red Wolves won nine Sun Belt Conference titles and Case recruited 52 outdoor and 49 indoor individual conference champions, four All-Americans, seven Olympic Trials qualifiers and three Olympians. His three-year stint at Drake included three school records and a ninth-place finish by the distance medley relay at the NCAA Championship.

A former Northern Iowa sprinter, Case set eight school records between 1982 and 1986 and was an all-conference performer. A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Case received his bachelor’s degree from UNI in 1987 and served as a graduate assistant with the Panthers the next two seasons. He and his wife, Chris, have four children: Kelsey, Lauren, Cameron and Regan.

Mario Sategna
Assistant Men's Coach

Mario Sategna was hired as an assistant coach for the University of Arkansas Razorback men’s track & field team on July 23, 2018, arriving on The Hill following 15 years at the University of Texas in Austin as an assistant, associate, and head coach during his time with the Longhorns.

When the University of Texas combined its men’s and women’s programs in June 2013, it looked to longtime men’s assistant coach Mario Sategna to led the new version of the Longhorns. In his four years leading the combined program, Sategna led the Longhorns to 11 Big 12 Conference titles, including the first three-peat in conference history in men’s outdoor track & field.

In 2017, Sategna guided the Longhorns to a sweep of the men’s Big 12 Championship titles. With the win outdoors the Texas men became the first team to win three consecutive Big 12 outdoor championships.

Sategna personally oversaw the multi-event athletes to great success in 2017. Steele Wasik transferred to Texas and in his first year as a Longhorn, he claimed Big 12 titles indoors and out in the heptathlon and decathlon. Indoors, Sategna’s group finished 1-2-3 in the heptathlon with Wolf Mahler and freshman George Patrick joining to dominate the event. Mahler would go on to earn First-Team All-America honors indoors and out while Wasik received second-team honors for their efforts at the NCAA Championships. Patrick also won the decathlon at the USATF Junior Championships and then claimed gold at the Pan Am Junior Championships for Team USA.

Texas saw great success in other areas in 2017 with the men finishing ninth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and scoring 21 points. Freshman O’Brien Wasome finished third in the triple jump and became just the fourth freshman in NCAA history to leap at least 16.40 meters (53-9.75) when he measured 16.49m (54-1.25).  The women’s team finished seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships lead by Chrisann Gordon’s title in the 400 meters and a third-place finish from Rushelle Burton as she became the fastest freshman in NCAA history in the 100m hurdles.

Sategna closed 2017 by serving as the Men’s Head Coach for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in London. He helped guide the U.S. to its best finish as the men and women combined for a total of 30 medals.

Right out of the gates in 2014, the Longhorn women swept the Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles and then finished as the runners-up at both NCAA meets. The indoor/outdoor league sweep was the first for the Longhorns since 2006 and it came in dominating fashion. Texas won the Big 12 indoor title by 45 points (147-102) over second-place Baylor, the largest margin since 1999. The Horns followed up with a 35.50 point victory (149 to 113.30) over Baylor. The men were second at both the 2014 indoor and outdoor league meets, and finished 11th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The men were also 14th at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships and Marielle Hall won the Big 12 cross country title, the first in school history for the women.

During 2013-14, UT athletes claimed six NCAA event titles, 23 Big 12 crowns and 42 All-America honors. In addition, 13 claimed Academic All-Big 12 Track and Field honors and 13 secured a spot of the Academic All-Big 12 Cross Country team.

Other milestones in 2013-14 included the setting of a pair of collegiate records (Kaitlin Petrillose – indoor pole vault; Courtney Okolo – outdoor 400 meters) and 13 school marks. The Longhorns also finished among the top two at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the 10th time and had their best showing at the NCAA Outdoor meet since 2005 when they won the title.

All those accomplishments earned Sategna awards as both the 2014 Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year. He was also the NCAA South Central Region Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year.

His teams have continued to dominate the Big 12. In 2015, Texas completed the double sweep winning the conference crown indoors and out for both the men and women. It marked the first time since 2006 any school had accomplished the feat and just the fourth ever. Sategna earned Big 12 Coach of the Year for all four titles as well.

In 2016, the women’s team again dominated the conference with the men winning the outdoor title and finishing second indoors. The women won the outdoor title by 30.2 points and the men claimed their title by 18 points. The women rolled their Big 12 success into strong showings at the NCAA Championships, finishing fourth both indoors and out thanks to a sweep of the 4×400 relay and the 400 meters from Courtney Okolo. Teahna Daniels also became the first freshman to win the 60 meters and set an American junior record in the process at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

As an assistant coach at Texas, Sategna (suh-TANE-yuh) became one of the most respected field event coaches in the nation, serving under head coach Bubba Thornton and helping the Longhorns to finish among the top 10 at either the NCAA indoor or outdoor meets 13 times, including a sixth-place showing at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Two of the athletes he tutored in field events – Ryan Crouser (shot put) and Johannes Hock (decathlon) – captured national titles.

The sixth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor meet would not have been possible without the production from the field-event unit. Crouser captured the second shot-put title in school history and Hock became only the second freshman in NCAA history to claim the decathlon crown with a total of 8,267, the ninth-best mark in collegiate history. In addition, Isaac Murphy ended his career with a fourth-place showing in the decathlon and Crouser was eighth in the discus.

The Longhorns also swept the Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles in 2013 for just the third time in school history. Hock won the hepthalon indoors and captured the decathlon at outdoors with a meet-record 8,293, the seventh-best total in collegiate history. Hock was the Big 12 Freshman Outdoor Performer of the Year. Hayden Baillio claimed the shot put at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and Crouser followed up with a victory in the shot put outdoors with a school-record and nation-leading toss of 69-2.50.

Hock (sixth in heptathlon) and Baillio (seventh in shot put) each earned first team All-America honors at the 2013 NCAA Indoor meet, helping the Horns finish tied for 23rd.

Sategna, an associate head coach from 2009-13, brought a unique set of credentials to the position. He was a National Champion student-athlete and has coached numerous All-Americans, NCAA Champions and Olympians.

During his 10 seasons as a UT assistant, Sategna helped coach seven throwers, jumpers and multi-event athletes (Crouser, Marquise Goodwin, Trey Hardee, Hock, Donovan Kilmartin, Andra Manson and Maston Wallace) to 11 NCAA titles. That group is among 21 of his athletes to earn 62 All-America honors.

While an assistant, UT posted consecutive third-place finishes at the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Indoor meet (best indoor team finishes in school history). They were third at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor meet and fourth in 2008. In addition, Sategna has been on staff for seven Big 12 Championships. His athletes have captured 35 conference titles (16 indoor; 19 outdoor).

Sategna has also been a known commodity on the international stage with the Longhorns. At the 2016 Olymic Games, he served as Men’s Assistant Coach for Throws on Team USA. His duties included working closely with the athletes and their personal coaches on scheduling and logistics during the compeittion to endure the athletes among a myriad of other duties to ensure Team USA athletes were prepared to compete on the world’s biggest stage.

In 2012, he helped Goodwin capture the long jump at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and finish 10th at the London Olympics. Goodwin became the first collegian to win both the Olympic Trials and the NCAA Outdoors long jump competition in the same year since 1960. He was also the first-ever Longhorn to reach the long-jump final at the Olympics.

Sategna continues to train Hardee, who is one of the elite athletes in the world. Hardee won the silver medal in the decathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He tallied 8,671 points and was in second place from wire-to-wire behind fellow American Ashton Eaton who had 8,869 and was in reach of the Olympic record (8,893 by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic in 2004). Eaton and Hardee became the first Americans to go one-two in the Olympic decathlon since Milton Campbell and Rafer Johnson in 1956.

Sategna moved to Texas from the University of Minnesota where he was the men’s assistant coach for four years (1999-03). In that position, he was in charge of the throws, multi-events, pole vault and high hurdler events. He coached student-athletes to four Big Ten individual crowns, two All-America honors and eight school records. Sategna also helped guide Minnesota to the Big Ten Conference Outdoor title, a first-place finish in the USTCA Indoor Team Power Rankings and top 10 showings at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships during the 2003 campaign.

Before his tenure at Minnesota, Sategna served as an assistant coach in charge of throws at Wichita State from 1998-99. Prior to his stint with the Shockers, Sategna was a physical education teacher and track and field coach at Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy in 1997-98 and a volunteer assistant track and field coach at LSU in 1996-97.

A standout decathlete, Sategna was a three-time All-American at LSU in the 1990s. He won the 1994 Southeastern Conference title and the 1995 NCAA crown in the decathlon, and his personal-best point total of 8,172 still stands as the LSU record and ranked among the NCAA top 10 all-time point totals. He also finished sixth in the World University Games, was a 1996 United States Olympic Trials qualifier and won the 1997 U.S. versus Germany Decathlon Dual meet (8,107).

A native of Bloomfield, N.M., Sategna earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from LSU in 1996 and a master of education degree in applied kinesiology from Minnesota in 2002. Sategna is USATF Level II certified in sprints, hurdles, throws and multi-events.

Sategna and his wife, Dahlia, reside in Fayetteville with their three children.

Rick Elliott
Assistant Men's Coach

A contributing part of several Arkansas men’s cross country and track and field SEC Championship teams during his time in undergraduate, Rick Elliott took on a new role as a volunteer coach with the women’s program in 2014. In his position with the Razorbacks Elliott assists head coach Lance Harter with the training of the cross country, middle-distance and distance student-athletes.

A native of Springfield, Missouri, Elliott made his was to Fayetteville, Arkansas in the Fall 2008 as an eight-time All-State honoree out of Kickapoo high school. Elliott began his tenure as a Razorback, finishing among the top -30 best runners in the conference at the 2008 SEC Cross Country Championships in Starkville, Mississippi as one of Arkansas’ seven-best runners at the meet. He went on that first academic year to be named to SEC All-Freshman team for an eighth-place finish in the mile at the conference indoor championships.

During his final two cross country season’s Elliott was part of strong senior coalition which led the revitalized Razorbacks to back-to-back SEC titles in 2010 and 2011 — the latter year Elliott claiming All-SEC First Team honors for a career-high sixth-place finish.

His progression on the track was also markedly noticeable with his focus during the outdoor season in the steeplechase. A solid top-five finish at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Championship transformed into an exceptional top-three finish at the same meet one year later. His personal best time of 8:51.03 from the Stanford Invitational qualified him for his second NCAA West Preliminary Round where his 12th-place finish advanced him on to the outdoor national championship.

Elliott graduated from Arkansas in December 2012 with a degree in kinesiology and is currently pursuing his masters in recreation and sport management with a completion date set for May 2017. Rick and his wife Megan were married in June 2014 and the couple resides in the Fayetteville area with their dog Rocky.

Chris Johnson
Associate Head Women's Coach

Associate head coach Chris Johnson enters his seventh season at the University of Arkansas, returning to Fayetteville prior to the 2012 season after eight seasons with Penn State.

Named the National Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year last season, 2018 saw Johnson led Taliyah Brooks to the NCAA title in the pentathlon as she totaled over 4,500 points along the way. Brooks performance at the NCAA meet led to her earning USTFCCCA honors as she was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. Payton Chadwick was Johnson’s second National Champion at the indoor meet as she ran her way to the NCAA title in the 60-meter hurdles in a school record time of 7.93 seconds. Last season also saw Johnson also led his athletes to five program record performances – 60-meter hurdles, 100-meters, 100-meter hurdles, 4-x-400-meter relay, and long jump.

At the SEC meet, Johnson’s event groups were responsible for 36 of Arkansas’ points at the 2018 indoor meet, pushing the Razorbacks to their 12th-consecutive conference victory across cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.

Johnson claimed his 10th USTFCCCA Assistant Coach of the Year award following the Razorbacks’ performance at the SEC Championships where his athletes went 1-2-3-4 in the heptathlon by Taliyah Brooks, Payton Stumbaugh, Leigha Brown, and Kelsey Herman, to add 29 points to Arkansas’ total and vault to a top-4 national ranking. All four athletes set personal records during that event, while Brooks set an Arkansas record with 6,099 points.

The 2017 season saw Johnson’s student-athletes produce top performances at both the indoor and outdoor SEC Championships, assisting in Arkansas’ efforts to secure their fourth triple crown.

The sprint and hurdle coach for the Razorbacks began his Arkansas career by coaching his student-athletes to 4 All-America honors, a national championship in the 4-x-400-meter-relay outdoors and a pair of top 10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships.

2015 saw Johnson transition senior Chrishuna Williams from a sprinter to one of the best 800-meter runners in the country. In her first year competing in the event, Williams won a conference championship, broke the school record with 2:01.61 (Payton Jordan Invitational) and posted two top-five performances at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.

Over the year, Johnson produced seven All-Americans, four SEC champions (400m, 800m, 4-x-400m), and two NCAA runner-up performances. The two silver medals from Ellis-Watson (400m) and the 4-×-400-meter relay team and a top-five finish from Williams (800m) aided in the Razorbacks winning the program’s first national title at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Carrying/ the momentum into the next year, Johnson’s group became even more formidable, leading Arkansas to two more conference titles, a fourth program triple crown, and its first outdoor national title. Along the way to collecting multiple program accolades, Johnson was instrumental in guiding Ellis-Watson to two more SEC gold medals and four additional NCAA silvers. At the NCAA indoor meet his pentathlete trio became the first in the history of the NCAA to all medal in the same championship meet, scoring points which led to a national runner-up team finish.

Fresh off the NCAA outdoor championship meet Johnson coached several Razorbacks to Olympic Trial bids with Ellis-Watson and Williams earning spots on the U.S. national team in the 4-x-400 and 800, respectively. Following through with their development Johnson journeyed to Rio with the pair, training the duo right up until their respective races — Ellis-Watson collecting an Olympic gold for her efforts.

Johnson’s first year in the Ozarks was familiar to him as he spent two years as a graduate assistant with the Razorbacks in 2003 and 2004. During that time Arkansas won two Southeastern Conference titles and was a mainstay at the top of the leaderboard at both the SEC and NCAA Championships.

Johnson had a hand in the development of multi-time Olympic gold medalist Veronica Brown-Campbell and NCAA Outdoor Champion and future U.S. Olympic Relay consideration LaShaunte’a Moore.

Johnson guided the Nittany Lions to 36 Big Ten titles and more than 50 All-American Honors and was named the USTCCCA assistant coach of the year seven times during his stay in State College, Penn. Johnson’s student-athletes played a pivotal role in Penn State women’s fourth-place team finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Megan Elliott
Director of Operations

Former Razorback track All-American Megan (Jackson) Elliott re-joined the Arkansas cross country/track coaching staff as Director of Operations in August 2014 after a brief one-year stint as an assistant coach at IUPUI. The Middlebury, Ind., native will assist Head Coach Lance Harter in all facets of leading the program, including training, recruiting, fund raising and academic oversight.

Elliott earned her B.S.E. in Kinesiology in 2010, majoring in P-12 Teaching Physical Education from the University of Arkansas and also completed her Master’s degree in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from the U of A in 2013 after serving as a graduate assistant. As a GA with the Hogs, Elliott was involved in practice structuring, individual workouts and on-campus recruiting. She was also heavily involved with the University of Arkansas Track Camps.

She earned All-American honors in the steeplechase in 2008 and was an Academic All-American throughout her college career. She also served on the Arkansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was a two-time team captain for both the cross country and track programs.

She earned SEC All-Academic First Team accolades every year of her collegiate career as well as being named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll all four years. She was also involved in the Fayetteville community, participating with the Arkansas Athletes Outreach (AAO) and Sweat Hawgs program. She also took part in the Lee Spencer Cup, given annually to the Arkansas team which demonstrates the strongest commitment to life skills initiatives, academic success and athletic excellence.

Elliott prepped at Northridge High School where she was a four-time First Team All-State performer. She finished among the top 13 at the IHSAA State Cross Country Meet all four years of her high school career and was part of four conference and sectional championship teams and six squads that earned regional titles.

Megan and her husband, Rick, were married in June 2014 and the couple resides in the Fayetteville area with their dog Rocky.