In his first year at the helm, Iowa State director of track and field and cross country Martin Smith led the program to great success on the national, conference and individual levels.
On the track, Iowa State student-athletes earned numerous accolades, beginning with Christina Hillman’s two national shot put titles in the indoor and outdoor seasons. Including Hillman, eight Cyclones earned a total of 12 All-America honors, with 5 first-teamers, four on the second-team, and three honorable mentions.
Under Smith and his staff, 54 different student-athletes notched personal bests over the 2013-14 slate, with the greater majority improving their marks multiple times over the season. From a historic perspective, the Cyclones notched 52 places on the program’s all-time top-10 lists, including seven program records.
On the cross country course, Smith led the men’s cross country to its highest team finish at the Big 12 Championship meet, placing second overall and tying the program mark set back in 1997. The Cyclone men earned two All-Big 12 honors, and three All-Region accolades. Under Smith’s tutelage, Mohamed Hrezi notched the highest men’s individual finish since 1995 at the NCAA championships, placing 24th overall to earn All-America recognition.
The women’s team captured their third conference title in as many years, joining Texas Tech as the only current Big 12 members to three-peat as champions. The women notched five All-Big 12 performances, five All-Region honors and two All-Americans in Crystal Nelson and Bethanie Brown.
Smith is a five-time national championship coach and previously served most recently as Head Coach for Track & Field / Cross Country at Oklahoma (2005-13), where he led the Sooners to 2007 Big 12 outdoor championship, their first in nearly 30 years.
Prior to that, he led or worked with track & field and cross country programs at Oregon (1998-05), Wisconsin (1983-98), Virginia (1980-83) and George Mason (1979-80). His coaching career started at Oakton (Va.) High School, where his team won a state title.
Smith’s expertise and greatest successes have come in the distance events and cross country and that will likely be the backbone of his Iowa State teams, too. Smith will lead a Cyclone program poised to establish itself as a collegiate power for long-distance runners.
Smith’s teams won national championships in 1981 (Virginia women’s cross country and indoor track), 1982 (Virginia women’s cross country) and 1985 and 1988 (Wisconsin men’s cross country). In a 35-year collegiate career, Smith has coached nearly 300 All-Americans and his teams have won 26 conference championships.
Smith was two-time (1985 and 1988) NCAA Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year for the Badgers, and he has earned nine league Coach-of-the-Year honors in three different conferences. He was Big 12 Men’s Coach of the Year both outdoors (2007) and indoors (2010) at OU.
In six seasons with the Sooners, Oklahoma set all-time Big 12 best finishes in all six of the sports he supervised (women’s and men’s indoor and outdoor track & field and cross country). OU won the Big 12 Men’s Outdoor title in 2007 and added a Big 12 Men’s Indoor championship in 2010.
The Oklahoma women’s program had its best-ever finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship (fourth) in 2011 and the men’s program was fifth nationally in the John McDonnell “Program-of-the-Year” standings (conducted by the USTFCCCA) that season.
Oregon recorded 15 Top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships during his tenure there. He coached 65 All-Americans with the Ducks and directed both the men’s and women’s track & field and cross country programs beginning in 2003 after the retirement of Tom Heinonen.
The Cyclone track & field program will focus on enhancing its brand as a premiere program in which to train and compete.
Smith is known as a relentless recruiter and superb program builder and motivator. His methods are well tested and successful.
Smith, a native of Alexandria, Va., earned his B.A. degree in history and political science from Bridgewater College (1974). The three-sport letterman for the Eagles was inducted into that institution’s athletics hall of fame in 2004.
He is married to the former Renee Schwister, who has one son (Ross).