NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bill Taylor, Lipscomb’s director of cross country and track and field, has announced the hiring of current graduate assistant Marcus Evans as an assistant coach for the track and field programs. Evans will be in charge of sprints and hurdles.
Evans has spent the last two years as a graduate assistant in the same capacity but will move into the larger role of fulltime assistant.
“First, I want to thank Philip Hutcheson (Athletic Director), Danny Taylor (Sr. VP for Finance and Admin) and Dr. Randy Lowry (Lipscomb President) for continuing to support and invest in the cross country and track and field programs here,” Taylor said. “They have recognized the value we bring to Lipscomb, and I know we have stepped up in a big way in every way.
“They have also understood that the athletes we bring in need to be taken care of, and adding a fourth fulltime coach to our staff shows their concern for the well-being and success.”
With the university allowing for the hiring of another assistant coach, Taylor believes the value came from building a program from a few athletes to nearly 100 six years later.
“When I was hired as the head coach we had about 20 athletes,” Taylor said. “That was cross country and track and field combined for men and women. Next year we will have nearly 100 athletes on the teams from at least 27 different states.
“Our women’s distance team is incredible, our men’s distance is young and rising, we have seen success in throws, jumps and the vault. In particular, our sprints and hurdles have been rising dramatically. The consistency in coaching should only help.”
One of the sprinters who has gained national attention is rising senior Tucker Peabody. Under Evans’ tutelage, Peabody has qualified for two-straight NCAA Preliminary rounds and held a top-20 time in the 200-meter dash this season.
“Just seeing how Tucker has qualified for national meets along with the large group of recruits provides a unique opportunity for me,” Evans said. “It is something we are all working towards. We think it is important for Lipscomb to be on the national stage as a Christian university.”
The Christian atmosphere that Evans has grown accustomed to over the last two years helped Evans want to stay.
“There have been a lot of things that I have grown to love,” Evans said. “I love the fact that we are a small Christian school that provides a really unique opportunity to recruit and go after kids that a lot of schools may not.
“I love that I get to head the sprints and hurdles position and work with those athletes so closely. Being at a small school and getting to work with them has been something I really enjoyed.”
Also enjoying the growing success of the Lipscomb sprint and hurdle corps, Evans hopes to continue to grow the squad into a powerhouse in years to come.
“It is kind of like a domino effect,” Evans said. “Once you get going at that elite level, the younger athletes start recognizing that you know what you are doing. We are hoping this domino effect works its way through with some really good hurdlers and sprinters that are coming in next year,”
Through the hiring process Taylor said that Evans rose to the top despite a national search.
“The hiring process was wide-open as we did the national search,” Taylor said. “In the end, despite great candidates that were considered, Marcus was on top. I really look forward to helping him continue to develop into a nationally elite coach while he continues to bring more and more success to our program.”
Evans earned his bachelors degree in Mass Communication at Southern Illinois – Edwardsville in 2010 where he also competed on the track and field team as it was going through the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Adrian College, a NCAA Division III institution, where he coached five MIAA conference champion sprinters and a NCAA Division III high jump qualifier.
Evans will earn his master’s degree in Conflict Management from Lipscomb in August.