Forde hired as Temple track & field coach

Athletic communications confirmed Wednesday evening that Elvis Forde has been hired as Temple’s head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, as well as the women’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams.

Forde spent the last 12 seasons as the Director of Track and Field for Illinois State University. The school opted not to renew Forde’s contract after the 2013-2014 season.

“We would like to thank Elvis for his dedication to our cross country and track and field teams,” Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons told WJBC Radio in Illinois. “While we have had some special individual performances during Elvis’ term, overall team results were not where we expect or need them to be.”

Forde will replace former coach Eric Mobley (2008-14), who resigned effective June 30.

“I am very excited to be selected to lead the Temple Track and Field/Cross Country programs,” Forde said, via press release. “I want to thank [athletic director Kevin Clark] along with [senior associate athletic director Joe Guinta]. Temple University is a highly-regarded academic institution and it has the potential to be a tremendous track program.”

“It also is in its second year in the highly competitive American Athletic Conference,” Forde added. “That combination should help attract quality student-athletes that will make for a successful program.”

Mobley’s six-year tenure as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field programs was highlighted by his leading the women’s track & field team to its first-ever Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championship title. Mobley also won A-10 Coach of the Year that season.

-Ed LeFurge

Mobley out as head coach

After six years, Eric Mobley announced his resignation as head coach of the track & field program Friday night, effective June 30.

Mobley’s resignation will take effect one day before the men’s indoor and outdoor track teams is slated to be eliminated from the university’s athletic program.

Mobley was hired as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs in 2008, and oversaw consistent progress in the program that included a women’s Athletic 10 Conference Championship in 2010 and numerous NCAA Regional and National individual qualifications.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous 2013-14 campaign for both Mobley and the program. Along with the December cuts, Mobley and assistant athletic director Kristen Foley have been co-defendants in a harassment law suit involving former Temple thrower Ebony Moore since last summer.

Pickett, Janneh highlight Fred Harvey Invitational

Sophomore Jamila Janneh and senior Gabe Pickett were among the top finishers in the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond, Va., this weekend. Janneh broke a 28-year-old school record in the triple jump on Friday, while Pickett placed first among 30 competitors in the long jump on Saturday.

Coach Eric Mobley credited assistant coach Shameka Marshall for the jumping squad’s strong performances.

“It was wonderful,” Janneh said. “It was awesome. At first I didn’t know I broke the school record, I just knew I got the PR. I came over to high jump and Mobley was like, ‘You just broke the school record.'”

Pickett returned from injury last week, after sitting out for the entire indoor season.

“It’s great for him to be back competing,” Mobley said. “He placed very well as well and jumped really far. It’s good to see him back in stride and get him closer to where he left off.”

Looking toward the rest of the season, Mobley said he wants to see his teams perform better in the outdoor conference tournament than they did in the indoor tournament. This is the program’s first year in the American Athletic Conference.

“We want to have a better showing, we’re motivated not to have that feeling that we had during our indoor season,” Mobley said. “Our training has been stepping up. Our individual athletes have been getting after it in practice, and that’s where it starts.”

Track adds another assistant coach

Tamara Burns has been introduced as track & field’s latest hire, joining the staff full-time as an assistant working with the men’s and women’s throwing teams, coach Eric Mobley announced Monday.

Burns’ hire marks the third addition to the program’s staff in the last three weeks, joining sprint coach Marquese Stancil and distance coach James Snyder as newly appointed full-time hires for the 2013-14 season.

Burns will join Temple after spending six years as an assistant at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa.

Prior to joining the St. Francis staff in 2007, Burns racked up several honors during a four-year throwing career at Virginia Tech University including All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors for both the weight and hammer throws in 2005 and 2006.

Cross country hires new coach

Temple cross country will once again introduce a new face in charge of leading the team as it gets set for a new season.

Track & field coach Eric Mobley announced Wednesday that Philadelphia-area native James Snyder is the program’s latest hire, taking the position of assistant cross country and track & field coach.

Although he will not be given the title of cross country head coach yet, Snyder will handle the day-to-day coaching responsibilities for the men’s and women’s cross country teams, as well as the distance teams come track & field season, per a Temple Athletic Communications press release.

Snyder was a multiple letter winner for George Mason’s cross country and track & field teams, and is a magna cum laude graduate in exercise science. He earned his master’s degree in exercise science from Appalachian State University while also serving as a graduate assistant with the school’s cross country and track & field programs for two years.

The Downingtown, Pa. native is coming off a season working for Florida State University’s cross country and track & field program as the operations assistant, handling various administrative duties such as planning team travel, managing equipment budgets and coordinating on-campus recruiting.

Snyder is currently a USA Track & Field level I and II endurance coach and was selected to participate in the first Coaches Mentorship Program held during the 2012 Olympic Track & Field Trials.

The press release also mentioned some of Snyder’s recent pursuits in researching sport science and distance runner performance. It said that Snyder has presented his findings before the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength & Conditioning Association and has circulated his findings in various publications.

Snyder will be the third Temple coach to handle the cross country coaching duties in three seasons despite being the first to not hold the official title as cross country head coach.

A 2013 schedule release for cross country is still pending.

An updated version of this story can be found here.

Bray resigns to take job at Pittsburgh

Adam Bray has resigned from his positions as head coach of the cross country team and assistant coach to the men’s and women’s track & field teams, coach Eric Mobley said Sunday.

Formerly the Owls’ distance coach, Bray left Temple after accepting a full-time distance coaching position with the University of Pittsburgh in January.

The position will remain vacated for the remainder of the spring season.

“He was only part-time here,” Mobley said. “I’m coaching them right now, and we’ll open the search up for the fall at the end of outdoor season.”

Bray’s departure marked the second distance coaching change in roughly four months for Mobley’s Owls after former distance coach Matt Jelley also left Temple for greener pastures in August, accepting a full-time distance coaching position with the University of Maryland.

“[The distance team] has undergone the most changes with losing their coach in the fall and losing another coach in the middle of the indoor season,” Mobley said. “They’ve done very well with the coaching changes. They’ve really gotten together and focused on the running and not worrying about the stuff that was outside of their control. “

-Andrew Parent

Men’s track gear up for Navy Invitational

Heading into the Navy Invitational Saturday, the men’s track & field team will likely count on a budding sprinter and jumper in sophomore Darryl McDuffie to maintain his current hot streak after a career performance a week ago at the Gotham Invitational.

McDuffie was the headliner at the 168th Armory in New York last week, qualifying for the IC4A Championships in the high jump with a personal-best mark of 2.06 meters. McDuffie also posted a personal-best time of 7.28 seconds in the 60-meter dash to cap a successful afternoon.

The Owls will also look for points from a solid field-event core.

Freshman jumper Jamal Williams and junior jumper Gabe Pickett anchored the long jumping unit in New York, placing 17th and 19th with jumps of 6.41 meters and 6.40 meters, respectively.

“Jumpers such as [Pickett] and [McDuffie] have been really good and we’re looking for them to get even better,” coach Eric Mobley said. “We’re looking for some overall team direction and improvement in all of the different events. Some of our top athletes have been in field, but we’re looking for them to spread the wealth around the entire team.”

Andrew Parent