CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson Track & Field head coach Mark Elliott announced the several staff changes for the upcoming 2017-18 track & field season. Lennox Graham has joined the Clemson coaching staff after nearly a 10-year stint as the head coach Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, N.C. Graham will work closely with Tiger sprinters and hurdlers. Additionally, Elliott announced the promotion of former Director of Operations Shawn Cobey, who will serve as an Assistant Coach, specializing in throws.
“It’s very rare that you find a coach to become a part of your program who is so accomplished on an NCAA level and on an international level,” said Elliott of Graham. “All of our athletes - of course academics comes first - but most of them want to maximize their talent to whatever level it takes them. And I am very confident that Lennox, Shawn, and all of our coaches currently on staff can help them achieve that goal.”
Graham, a 1984 graduate of Alabama State University, has coached in several international events including the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and three World Championships in Athletics. Graham is also a nine-time CIAA Coach of the Year recipient. Graham guided the Johnson C. Smith women’s team to four NCAA Division II Championship top-5 team finishes in 2011 (outdoor), 2013-14 (outdoor) and 2014 (indoor). He has coached a combined 25 NCAA Division II national indoor/outdoor champions. While at Johnson C. Smith, Graham saw five NCAA Division II national records set by his student-athletes in the women’s 60-meter hurdles (2008-09), the women’s 200-meter dash (2013), 400-meter hurdles (2013) and the 4x100-meter relay (2013). Additionally, Graham has guided 164 All-Americans in indoor and outdoor track & field competition.
Outside of NCAA competition, Graham coached Danielle Williams, who won both the 2015 World Championships and 2015 World University Games Championship in the 100-meter hurdles. In 2012 olympics held in London, Graham guided Leford Green to a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. At the 2009 Pan-American Junior Championships, Graham coached the top-two finishers in the 100-meter hurdles in Shermaine Williams and Rosemarie Carty.
Cobey, now in his ninth season at Clemson, will lead Tiger throwers during indoor and outdoor competition. Coby served as an Assistant Coach from 2009-12 before spending the fall semester of 2012 as the operations manager for the program. He served as the program’s Interim Director of Track & Field for the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons. With Cobey as Interim Director, Clemson finished off the four-year sweep of ACC championships in women’s indoor and outdoor track & field. The women’s team had eight straight NCAA top-20 finishes, including top-five efforts in 2012 and top-10 results in 2013. Cobey was retained by then-newly appointed and current Clemson head coach Mark Elliott in the summer of 2013 as the program’s Director of Operations and was an integral part of Elliott’s staff. Cobey helped the Tiger women to ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2015.
Cobey was a six-time all-conference thrower at Youngstown State, including a two-time conference champion. He ranks among the school’s top 10 performers in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, discus and hammer throw.
“I am very excited for Shawn and giving him the opportunity to coach again. Originally, he was the throws coach before my tenure started as the head coach here,” said Elliott. “Shawn has served Clemson in many different roles, including as an interim and assistant coach. For me, it was an easy choice to give him this opportunity because I know the way he feels about Clemson and the track & field program.”