Herbster By the Numbers
4 - All-Americans (3 at Clemson - Kim Ruck, 2010; Alyssa Kulik, 2011-12)
7 - All-Region XC Selections at Clemson
30 - All-Conference XC Selections (2 at Clemson - Kim Ruck, 2009; Ty McCormack, 2011)
38 - Conference Track Champions (3 at Clemson - Kim Ruck, 2010 Indoor 5K & 2011 Outdoor 10K; Alyssa Kulik, 2012 Steeplechase)
Brad Herbster completed his fourth season as a member of Clemson’s cross country and track & field staffs in 2013. Herbster was added to the staff in 2009, a move that has had a tremendous impact on the program. Herbster was elevated to the title of associate head cross country coach in August of 2012.
Clemson has captured ACC championships in women’s indoor and outdoor track & field in each of the four seasons with Herbster on the staff. The women’s team has had eight straight NCAA top-20 finishes as well, culminating with a pair of top-five efforts in 2012 and two top-10 showings in 2013.
Herbster coached Alyssa Kulik to an incredible career in the steeplechase. She was fourth at the NCAA Championships in 2011, earning the first All-America honor in women’s program history for the event. She followed as a senior in 2012 with her first individual ACC Championship and a seventh-place finish and second straight All-America nod at the NCAA Championships. Kulik competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the steeplechase, finishing 15th.
In 2010, he coached Kim Ruck to All-America status with a seventh-place finish in the 5K at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Ruck was also the ACC’s indoor champion in the event, Clemson’s first indoor female distance champion in the conference in 17 years. Herbster coached her to a school-record time in the 5K. She also earned a bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10K, finishing in 13th place.
Ruck followed up with another quality season on the track in 2011. She won the ACC 10,000-meter race and was all-conference indoors in the 3K and 5K.
Under Herbster’s tutelage, Ruck and Kulik experienced outstanding individual results in cross country as well. Ruck was all-region three straight years (2009-11) and All-ACC in 2009. Kulik was all-region in 2010 and 2011, leading the team to a fourth-place finish in the latter year.
Ruck became the first Clemson female in 17 years to earn trips to all three NCAA national meets in the same calendar year when she competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall of 2010. She earned the trip by finishing sixth at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, KY. That season marked the first time in 17 years the Tiger women’s team had two all-region performers in the same cross country season.
Herbster continues to make strides with the men’s distance program as well. Chris Slate was All-ACC in the 800 both indoor and outdoor in 2011 and 2012. Slate also advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time as a senior in 2012, Clemson’s first in the 800 meters since 1999.
He coached Ty McCormack and Aaron Ramirez to strong cross country performances the last two years. McCormack was All-ACC in 2011, while Ramirez’ improvement culminated with an all-region showing in 2012. This past spring, he coached McCormack to his first All-ACC track honor with a runner-up performance in the steeplechase.
Herbster, like current Clemson assistant Tim Hall, joined the Tiger coaching staff after a stint with Charlotte. Herbster coached the distance athletes for the 49er program from 2002-09. During his time with the program, he was an integral part of four straight women’s Atlantic-10 championships as well as three of the last four men’s A-10 team champions.
His student-athletes earned great individual acclaim during Herbster’s tenure with the 49ers. He coached 35 conference champions (including relays) between indoor and outdoor track & field in his seven years with the program. In cross country, he mentored 28 all-conference performers, including the 2008 men’s and women’s individual champions.
The 2008 cross country season was a banner one for Herbster’s athletes. The women’s team was runner-up at the A-10 meet, thanks to an individual championship by Amanda Goetschuis. She went on to also earn all-region honors and compete individually at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. On the men’s side, Herbster coached Adu Dentamo to the first-ever A-10 individual championship in Charlotte history.
In 2002, Herbster’s first year, the men’s cross country team won its only Conference USA championship. Herbster was named Conference USA Coach of the Year in his initial campaign with the 49ers.
On the track, 27 of Herbster’s conference champions came from the women’s track & field team at Charlotte. He coached Aja Jackson to nine individual crowns from 2007-09 and Cassie Ficken to seven in 2005 and 2006. Under Herbster’s coaching, Ficken was the first indoor All-American in Charlotte women’s track & field history in 2005. Jackson was named A-10 Performer of the Year in 2009.
Herbster coached the 49ers to 10 conference championships in 2009 alone, including four relays. Charlotte swept the men’s and women’s distance medley relay at the A-10 Indoor Championships, while the women’s 4x800m relay won both indoor and outdoor crowns. Four of his individual champions in 2009 were first-time winners at the A-10 Track & Field Championships.
Prior to joining the Charlotte program, Herbster spent four years as a high school coach in North Carolina. He coached cross country and distance events for North Mecklenburg High School for three years. He was named Coach of the Year by the Charlotte Observer in 2000-01. He produced six All-Americans and five state champions. He then spent one year at Hopewell High School in Huntersville, NC.
Herbster earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in 1991. He competed for the Gamecock cross country and track & field teams. Herbster was a three-time all-conference performer and still ranks fifth in school history on the all-time 3000-meter steeplechase performance list.
Herbster, 44, is married to the former Deborah Akins.