Shawn Cobey enters his sixth season as a member of the Tiger track & field staff in 2014-15. He was an assistant coach from 2009-12 before spending the fall semester of 2012 as 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 newly appointed head coach Mark Elliott in the summer of 2013 as the program’s director of operations. He is responsible for all administrative functions for the program and is an integral part of Elliott’s staff.
Cobey’s women’s program was ranked in the top 15 of every USTFCCCA poll in the 2013 season, with a high of No. 1 for three weeks during the indoor campaign. He also guided the men’s team to its best collective effort in a number of years. The Tigers were third at both the ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, both program bests since 2008. The indoor men’s team tied for 25th place.
His program produced 17 first-team All-Americans in 2013, including Brianna Rollins with National Championships in the high hurdles both seasons. Rollins won The Bowerman, presented to the top collegiate track athlete in the nation. Rollins set NCAA records in the 60 hurdles and 100 hurdles in 2013. Cobey, the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Indoor and Outdoor Women’s Coach of the Year, guided several award winners. Rollins was USTFCCCA National Track Athlete of the Year, as well as ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Dezerea Bryant, Keni Harrison and Brittney Waller all earned Most Valuable Performer recognition at the league meets in 2013. He also coached the ACC’s Indoor Freshman of the Year for both sports, Tevin Hester and Mimi Land.
As an assistant, Cobey’s athletes were important contributors to the team success, both on the men’s and women’s sides.
Zach Berg overcame a long bout with injuries to flourish in 2010, his final season in a Clemson uniform. Under Cobey’s leadership, Berg established Clemson records in both the weight throw (66-11.5) and hammer throw (210-7) and was the third-place finisher at the ACC level in both events. He also earned his first-ever NCAA qualification by placing 12th at the East Prelims in Greensboro to close the outdoor season.
Alex Padgett would go on to break Berg’s record in the weight throw as a senior in 2011. His senior season culminated with his first and only ACC championship in the shot put at the outdoor league meet in Durham, NC. Padgett was also All-ACC in the indoor shot put under Cobey’s tutelage in 2011 as well.
On the women’s side, Waller worked her way from all-conference in the weight throw as a freshman to ACC Champion and second-team All-American in the event as a sophomore in 2011. Waller followed with league titles again in 2012 and 2013. She established a Clemson record in the weight throw as a senior and went on to earn a bronze medal in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Cobey compiled an impressive coaching résumé at Youngstown State. He coached the Penguin throwers to great individual success from 2003-09, serving the last three years as the program’s recruiting coordinator. Cobey coached 105 all-conference performers as an assistant coach at Youngstown State, which included 32 conference champions. Cobey had nine Horizon League champions and 20 all-conference performers in 2009 alone.
In addition to those outstanding totals, Cobey coached 23 NCAA Mideast Regional qualifiers, five Horizon League Performer-of-the-Meet recipients, and one Horizon League Athlete-of-the-Year. The Penguins experienced tremendous team success during his time as well, with the women’s team claiming five of the last six Horizon League outdoor championships.
In 2009, Cobey instructed a pair of NCAA Mideast Regional qualifiers in Joe Lahmon and Aaron Merrill. Both student-athletes also won a pair of Horizon League crowns. Merrill was also a USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete and third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Also in 2009, Danielle Curry won three Horizon titles (including a sweep of the indoor and outdoor shot put) in the women’s throwing events.
The most decorated thrower in Youngstown State history was coached personally by Cobey. Bethany Anderson was a 12-time Horizon League champion from 2005-08. She also was named Most Outstanding Field Performer at three different Horizon League meets during her time with the Penguin program.
He also coached Jarrod Davis to an outstanding career. Under his tutelage, Davis was a two-time Most Outstanding Field Performer and three-time qualifier for the NCAA Mideast Regional. Davis won three Horizon League championships in 2006.
Prior to his time as an assistant coach at Youngstown State, Cobey was head coach of his alma mater, Canfield High School, for two years. Canfield won two conference championships under Cobey’s watch.
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. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 2001. He earned a master’s degree in education leadership and administration in 2004.
Cobey, 35, is married to the former Ashleigh Evatt. The two reside in Central, S.C.