UNCW names new track and field coach

(Photo: UNCW Sports)

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (UNCWSports.com) – Former University of North Carolina All-American triple jumper and Western Carolina University assistant coach Austin Davis has been named the sixth head cross country and track and field coach in UNCW history.

Davis, 29, has coached at Winston-Salem State, Davidson and Western Carolina following his outstanding collegiate career in Chapel Hill.

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“We’re delighted to welcome Austin to the Seahawk family,” said eighth-year Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass. “Coach Davis is one of the top young coaches in America and we’re confident he will do an outstanding job with our program. Our student-athletes will really enjoy learning from Coach Davis and getting better every day.”

Davis joined the WCU staff in September of 2016 and spent two years in Cullowhee, working with all aspects of the program under Cale McDaniel. The Catamounts featured 14 NCAA qualifiers, 25 Southern Conference event champions and four conference performers of the year over the last two seasons. In addition, WCU won a combined five team titles in the two years.

“I’m humbled and excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at UNCW,” said Davis. “I’m thankful to Jimmy Bass‘ leadership and vision and trusting me to take on this role. I’m eager to build a winning program with the student-athletes that will prepare them mentally and physically for success on and off the track.”

Prior to his stop in the mountains, Davis coached one year at Davidson, working with the sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws.

The Durham, N.C., native and Northern Durham High School graduate previously served two stints as a volunteer coach at North Carolina. He helped three student-athletes captured Atlantic Coast Conference championships and featured 25 scorers in the ACC meet. Three of his student-athletes qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round and five advanced to the NCAA finals.

Davis began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Winston-Salem State. He worked with nearly all of the events while also gaining experience in strength and conditioning and academic advising. He coached 12 CIAA scorers and 25 All-CIAA performers. Five Rams earned conference MVP awards and three recorded NCAA-qualifying marks, including Tajanel McNeill, a walk-on who became a five-time CIAA MVP and four-time All-American.

During his time in Winston-Salem, Davis coached the 4×100 relay team that registered back-to-back second place finishes at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Davis holds three USA Track & Field Coaching Certifications, including Level I, Level 2 and Level 2 jumps.

As a student-athlete, Davis captured the ACC title in the triple jump in 2009 and was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American in the event. He holds the school’s indoor record in the triple jump at 16.30 meters and wound up earning All-ACC honors six times in indoor/outdoor track.

Davis earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise and Sports Science-Sports Administration with a minor in coaching at North Carolina in 2012.

UNCW’s Track & Field Head Coaches

Head Coach Seasons First Year Last Year
Bill Cason 3 1989-90 1991-92
Jim Sprecher 8 1992-93 1999-00
Kevin Ankrom 3 2000-01 2002-03
Jim Sprecher 12 2003-04 2014-15
Layne Schwier 3 2015-16 2017-18