Distance coach has been a volunteer assistant at SFA for the past two seasons
Stephen F. Austin head track and field coach Phil Olson announced Brionne Clark as the new assistant track and field/cross country coach for both the men’s and women’s programs in the summer of 2015. Formerly a volunteer assistant, Clark is in her third year at SFA overall.
“We are extremely excited to have Brionne join our program on a full-time basis,” Olson said. “She brings a wealth of national experience to SFA, having coached at Oklahoma State and Wisconsin, as well as having competed for Wisconsin and Texas Tech. What makes Brionne special is not only her experience as a former athlete, but also her ability to evaluate, recruit, and coach at a high level. Her presence simply makes everyone around her better.”
Clark, formerly Yosten, spent the 2013-14/2014-15 seasons as a volunteer assistant coach for the SFA cross country and track and field teams. During that time she helped lead the men’s cross country team to consecutive runner-up team performances at the Southland Conference meet, while the Ladyjacks placed third in 2013 and finished second in 2014. Her distance runners also helped both the men and women sweep the indoor and outdoor conference track and field team titles in 2015.
During the 2014 cross country season, Clark watched Charles Mathenge break two school records, finish second individually at the SLC meet and qualify for the NCAA Championships. Along with Mathenge’s First Team All-SLC selection, Colby Mehmen, Samantha Ottman, Courtney High and Brittany Innis grabbed second team honors under Clark.
Prior to coming to Nacogdoches, Clark spent four years as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, working primarily with the Cowgirl cross country and distance runners.
During her time in Stillwater, 18 Oklahoma State runners earned All-America status. She helped Mihaela Susa (2010 indoor mile), Felicity Milton (2010 indoor 5,000m), Natalja Piliusina (2011 indoor 800m) and the 2011 women’s indoor distance medley relay collect All-American honors and saw Piliusina win the 1,500m outdoor NCAA title in 2011.
Piliusina, Susa and the women's distance medley relay squads all won Big 12 titles under Clark at the 2011 indoor conference championships and OSU's 30 team points at that meet marked the squad's best showing since 2006.
The 2010 women's cross country team placed fourth at the Big 12 Championships and 17th at the NCAA Championships for its best showing since 2005.
With Clark serving as their coach, Piliusina set school records in both the indoor and the outdoor 800 meters and Susa set the school record in both the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500 meters. She also worked directly with the record-setting women's DMR team in 2011.
A familiar name to those who follow Big 12 running, Clark was a 12-time all-conference performer and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier during her athletic career at Texas Tech. A member of the distance medley relay team that captured the Big 12 championship, Clark is also the Red Raiders’ school record holder in the 1,000m run.
After receiving her bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics with a minor in chemical engineering from Texas Tech in 2005, she went on to continue her education in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. With one year of athletic eligibility remaining, she competed her last outdoor track season as a Badger and ran the 1,500 meters at the 2006 NCAA Championships.
She stayed on to volunteer with the Wisconsin staff for two years, where her duties consisted of assisting with the distance groups, scheduling and administrative help. Her first full-time coaching opportunity came at Western Michigan in 2008, where Clark coached the Bronco distance runners for one season before going to Oklahoma State.