Martin Smith released as director of track and field, cross country


Photo: Brian Achenbach/Iowa Stat

Martin Smith, Iowa State director of track and field and cross country, stands in the Jacobson Building on July 1, 2013. 

Adarsh Tamma

Track and field and cross country Head Coach Martin Smith was released by the Iowa State Athletics Department on Wednesday after eight years as the director of the Cyclone program.

Athletic Director Jamie Pollard made the announcement through a press release Wednesday.

“I’ve decided that we needed new leadership in the programs going forward,” Pollard said. “We’ve had some significant success under Martin’s direction, but my personal observations over the last year convinced me that a change needs to be made.”

Smith’s track and field squad recently finished their season at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, last week, where seven Cyclones collected First or Second Team All-American honors. Over his tenure, Iowa State won one conference championship on the track, with the men’s squad collecting the 2020 Big 12 Indoor title in Ames. Christina Hillman, Edward Kemboi and Wesley Kiptoo won NCAA titles under Smith’s watch, as Hillman won both the indoor and outdoor women’s shot put titles in 2014, Kemboi collected top honors in the men’s 800 meters in 2015 and Kiptoo winning the indoor 5,000-meter title in 2021.

On the cross country course, Smith’s team won three men’s and six women’s Big 12 Conference titles while also qualifying for 12 total NCAA Championship meets across both squads. The Cyclones produced nine All-Americans over the course of Smith’s tenure, highlighted by Edwin Kurgat’s NCAA individual title win in 2019 to cap off an undefeated season. Cailie Logue also earned All-American honors in 2019 with a 15th-place finish and won her third-straight Big 12 Individual title in 2020.

Pollard also stated through the press release that Assistant Coach Jeremy Sudbury will take over as interim director.

“Jeremy has been on staff for eight years and has been instrumental in recruiting and coaching a number of our most prominent student-athletes,” Pollard said. “We have the utmost confidence in his ability to recruit, train and lead our student-athletes.”

Amy Rudolph will also continue in her position as associate head women’s cross country coach while also serving as an assistant track and field coach.

Iowa State will also see seven athletes compete in the Kenyan and U.S. Olympic Trials in Nairobi and Eugene, Oregon, respectively, with the list of participants available here.