Jeremy Sudbury named newest director of track, cross country squads



Iowa State track and field then-Assistant Coach Jeremy Sudbury looks on at the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 12.

Adarsh Tamma

Iowa State track and field and cross country Assistant Coach Jeremy Sudbury had his position upgraded Friday, as he was named the Cyclones’ newest director of track and field and cross country. Sudbury’s hiring comes after former Director Martin Smith was released by the university’s athletic department after Smith served in that position for eight years. Sudbury was previously named to the position with interim status.

Athletic Director Jamie Pollard had great things to say about Sudbury during the announcement Friday.

“Jeremy is the perfect person to assume the directorship of our track and field and cross country programs as we continue to build on our positive momentum,” Pollard said. “He has recruited and trained some of our most outstanding individuals and was instrumental in our programs becoming highly successful at the national level.” 

Having served as an assistant coach with the Iowa State squads since 2013, Sudbury’s teams have captured numerous titles, including six women’s and three men’s Big 12 cross country titles. The men’s squad also finished in the top 10 of the team standings at the NCAA meet, including placing fourth at the 2019 Championships. Iowa State also won its first conference title on the track in 2020, collecting the men’s Big 12 Indoor Title at home.

During his time in Ames, Sudbury has primarily worked with the distance-running athletes and coached multiple All-Americans and national champions. This includes recent Iowa State graduate Edwin Kurgat, who won the 2019 NCAA Individual Cross Country Championship, becoming the first Cyclone to do so since Jonah Koech in 1990. Kurgat was a four-time All-American on the track and won eight Big 12 titles across on both the track and cross country course.

Sudbury has also coached athletes to success in the men’s 800 meters, with Edward Kemboi winning both the indoor and outdoor titles in the event in 2015, eventually leaving Iowa State as a six-time All-American and seven-time Big 12 champion. The senior duo of Festus Lagat and Daniel Nixon have also had success under the tutelage of Sudbury. Lagat ran a school-record time of 1:45.05 in 2019 to finish third at that year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, while Nixon recently ended his Cyclone career at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday by finishing sixth in the final with a personal-best time of 1:45.56.

Sudbury expressed his excitement to be the head of the programs.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity that Jamie Pollard and Calli Sanders have given my family and I,” Sudbury said. “I am also thankful to Martin Smith for his mentorship, as it has prepared me for this position. I am confident the transition will be seamless, and my staff and I will be able to build off the successes we have had the past eight years.” 

Before joining Iowa State, Sudbury served as assistant coach for his alma mater, the Oklahoma Sooners, where he worked with the distance running group.