WASHINGTON, DC – Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas has announced that 2008 Olympian, Joel Phillip, has been chosen as the next University of the District of Columbia Head Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach effective October 17th.
"Joel's coaching experiences, enthusiasm and work ethic are impressive," Thomas said, "The fact that he successfully competed at the highest level is icing on the cake. He understands the student-athlete experience and will provide effective leadership. I am extremely pleased to have Joel join the Firebird family."
Phillip has had a highly-decorated career in the sport of track & field that includes representing Grenada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There, he finished 39th in the qualifying round of the 400 meter dash with a time of 46.30 seconds. That same year, he competed as a student-athlete for Arizona State University at the NCAA Indoor Track National Championships, where he finished 2nd overall in the 400M dash, completing the race in 46.27 seconds. He was also part of the 4x400M Relay Team that finished 3rd with a time of 3:06.34.
Before he attended ASU, he competed at the Junior College level for Central Arizona College. There, he was a two-time All-American, won the 2007 NJCAA Outdoor National Championship in the Decathlon event, and led the 2006 Central Arizona team to the 2006 Outdoor National Championship. Also in 2006, Phillip earned a national title in the 4x400M Relay event.
Phillip most recently served as Head Coach of the Lehman College Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field program for the past year. At Lehman, he oversaw the program's daily operations, supervised and advised his coaching staff, designed and implemented training for sprinters, mid-distance runners, hurdlers and relay runners, recruited and handled several administrative responsibilities.
Prior to Lehman, Phillip had assistant coaching stints at Lindenwood University and Columbia University. While earning a Master of Art degree in Sport Management from Lindenwood, he assisted in coaching all six of the first All-Americans in the program's history. At Columbia, he helped lead the team to the school's first ever Women's Ivy League Team Championship in 2012.
Phillip earned his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Exercise and Wellness, Recreation Management at Arizona State in 2009. During his collegiate career, he served as team captain at Central Arizona in 2007 and at ASU from 2008-2010. He also served on the Track & Field Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at ASU from 2009-2010.
Phillip takes over a program at UDC that over the past four years boasts three East Coast Conference championships (2013 and 2014 – Indoor; 2014 Outdoor), nine All-American honors among five honorees, five ECC Athlete of the Year awards, and 173 total All-ECC honors with 122 nods to the First Team and 51 on the Second Team.
Off the track since 2013, the Firebirds also had a 2014 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American in Kaydian Jones, eight student-athletes were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team, and two teams in the last three years were awarded the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Award.
Phillip replaces Alton McKenzie, who left UDC after a six-year stint to serve as Associated Head Coach for his alma mater, Georgetown University.