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Smith Gilbert completes her Georgia track and field staff

Caryl Smith Gilbert new Georgia track and field coach

Newly hired Georgia Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert has completed her coaching staff for the upcoming season, according to an announcement on the school’s website this week.

Who Has Smith Gilbert Kept On Georgia Track and Field Staff?

Following a successful stint with USC where she spent the last eight seasons as the Director of Men and Women’s Track and Field, Smith Gilbert who was employed last month to lead the Bulldogs men’s and women’s track and field programs, has decided to retain an assistant coach, hired two new coaches, and added a pair in operations to complete her staff.

The experienced coach has decided to hold on to distance coach Patrick Cunniff, who graduated from Georgia in 1991 and has coached for the Bulldogs since 2012, while Devin West and Deanna Hill have been also hired as assistants. 

In addition, Smith Gilbert has also recruited Pristina Jones and Noella Anyangwe to work in operations for the program. Former Texas Tech jumps and combined events assistant James Thomas also joined the coaching setup.

READ MORE: College standout Tamara Clark added to star-studded Monaco 200m field

“I think we have now assembled the pieces to our staff that easily make it one of the best in the country,” said Smith Gilbert, who placed Petros Kyprianou as the head of the Georgia programs.

“We have a mixture of coaches who have been on staff in Athens, including one who is a University of Georgia graduate, and know and understand the landscape and a group who is also extremely knowledgeable about our sport and who bring coaching and recruiting experience from a range of different places.

“I am excited to have this foundation in place and to see the next level we can get this program to.”

The hiring of Smith Gilbert to guide the track programs makes her the first female head coach of a men’s sports program in the history of Georgia Athletics. Will she get the chance to work with standout sprinter Matthew Boling?

She led the 2021 USC women’s squad to a team title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, her second national crown in the last three seasons. She also guided the men’s program to a top-five finish four times in the last seven championships. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Caryl Smith Gilbert to the University of Georgia,” UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks said at the time of her hiring.

“She is a phenomenal coach, skilled motivator and strong leader who will make our entire program better. Caryl exudes energy and passion that resonates with student-athletes, recruits and colleagues. 

“At UGA we aim to win championships in every sport, and she leads and coaches with the integrity, tenacity and toughness that aligns perfectly with our mission.” 

Gary Smith

Gary Smith

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of and Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break WriterView Author posts