Ole Miss track & field and cross country has added accomplished professional and collegiate coach Adam Smith to lead the Rebel distance programs, head coach Connie Price-Smith announced on Friday.
Smith comes to Oxford following four years coaching professional runners as part of the Reebok Boston Track Club. Prior, Smith was an assistant coach at Syracuse for six years, where he helped lead the Orange to the 2015 NCAA men’s cross country title amid a slew of other achievements.
“I am excited to have Adam Smith join our staff, and I think he will be a great addition to our program,” Price-Smith said. “Coach Smith is the perfect person to step in and continue building the strong distance group that Ole Miss is accustomed. Our athletes are looking forward to getting the season started and being able to work with Coach Smith, and so is the rest of our staff. Adam has a great personality, a great record of coaching elite athletes, and a strong desire to be not just good, but great. I can’t wait to get the season started.”
In total as a collegiate coach on the track across stops at Syracuse and his alma mater, North Carolina, Smith has tutored one NCAA Champion, four NCAA runners-up, 28 All-Americans and 10 ACC Champions, while his athletes have scored 714 total conference points and 74 NCAA points – leading to a conference title at Syracuse indoors in 2016 (men) and four NCAA top-25 team finishes.
As a cross country coach, Smith has mentored one NCAA Champion, one NCAA runner-up, 13 All-Americans, 44 all-conference performers and six conference champions. As a team, Smith has been part of the aforementioned 2015 NCAA men’s title team at Syracuse, as well as 10 NCAA top-25 team finishes – four of which were in the top-10 – in addition to six consecutive conference team titles during all six years he was with the Orange.
Smith now takes the reins of what has become one of the most elite distance programs in the NCAA at Ole Miss, which has recently soared to new heights both on a conference and national level both in cross country and track & field.
“I would like to thank Coach Connie Price-Smith and her staff for their confidence in me to lead such a historic program,” Smith said. “I am looking forward to getting to work with a tremendous group of student-athletes, while continuing to recruit and develop top-tier talent down here to Ole Miss.”
Smith’s time with the Reebok Boston Track Club, which he helped found with head coach and former Syracuse head coach Chris Fox, saw him coach the likes of Olympians Justyn Knight (Canada) and Amy-Eloise Markovc (United Kingdom) in addition to several other globally prominent professional distance runners.
Knight most recently was an Olympic finalist in the 5K for his native Canada, finishing seventh at the Tokyo Games. Smith’s relationship with Knight dates back to helping recruit him to Syracuse, where on the track he was an eight-time All-American, three-time NCAA runner-up and the 2018 NCAA Indoor champion in the 5K in a career that saw him end with the fourth-best outdoor 5K (13:17.51) and sixth-best outdoor 1500-meter (3:36.07) times in NCAA history. Knight was one of the best NCAA cross country runners of his era as well, earning All-America honors three times while winning the 2017 NCAA individual title and leading the Orange men to the 2015 NCAA team title – the first win for Syracuse since 1951.
Amy-Eloise (Neale) Markovc ran collegiately at Washington, but with Reebok made the Tokyo Olympic team for the United Kingdom in 2021 in the 5K, where she ran a PR of 15:03.22. Markovc has made Great Britain’s world team for the 2022 World Athletics Championships after winning the U.K. title in the 5K – her second World appearance in her pro career with Fox and Smith.
Other professional runners Smith helped coach include: Canadian and former Michigan NCAA Champion Ben Flanagan; 2022 World Indoor finalist in the 1500-meter Josette Norris of the United States; Americans and former Syracuse runners Colin Bennie, Martin Hehir and Paige Stoner, all of whom are currently among the top marathoners in the United States; and Ole Miss NCAA Champion and All-American, Robert Domanic.
Knight was a program changer for Syracuse, who Smith helped recruit and coach during a historic run in Orange program history. In cross country during Smith’s six-year tenure, Syracuse notched eight NCAA top-25 team finishes – six of which came from the Orange men, with four in a row in the top-10 throughout Knight’s career. That culminated with the national title in 2015, an 82-91 victory over preseason favorites Colorado spurred on by four All-American finishers: Knight (fourth), Colin Bennie (eighth), Martin Hehir (ninth) and Philo Germano (39th).
Syracuse was also dominant on a conference level during Smith’s time, winning six consecutive men’s conference titles – one Big East win in 2012, followed by five straight ACC wins from 2013-17. Smith also coached five individual conference champions while with the Orange, with Knight (2016, ’17) claiming two, Hehir (2012, ’14) nabbing two as well, and on the women’s side All-American Paige Stoner winning the ACC crown in 2017 to give Syracuse the individual title sweep.
On the track, Smith’s athletes scored 664 conference points throughout his Syracuse tenure (545 ACC, 119 Big East), with eight ACC Champions and the first conference team title for the Orange since 1992 with a men’s win indoors in 2016. On the national stage, the Orange tallied four NCAA top-25 team finishes thanks to 74 NCAA points and 27 First or Second-Team All-Americans.
Smith coached at his alma mater North Carolina from 2010-12, helping the Tar Heel women in a volunteer capacity during the 2010 and 2011 cross country seasons and the 2011 track season before being promoted to an assistant coach for the 2012 track season. Smith was part of a 14th-place national cross country finish for the UNC women in 2010, led by two-time All-American Kendra Schaaf (11th place), who also won the ACC title in 2011. On the track in those two seasons, Smith’s 800-meter women scored 50 conference points and won two ACC titles courtesy of Tasha Stanley.
Smith is a 2010 graduate of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s in American history with a minor in coaching education while competing for the Tar Heels in cross country and track & field. He was a two-time All-ACC scorer, first as the ACC runner-up in the 800-meter and then on UNC’s title-winning distance medley relay indoors in 2009. Smith served as the men’s team captain his junior and senior years and was a Carolina Leadership Academy 3DL Award Winner.
Adam Smith Coaching Career • At a Glance
2022-Present – Ole Miss – Assistant Coach
2018-2022 – Reebok Boston Track Club – Assistant Coach
2012-18 – Syracuse – Assistant Coach
2012 – North Carolina – Assistant Coach
2010-12 – North Carolina – Volunteer Assistant Coach
Adam Smith NCAA Cross Country Coaching Career • By the Numbers
1 NCAA Men’s Team Championship (2015)
1 NCAA Men’s Individual Champion (Justyn Knight, 2017)
1 NCAA Men’s Runner-Up (Justyn Knight, 2016)
10 NCAA Top-25 Team Finishes (6 men, 4 women)
4 NCAA Top-10 Men’s Team Finishes
13 All-Americans (10 men, 3 women)
37 All-ACC (28 men, 9 women)
7 All-Big East (6 men, 1 woman)
6 Conference Team Titles (5 ACC, 1 Big East)
6 Conference Individual Titles (5 ACC, 1 Big East; 4 men, 2 women)
38 USTFCCCA All-Academic individual honors
12 USTFCCCA All-Academic team honors
2015 USTFCCCA Men’s Academic Team of the Year
8 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
Adam Smith NCAA Track Coaching Career • By the Numbers
1 NCAA Champion (Justyn Knight, 2018 Indoor 5K)
4 NCAA Runners-Up
28 First or Second-Team All-Americans
74 NCAA Points
4 NCAA Top-25 Team Finishes
10 ACC Champions
2016 ACC Indoor Team Champions (Men)
714 total conference points scored (595 ACC, 119 Big East)