Track & Field head coach Connie Price-Smith signs contract extension

    Jan. 28, 2011

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Saluki Athletics announced today that track & field head coach Connie Price-Smith has received a three-year contract extension through 2013.

    Last season, Price-Smith led the Southern Illinois University track & field program to one of the school's best seasons, with seven different athletes earning NCAA All-American honors. Thrower Jeneva McCall won the national championship in the discus, and the women's team finished ninth at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track National Championships.

    In addition, the women's team won the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor track championship for a second-consecutive season, and Price-Smith was named MVC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career.

    "Connie excelled as a multi-sport Saluki athlete, an Olympian and now one of the most successful track and field coaches in the nation," said Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "Our ninth-place finish in the women's outdoor championships was one of the finest team efforts in the history of the program. We are fortunate Connie is a Saluki and wants to be one for the foreseeable future."

    A former Olympian and SIU alum, Price-Smith has long served as a coach for the USA National team. In 2007, she was named head coach for the Pan American Games Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in 2008, was named to the Olympic team coaching staff in Beijing, China as an assistant coach for the women's throws. The terms of her contract allow Price-Smith to continue serving as a coach for Team USA.

    After graduating from SIU in 1985, Price-Smith became the first U.S. female athlete in 32 years to win both the shot put and discus at an Olympic Trials in 1992. In the shot put alone, she finished first on four-consecutive occasions at Olympic Trial Championship competitions between 1988 and 2000.

    Price-Smith was inducted into the Saluki Sports Hall-of-Fame in 1990. She received the school's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 and was honored as the SIU Administrative/Professional Woman of Distinction in 2007.

    "I am really excited, and it was a nice surprise," Price-Smith said. "It is the first time I have had a three-year contract. It is nice to be appreciated and have the administration recognize our hard work."