Connie Price-Smith
    Connie Price-Smith

    St. Charles, Mo.

    Head Coach

    13th season (2014)

    Alma Mater:
    Southern Illinois


    Salukis take two event titles on final day of Kansas Relays

    Sophomore Josh Freeman (shot put) and freshman Kyle Landon (high jump) each won for SIU.


    Saluki Track and Field signs No. 1-ranked shot putter, eight more for 2014-15

    Saluki signee Raven Saunders (Charleston, S.C./Burke HS) owns the national high school shot put record at 17.25m (56-07.25), nearly two feet further than the previous record.


    Saluki men and women both finish third at conclusion of MVC Indoor Championships

    Southern swept the MVC individual titles in the men's and women's high jump.


    SIU wins four more titles on final day of GVSU Big Meet on Saturday

    Southern has one more meet on Feb. 21 (EIU Friday Night Special) before the MVC Indoor Championships on March 1-2.


    Saluki men and women both finish third, Freeman breaks indoor shot put record at Notre Dame Invitational

    Sophomore Josh Freeman broke SIU throws coach John Smith's 30-year old shot put record with a launch of 19.25m (63-02.00).

    Email Coach Connie Price-Smith

    Head Coach Connie Price-Smith at 2012 Homecoming Game, where she served as Grand Marshall.

    Price-Smith holding her 2010 MVC women's Coach of the Year award.
    Price-Smith prepares for a shot put attempt.

    A four-time Olympian and one of the most decorated athletes Southern Illinois has produced, Connie Price-Smith enters her 13th season as head coach at her alma mater. After spending her first three years as the head women's coach, Price-Smith took over the combined men's and women's program in 2004-05 and has since kept SIU track and field among the top programs in the Missouri Valley Conference.

    Under Price-Smith, a 1990 SIU Hall of Fame inductee, the Saluki women's team has won four conference titles and finished a program-best ninth in the nation for Saluki women at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships -- the third best finish of either gender in SIU history. A four-time MVC Coach of the Year, Price-Smith has coached SIU athletes to a combined 155 MVC individual titles, 42 All-American honors and five individual NCAA champions during her time as both the head women's coach and at the helm of the combined program.

    The 2013 season saw the opening and dedication of Saluki track and field's new facility, the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex and Connie Price-Smith Throws Area -- the first landmark on SIU's campus to be named after an African-American woman. Under her watch in 2013 the Salukis added two more All-Americans (J.C. Lambert and DeAnna Price), three second-team All-American honors (Kim Fortney x2, Bradley Sauer) and eight more MVC individual champions.

    The Price-Smith led Salukis continued their MVC dominance in 2012, notching 16 more MVC Individual Championships, five All-Americans, an MVC Track and Field Most Valuable Player (Jeneva McCall, Indoor), an NCAA Runner-Up (J.C. Lambert, weight throw) and two more individual national championships across both the indoor and outdoor season.

    The Saluki men took the Missouri Valley indoor conference title, claiming four event titles to edge out Indiana State. The championship was the first for the men in 20 years and was the fifth MVC team championship won under Price-Smith's tutelage.

    Senior thrower Jeneva McCall brought the Salukis to national prominence with her two individual national championships in the weight throw and hammer throw. McCall recorded five MVC event championships in 2012 alone, which gave her 15 total titles during her career at Southern.

    The 2011 season saw both the Saluki men's and women's squads take second place at the MVC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, winning a combined 23 individual conference titles between the two seasons. The teams also garnered a combined six All-American honors in 2011.

    The 2011 indoor season was highlighted by senior Jeff Schirmer winning MVC Most Valuable Athlete honors for scoring the most points on the men's side at the MVC Championships, while junior Jeneva McCall was named Most Outstanding Field Athlete for the women. SIU sent five athletes to the NCAA Indoor Finals, where Salukis took home four All-American honors.

    Schirmer followed up with another Most Valuable Athlete nod at the MVC Outdoor Championships, while McCall was again named Most Outstanding Field Athlete. Fourteen Salukis qualified for the NCAA Regionals with five advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Finals, earning five All-American honors.

    Salukis earned three of the four available MVC Elite 18 honors for track and field in 2011 as Lucas Cherry (men's outdoor), Toni Whitfield (women's outdoor) and Emily Toennies (women's indoor) earned the award. Toennies was also awarded the MVC's prestigious Emerson Excellence Award.

    In 2010, Price-Smith led SIU track and field to one of the best seasons in recent memory, with seven different athletes earning 12 NCAA All-American honors, McCall winning the national championship in the discus and the women's team finishing ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In addition, the women's team won the MVC Outdoor Championship for a second consecutive season as Price-Smith earned her fourth MVC Coach of the Year honor. McCall became the first Saluki in program history to earn All-America honors in five events in the same season.

    The 2009 season saw the SIU women's team sweep the MVC Indoor and Outdoor titles with Price-Smith earning women's Coach of the Year honors for both seasons.

    Between 2005 and 2008, the SIU women's team advanced athletes to both the NCAA Outdoor and Indoor Championships each season, finishing in the top 25 nationally four times. The 2007 and 2008 women's indoor team finished 19th and 17th in the nation, respectively, thanks to Southern's only female back-to-back national champion, Brittany Riley (weight throw). The 2008 outdoor team finished in a tie for 25th nationally, the program's best finish until the 2010 season.

    In addition to her duties at SIU, Price-Smith has been involved in coaching at the international level for USA Track and Field since 2004. She served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2004 IAAF World Junior championships, the 2005 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 World Cup. Price-Smith served as Team USA's head coach at the 2007 Pan American Games before serving on her first Olympics coaching staff the following year as an assistant women's coach for throws at the 2008 Beijing Games. She most recently served as head women's coach for Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Championships, assistant women's coach for throws at the 2012 London Olympics and the head women's coach at the 2013 World University Games in Russia -- where former Saluki Jeneva McCall became the first American woman to ever medal in the hammer throw with her gold medal victory.

    Price-Smith began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State after retiring from a successful 14-year career as a world-class thrower. In addition to competing in the Olympics in 2000 (Sydney), 1996 (Atlanta), 1992 (Barcelona) and 1988 (Seoul), Price-Smith is a 25-time national champion in the shot put and discus.

    All told, Price-Smith won 18 outdoor national titles, six indoor titles and five Olympic trials championship titles during her post-collegiate career. Her world rankings in the shot put in 1995 (6th), 1996 (5th), 1997 (6th), 1998 (3rd) and 1999 (7th) made her the first U.S. woman to be world-ranked in the shot put for five consecutive seasons.

    In 1992, Price-Smith became the first woman to win both the shot put and discus at an Olympic trial in 32 years. In 1995, she became the first U.S. woman in 35 years to win a World Championship medal in the shot put. Though Price-Smith never won an Olympic medal, her fifth-place finish in the shot put at the 1996 Atlanta Games is the highest finish by a U.S. woman in the event since 1960.

    Ironically, Price-Smith only competed for the Saluki track and field team for one season after wrapping up a successful four-year basketball career at SIU. From 1980-84, Price-Smith was a center for the Salukis under coach Cindy Scott.

    A two-time All-Gateway Conference selection, Price-Smith scored 1,271 points and pulled down 744 rebounds during her basketball career. She still ranks in the top 10 in school history in career scoring, rebounding, rebound average, field goal percentage, free throws made and free throws attempted.

    Price-Smith threw the shot put for the first time as a senior at the urging of former SIU track and field standout John Smith, whom she married in 1990 and now coaches alongside. She quickly became dominant in the shot put and discus, winning MVC indoor and outdoor titles in the shot put in 1985. She ranks fifth in SIU history in the discus, eighth in the outdoor shot put and ninth in the indoor shot put.

    In addition to being inducted into the SIU Hall of Fame in 1990, Price-Smith also received the SIU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 and was named the Administrative/Professional Woman of Distinction in 2007. She was also selected for induction to the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 2012 as an Institutional Great.

    Career Notes:
• Saluki Track and Field head coach from 2004 to present; Saluki Women's Track and Field coach from 2001-04.

    • Four-time MVC Women's Coach of the Year (2005 & 2009 indoor, 2009 & 2010 outdoor)
• Five MVC team championships (2005 & 2009 women's indoor, 2009 & 2010 women's outdoor, 2012 men's indoor)

    • Coached 42 All-Americans and five NCAA national champions.

    • Coached 155 MVC champions and 15 MVC Most Valuable Athletes.

    • Four-time Olympian (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)

    • 18 Outdoor national titles, six indoor titles and six Olympic trials titles as a post-collegiate thrower.

    • MVC Hall of Fame (2012)

    • SIU Athletics Hall of Fame (1990)

    • SIU Distinguished Alumni Award (2001)

    • SIU Administrative/Professional Woman of Distinction (2007)

    MVC Indoor Finish Men Women
    2002 N/A 5th
    2003 N/A 2nd
    2004 N/A 4th
    2005 4th 1st
    2006 3rd 5th
    2007 3rd 5th
    2008 2nd 2nd
    2009 3rd 1st
    2010 2nd 2nd
    2011 2nd 2nd
    2012 1st 4th
    2013 3rd 5th

    MVC Outdoor Finish Men Women
    2002 N/A 5th
    2003 N/A 5th
    2004 N/A 3rd
    2005 5th 2nd
    2006 4th 4th
    2007 4th 5th
    2008 3rd 2nd
    2009 2nd 1st
    2010 2nd 1st
    2011 2nd 2nd
    2012 4th 3rd
    2013 3rd 4th
    Friday, Apr 25
    Track Jonesboro, Ark. All Day
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    Track Normal, Ill. All Day
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    Friday, May 16
    Track Carbondale, Ill. All Day
    Saturday, May 17
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    Sunday, May 18
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    Thursday, May 29
    Track Fayetteville, Ark. All Day
    Friday, May 30
    Track Fayetteville, Ark. All Day
    Saturday, May 31
    Track Fayetteville, Ark. All Day
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