SIU alum Anthony Acklin named Track and Field assistant coach

    Acklin has coached on nine NJCAA National Championship teams.

    Acklin has coached on nine NJCAA National Championship teams.

    July 28, 2014

    By Tyler Wooten
    SIUSalukis.com

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field alum Anthony Acklin (2003-06) has been named SIU's assistant track coach in charge of sprints and hurdles, SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith announced on Monday.

    Acklin comes back to Carbondale after two successful stints as an assistant coach at the NJCAA level at Iowa Central Community College (2009-14) in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Rend Lake College (2006-09) in Ina, Ill.

    "It's an exciting opportunity to be able to come back and coach at SIU," Acklin said. "I'm grateful for this opportunity from Coach Price-Smith to be part of her staff. I look forward to taking this program to another level."

    "I'm excited about having Anthony join our staff," Price-Smith said. "He is a very dedicated, hard-working individual who will be a great addition to our program. As a former Saluki track and field student-athlete, he has a good knowledge of the type of athlete that will fit into this program to further the success we are already enjoying. Anthony's experience in recruiting and coaching will provide us with the piece of the puzzle that I think we've been missing."

    At Iowa Central, Acklin was part of seven NJCAA National Championship teams with the Tritons -- one of the top junior college track programs in the country. While on staff, the Triton men won the indoor national title three times (2011-12, '14) and the Triton women won three indoor titles (2010, '12, '14) and one outdoor title in 2013. With Iowa Central, Acklin was named the NJCAA Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year three times -- most recently this past indoor season with the Triton women. In 2011 alone, Acklin coached three Triton male hurdlers who ran 13.90 seconds or faster in the 110 meter hurdles at the national meet outdoors.

    Acklin had similar success with Rend Lake in his three seasons in Ina. The Warriors swept both the men's and women's indoor NJCAA national titles in 2008 with Acklin on staff -- the only two national titles in Rend Lake track history. In eight years as an assistant coach at the junior college level at both Iowa Central and Rend Lake, Acklin has produced 97 All-Americans and 43 NJCAA National Champions.

     

     

    Some of Acklin's most prominent pupils have gone on to compete for their own national teams. At Iowa Central, Acklin coached three national team members: Adriana Bradford (USA, 2010), Nathan Arnett (Bahamas, 2010-11) and Reyare Thomas (Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-12). Bradford was a member of Team USA for the 2010 Thorp Cup; Arnett, an eventual DI transfer to Mississippi State, was the 2010 Bahamian 400 meter runner-up and NACAC team member; and Thomas, who eventually transferred to Abilene Christian, represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Acklin also boasts one World Junior team member to his credit: Jessica Merrieweather, who ran for Team USA in the 2009 Pan-American Juniors.

    Acklin's most famous pupil, though, is Olympic silver medalist Ryan Bailey. Acklin coached Bailey at Rend Lake, where Bailey won two individual NJCAA titles (indoor 55 meter dash, outdoor 100 meter dash) and set the NJCAA record in the 100 meter with his national title winning time of 10.05. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Bailey was the anchor on the American 4x100 meter relay with Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin and Trell Kimmons that won silver and broke the all-time US record in the event (37.04). As anchor, Bailey actually went one-on-one with Jamaican star Usain Bolt around the final leg. Bailey was also a finalist in the 100 meter dash, where he finished in fifth place.

    Acklin, 31, is a 2006 SIU graduate with a bachelor's in liberal arts and was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Champion for the Salukis on the track from 2004-06 -- including a repeat performance in the 110 meter hurdles outdoors in 2005 and 2006. Acklin still ranks high in the SIU record books, as he holds second place all-time in the 110 meter hurdles (13.68 seconds, 2006) and is tied for third in the indoor 60 meter hurdles (7.92, 2004). That 110 meter time finished as the sixth-best in the NCAA in 2006.

    Before SIU, Acklin was a two-time NJCAA All-American at Wallace State Community College. Acklin is a native of Glassboro, N.J., where he went to Triton Regional High School and was inducted into Triton's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

    For his first attempt at the Division I level, Acklin already has some successful student-athletes to work with in Carbondale. Returning for SIU are NCAA Regional Qualifier Kemar Jones (who led the Saluki men in the 110 meter hurdles last year at 14.18 seconds), Nikolai Gall (2013 MVC Outdoor 400 meter champion; sat out 2014 due to injury) and Amiris Warren, the all-time SIU record holder in the 100 meter dash (11.51).

    Anthony Acklin Coaching Career: At a Glance (2006-2014)
    Iowa Central Community College | Assistant Coach (2009-14)
    Rend Lake College | Assistant Coach (2006-09)

    • Part of seven Triton NJCAA National Championship teams at Iowa Central CC
    • Also won two indoor NJCAA national titles with Rend Lake (2008, men and women)
    • Triton men have won the indoor national title in 2011, 2012 and 2014
    • Triton women have won three indoor titles (2010, 2012, 2014) and one outdoor title (2013)
    • Three-time NJCAA Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year (2009, men; 2010, 2014 women)
    • Has produced 97 All-Americans and 43 NJCAA National Champions in eight years
    • At the 2011 men's national outdoor meet, had three male hurdles run 13.90 or faster in the 110 meter hurdles
    • Coached three national team members at Iowa Central: Adriana Bradford (USA, 2010); Nathan Arnett (Bahamas, 2010-11); and Reyare Thomas (Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-12)
    • Bradford was part of Team USA for the 2010 Thorp Cup
    • Arnett, a transfer to Mississippi State, was the 2010 Bahamian 400 meter runner-up and NACAC team member
    • Thomas, a transfer to Abilene Christian, was a Trinidad and Tobago team member for the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Summer Olympics in London
    • Coached one World Junior team member: Jessica Merrieweather (Team USA, 2009 Pan-American Juniors)
    • Also coached 2012 USA Olympic silver medalist, Ryan Bailey, at Rend Lake
    • Bailey was a member of USA's silver medal 4x100 meter relay in London
    • USATF Level II certified in Sprints and Hurdles (2009)
    • USTFCCCA certified in Throws (2012)

    Anthony Acklin Athletic Career: At a Glance (2001-06)
    Southern Illinois (2003-06)
    Wallace State Community College (2001-03)

    • Three-year letter winner at SIU (2004-06)
    • Three-time MVC Champion (110 meter hurdles, 2005-06; 4x100 meter relay, 2006)
    • Earned All-MVC in each year with the Salukis
    • Still ranks third all-time at SIU in the indoor 60 meter hurdles (7.92, 2004)
    • Still tied for second all-time in the outdoor 110 meter hurdles (13.68, 2006)
    • 110 meter hurdle time of 13.68 finished ranked sixth nationally in 2006
    • Two-time NJCAA All-American with Wallace State
    • Inducted into Triton Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013

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