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Columbia track & field coach Willy Wood has resigned his position to pursue new opportunities, according to a statement issued by Columbia’s athletics department on Thursday.
After inheriting non-competitive programs in 1994, Wood built a model of success — relying on the middle-distance and distance corps — to win eight Heps championships (three in men’s cross country, four in women’s cross country and one in women’s indoor track).
Columbia’s 2013 men’s cross country team was the most successful in school history. After claiming the Heps’ title, the Lions were second at the NCAA Northeast Regional.
But while so much success came from his distance squads, his standout individuals were sprinters as both Erison Hurtault and Sharay Hale were league record breakers in the 400-meter dash. In addition to Hurtault advancing to the Olympic Games for Dominica, both Lisa Stublic and Delilah DiCrescenzo have competed at the international level. Kyle Merber and Liam Boylan-Pett both broke four minutes for the mile in Columbia uniforms. Merber also broke the American College record in the 1,500 wile Boylan-Pett anchored the Lions to a stunning Penn Relays’ Championship of America in the 4×800-meter relay.
Columbia will begin a national search for a new coach in the coming days.