This is an interesting hire by Pat Haden.
Smith Gilbert was a six-time Conference USA Coach of the Year at the University of Central Florida. She recently led the women's team to a fifth place finish at both the 2013 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor and Indoor Championships.
"I know we can win championships at USC and we will be a powerhouse program for both men and women," Smith Gilbert said. "I am from the West Coast and I look forward to getting back there. The academic and athletic tradition at USC is unparalleled and I plan to continue the tradition of winning and add to the numerous national championships USC has already won."
During her career, Smith Gilbert has produced 4 NCAA individual champions and more than 50 conference titlists. She spent the past six seasons (2008-13) at University of Central Florida overseeing the women's track and cross country programs. She was previously an assistant at Tennessee, Alabama and Penn State.
One Teeny Tiny problem here though...Smith Gilbert has never coached a men's track & field team.
I know there are some that will not be happy with this move. I admit to not being a T&F expert but hiring a coach who has never coached up the men's side of the ledger is kind of a red flag.
We welcome Coach Smith Gilbert, but I can't wait to hear the opinions on this.