The following is a republished press release from Cornell Athletics and was NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Adrian Durant, widely considered to be one of the top young track coaches in the country, has been named the Coach of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country it was announced on Monday. Durant takes the reigns from longtime coach Nathan Taylor, who retired in July.

“Over the past three years, I have fallen completely in love with Cornell track and field; the staff, the team, the alumni, and the zeal that you encounter on a daily basis,” Durant said.

“I am proud to now be at the helm of a program that has a rich tradition of being at the top of the Ivy League and I am enthusiastic and optimistic about the future and what it holds.”

A ‘Cinderella story’

Before his coaching days, Durant was a highly successful sprinter himself.

From Durant’s record:

— As a member and captain of the USVI national team, Durant made multiple appearances on the world stage and holds multiple junior and senior records.

— Durant’s participation in major competition includes appearances at the 2004 Olympic Games in Atlanta, two Pan-American senior and one junior championships, four IAAF world and one junior championship, a World University Games and a number of Central American and Caribbean Championships.

—  Durant’s collegiate career was very much a Cinderella story. Starting out as a walk-on at South Carolina, Durant quickly rose to through the ranks becoming one of the top sprinters on the team (2003-07).

— He earned All-America status as a member of the 4x400m relay team in 2003. He also ran the opening leg of the 4x400m relay team that finished first that year at the SEC Championships with a time of 3:04.66. While a member of the Gamecocks, Durant earned multiple all-region and academic all-conference honors. He made multiple appearances at the NCAA Championships and boasted personal bests of 10.37 in the 100, 20.83 in the 200 and 6.69 at 60 meters.

— Durant is a native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He is a USATF and IAAF certified coach, holds a degree in Technology Support & Training Management from South Carolina and earned a Master’s in Recreation and Sport Sciences with a concentration in Coaching Education from the University of Ohio.

Career as a coach

Durant, who has worked primarily with one of the nation’s top sprinting units while at Cornell over his three years as an assistant, has been part of three Heptagonal championship teams and three more runner-up squads. Student-athletes he has worked with have won 17 Heps individual and nine relay crowns and have been named NCAA All-Americans six times (three individual, three relay).

“I am excited to work alongside Adrian Durant  in his new head coaching position,” said Rich Bowman, the Alan B. ’53 and Elizabeth Heekin Harris Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country Coach. “His enthusiasm is so evident in all that he does and I know he will take the Cornell men’s track program to even higher heights. He’s a great choice and I’m looking forward to a fantastic year ahead.”

This past season, Durant helped lead the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams to Heps titles during the outdoor season. Max Hairston won the 110 hurdles and finished seconds in the 400 hurdles at the Heps. Tobennah Attah was the runner-up at 400 meters both indoors and outdoors, while Brailin Paulino was the runner-up outdoors at both 100 and 200 meters. In addition, he assisted in the development of the 4×100 women’s relay team that won a Heps title and posted a school record time of 45.21.

In 2013-14, Durant’s sprinters contributed directly to the men’s team victories at the indoor and outdoor Heps Championships and the indoor IC4A Championship. During the indoor season, several school sprint records were shattered, including the 60 record ( Bruno Hortelano- Roig- 6.69) and the men’s 400 record (Hortelano-Roig – 47.04), both achieved at the Heps championship in a double that had not never been previously achieved. The 4×400 (3:10.14) and 200 record (Hortelano-Roig – 20.75) were both toppled during the year.

Indoors, Hortelano-Roig became the first Ivy League athlete to achieve All-America status in the 200 in recent history, cementing himself as one of the Ivy League’s all-time great sprinters.

During the 2014 outdoor season, Durant’s sprinters continued their record-setting year, establishing new school bests in the 110 hurdles (Max Hairston – 13.74) and the sprint medley relay (3:21.01.

The 4×100 relay also continued their success from the previous year, establishing a top 10 mark and one of the few sub-40 second performances in Ivy League history with a 39.98 at the NCAA East Preliminary round. At the Texas relays, Cornell’s 4×400 shocked the field with their impressive 3:07.98, earning them third place in a highly competitive field and an NCAA East Preliminary round qualifying mark.