Donnie Young has served as an assistant coach with the Vanderbilt track and field program since joining the staff in September of 2011. Young coaches sprints, hurdles and relays. His impact has been immediately felt in the ever-growing stable of Commodore hurdlers and sprinters.
Young helped guide the Commodores through a highly-successful season in 2013-14 that featured a continuous stream of top-10 showings on Vanderbilt's all-time performers list.
During the indoor season, Young helped guide freshman Courtney Clayton to memorablecampaign. She notched the second-best mark on Vanderbilt's all-time performance list in the 800 with a time of 2:07.60, and went on to earn a spot on the SEC's All-Freshman Team with a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championships. Clayton was the only freshmen to place in the event.
Also during indoor, Jennifer Cannon notched the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time performer's list in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.55, and Sarah Goodalde posted the No. 7 ranking in that same event at 8.98. Cannon also posted the sixth's best time on VU's performers list in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.01, while Faith Washington and Edmond posted the No. 1 and No. 2 marks in the 300 at 39.86 and 40.96, respectively. Also, the 4x400 relay team of Washington, Skyler Carpenter Courtney Clayton and Edmond notched the No. 3 spot with a time of 3:40.2.
After the Commodores moved to the outdoor portion of their schedule, Young helped Erin Edmond and Skyler Carpenter each carve out spots among the top five on the school's all-time performance list: Edmond posted the school's fifth-best time in the 400-meter dash (55.45) and Carpenter moved to fifth on VU's all-time performers list with a time of 58.98 in the 400-meter hurdles. Carpenter and Edmond -- along with Courtney Clayton and Simone Charley -- were also members of the 4x200 relay team that set a school record with a time of 1:40.24.
In 2013, a talented young group began etching their names in the program's top-10 lists. Freshman Jennifer Cannon tied the school record in the 100 meter hurdles, posting a time of 13.51 which helped her qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round. She was joined in postseason action by classmate Faith Washington, who ran the fastest 400 meter hurdle time at Vanderbilt since 1999 to qualify.
In addiiton, freshman Skyler Carpenter and sophomore Janetra Gleaves already find themselves with top-10 times in the 400 meter hurdles and 100 meter hurdles, respectively. Cannon also became just the sixth Vanderbilt athlete to post a heptathlon score over 5,000 points (5,183), anchored by a second place finish in the 100 meter hurdles and a fifth place finish in the 200 meters.
His first season was highlighted by the sprinter Erin Edmond running the 400 meter leg of the distance medley relay team which placed fourth at the 2012 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Young also helped bring in a trio of sprint and hurdle athletes who will have an immediate impact on the program in Jennifer Cannon, Skyler Carpenter and Faith Washington. All three runners finished their prep careers with nationally ranked times in the 300 meter hurdles, while Cannon competed in the heptathlon at the New Balance High School Nationals.
Young came to Vanderbilt after helping the Bowling Green track team to their best season in nearly a decade. In his year at BGSU, the Falcons placed eighth and tallied 45 points, earning their highest finish at the MAC Indoor Championship meet since 2007 and tied for their best point total since 1999.
Along the way, Young's athletes had a record-breaking year. During the indoor season, twenty-two athletes either ran or jumped personal records. Sophomore sprinter Jeanette Pettigrew broke the 60-meter school record three times, highlighted by a second place finish at the MAC Championships with a time of 7.40.
In addition, senior Brittani McNeal set a personal record in the long jump at the Indoor MAC Championships, clearing 19' 4". McNeal also served as the anchor of the 4x400 relay team, which finished seventh in the MAC.
Prior to Bowling Green, Young coached at Archbold High School in Ohio. He helped the track program to a conference championship in 2010, with the team posting seven first place finishes. He also coached his bother, Danny, to a state championship in the 4x200 relay, the first relay state title in school history, and a fourth place finish in the 300 meter hurdles.
Before arriving at Archbold, Young served on the staff at his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, from 2007-09, first as the team's administrative assistant then as a graduate assistant. During his time, the Eagles won the 2008 MAC Championship, which was the program's 12th league title in 13 years and set a conference record for margin of victory.
Young was a four-year letter winner at Eastern Michigan and a three-time co-captain. He ran on MAC Championship 4x400 relay teams from 2003-07 and qualified for the NCAA Regional in the event in 2007. Young won four MAC Championships during his time as an athlete in Ypsilanti.