D'Andre Hill, a former American Olympic sprinter, continues to place her stamp on Commodore women's athletics as she enters her third year as head coach of the Vanderbilt women's track and field team. A former multiple All-America at LSU, Hill was named as the Commodore head coach in August 2007 after serving three years as a highly regarded sprint assistant at TCU. In accepting the post, Hill also became the first African-American head coach in Vanderbilt Athletics history.
Since her arrival in Nashville, Hill has reshaped the Commodore program, focusing more attention in sprint events than in previous eras. Hill's roster makeover is beginning to take shape. In her third season, Hill's recruiting effort has produced what most observers agree is the team's strongest sprint corps in more than a decade. Hill's sprinters have entered the top ten in the 100 and 200 meter record books.
The recruitment of speed is a natural for Hill, the former NCAA national sprint champion from LSU who enjoyed plenty of success mentoring sprinters at TCU and Dayton.
"We are beginning to turn the corner in a very positive way," Hill said. "We're starting to attract quality sprinters to Vanderbilt, and have begun the process of building this program to the level where all of us at Vanderbilt want it."
In her third season in Nashville, Hill is starting to compile a squad that closely resembles the squads she coached as an assistant at TCU. Hill mentored several All-America recipients, including Virgil Hodge, who finished fifth in the 200 meters at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Hill's sprint corps at TCU paced the Horned Frogs to a 27th overall finish at the NCAA Championships last year. Hodge aided the team total with a fifth-place finish in the 200 meters and anchored the TCU 4x100-meter relay foursome to a fourth-place finish.
In each of Hill's years at TCU, the Horned Frogs improved on its finish at the NCAA, moving from 70th in 2005 to 27th this season. In 2006, Hodge continued her strong form by winning the 200 in a Central American international competition in 22.73. Hill's TCU sprinters also captured numerous Mountain West Conference individual titles, winning the 200 and 400 while sweeping two relays at the 2005 meet. The team enjoyed similar success at the conference's indoor championships.
Before joining TCU, Hill served three years as head coach at Dayton. Several Dayton team marks by runners mentored by Hill continue to stand today. Versatile sprinter Khaleelah Sneed holds team outdoor marks in the 200 meters (24.30) and 400 meters (53.30) that came under Hill's tutelege in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The school's standard in the 4x200-meter relay, 1:42.70, was set by Hill pupils in 2003.
As an American Olympian, Hill reached the semifinals of the 100-meter dash at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She also competed in the 1995 World Track and Field Championships. Hill also ran her most competitive races in important meets. Her personal best at 100 meters of 10.92 came while qualifying for the 1996 Olympics at the U.S. Trials. Her 200-meter personal best of 22.49 came at the 1996 NCAA Championships.
Hill enjoyed a stellar collegiate career competing for LSU, helping the Tigers to three straight national championships from 1994-96. Following her senior season, Hill was honored as the 1996 Honda Award recipient, given to the NCAA Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
Hill was a 15-time All-America recipient and six-time NCAA individual champion at LSU while running the 60, 100 and 200 meters and sprint relays. She was a two-time NCAA individual outdoor champion in the 100 meters, winning the prestigious event in 1995 and 1996. She also captured the indoor 55-meter national title in 1996. She also was part of a 4x100-meter relay squad at LSU that captured three consecutive national titles from 1994-96. Hill also placed second in the 200 meters during both the 1996 indoor and outdoor NCAAs. She is a member of the U.S. Women's Track Coaches Association and the USA Track Coaches Association.
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