Donnie Young has served two seasons as an assistant coach with the Vanderbilt track and field program, coaching sprints, hurdles and relays. His impact has been immediately felt in the ever-growing stable of Commodore hurdlers and sprinters.
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.