Women's Track
Vanderbilt Officials Will Not Retain Head Track Coach Lori Shepard

May 17, 2007

Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt athletic officials will not renew the contract of Lori Shepard, who is concluding her seventh year as head coach of the Commodore women's track program.

David Williams, Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and administrator of Commodore student athletics, said the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

The Commodore program is coming off a disappointing team performance at the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships. The squad finished 12th overall, and equalled its lowest point production since 1995.

"It is time to take our track program in a different direction," Williams said. "We will begin that process immediately, with the intent of building a program that can compete more successfully at the SEC and national level. Vanderbilt would like to thank Coach Shepard for her service to the University and its track program and wishes her the best in her future professional endeavors."

Shepard joined the Vanderbilt program as an assistant in 1993, serving seven years before accepting the head coaching position in 2001. Sprinter-hurdler Ryan Tolbert was one of her top Commodore athletes. Tolbert is a three-time SEC individual winner and also became the Commodores' only national champion by capturing the 400-meter hurdles at the 1997 NCAA Championships. Shepard also enjoyed success coaching the multi-event heptathlon, where pupils Josie Hahn and Garnetta Holloway earned SEC outdoor titles.

Shepard will continue with the team into June. Four Commodore athletes - Holloway and distance runners Erika Schneble, Carmen Mims and Ashleigh Wetzel - will compete next week at the NCAA Mideast Regionals with a berth in the national championships at stake.



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