UC's women's track and field/cross country head coach Susan Seaton is in her ninth year with the Bearcats after first coming aboard as an assistant coach in the 2004-05 season. Seaton has quickly elevated the UC program through a team-oriented and family-focused philosophy that has seen UC perform at record-breaking levels on the track while setting new standards for academic achievement. That paid off with UC's best-ever performances in the BIG EAST Conference women's championships in 2012, finishing in second indoor and fourth outdoor.
In Seaton's specialization as UC's men's and women's throws coach, her athletes have re-written the UC record books and now hold 10 out of 12 possible school records. Three of Seaton's UC throwers have earned individual conference titles: Steve Kahle, shot put; Jo Young, hammer throw; and Brian Zimmerman, javelin. Additionally, Ian Jarman won the 2008 Penn Relays title in the hammer throw under Seaton's tutelage and just this past summer Emelie Larsson and Frida Akerstrom won the Swedish Junior National Championship titles in the javelin and shot put, respectively.
Seaton led the Bearcats to new benchmarks in 2012. Along with the team finishes at the conference championships, Jasmine Cotten (pentathlon) and Kathy Klump (800 meters) earned All-American honors at the NCAA indoor national championships. Klump attained All-America at the NCAA outdoor championships as well in the 800 meters and was joined on the list by honorable mention honorees Cotten (heptathlon), Larsson (javelin) and Michelle Erby (pole vault). Klump was the BIG EAST champion in the indoor 500 meters and 800 meters. The Bearcats swept the conference pole vault titles with Sarah Rasnick winning indoors and Michelle Erby outdoors. Jasmine Cotten pulled off a multi-events double, winning the pentathlon indoors and the heptathlon outdoors.
During the 2011 indoor season, the women's team set school records in nine events, won the All-Ohio championship for the first time, crowned a BIG EAST indoor champion when Klump won the 500 meters and finished a then program-high sixth at the conference championship, scoring its most points ever (62.5) at the conference meet. The outdoor campaign continued in that fashion with seven new school records, the All-Ohio team title, the BIG EAST 4x400 meters relay champions and a program high sixth-place finish at the conference championship meet with a record number of 14 student-athletes qualifying for NCAA regional. Klump would advance to the NCAA national championship meet where she would attain All-America honors in the 800 meters.
In 2009, Seaton led the women's team to a sixth-place showing at the conference outdoor championships, its best finish since joining the BIG EAST to that date. Seaton also led the indoor squad to a then program-best seventh-place showing at the conference championships. During the outdoor season, the Bearcats had a program-record 23 student-athletes qualify for the BIG EAST championships and six advanced to compete at the NCAA regionals. In addition, UC broke nine indoor and five outdoor school records.
Off the track, the UC women's program has earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team Awards in cross country and track and field for the last three seasons, with a program high 3.64 GPA by the women's cross country team in 2009, ranking them 18th in the country amongst all Division I institutions. UC also named 11 individuals to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team after reaching NCAA regional or NCAA preliminary qualifying marks in their respective events while posting GPA's greater than 3.25. The Bearcats also do countless volunteer service hours in the community with organizations like Girls on the Run, the local veteran's hospital, Operation School Bell, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank as well as mentoring at various local schools.
Career Coaching Accomplishments: National Champions: 2 (Sweden) All-Americans: 6 Academic All-Americans: 33 NCAA Finals Participants: 14 NCAA Regional/Preliminary Championship Participants: 33 NCAA Team Finishes Top 20: 14 NCAA Team Finishes Top 10: 10 NCAA Team Finishes Top 5: 4 Conference Team Titles: 15 Individual Conference Champions: 22 School Records: 37
Before joining the Bearcats Seaton spent six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin and three years as an assistant at Northern Arizona University. During that time Seaton mentored five All-Americans, 16 conference champions, and nine NCAA qualifiers and was part of 15 conference championship team titles and 10 NCAA Top 10 teams.
A native of Saalfeld, Germany, Seaton earned her bachelor's degree from the German College of Sports Science in 1991 and a master's in exercise science from the University of Leipzig in 1994. Seaton was a standout athlete for the East German junior track and field team and competed for her German club team SC Motor Jena from 1984-87. She has competitive experience in the javelin, discus, shot put, multi events, high jump, long jump, hurdles and cross country. At the prime of her career she was a javelin specialist and took third place at the 1989 East German amateur national championships and finished in second place at the 1986 national club championships.
Seaton has earned Level I and Level II USA Track and Field coaching education certifications, is a graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy and a member of the Alliance for Women Coaches. In the fall of 2010, Seaton was selected to serve on the NCAA Division I Track and Field / Cross Country Committee and recently had her term extended to June 2015. In addition to her committee responsibilities, Seaton has also been a speaker on the topic of throwing events, jumping events and training theory at major coaching clinics throughout the United States.
Susan and her husband, Robert, who reside in College Hill, are parents to sons Patrick (25) and Aidan (5).