Susan Seaton, now in her 12th year at the helm of the University of Cincinnati track & field/cross country program (2015-16 academic year), has led the charge for a program on the rise as her current roster continues to rewrite the record books and move up in the national and regional rankings. This season also marks her first campaign as the full director of the Bearcats program after having the interim title removed on May 19, 2015. Having served as an assistant coach, head coach and now director, Seaton continues to work with the program’s throwers while also overseeing all facets of the men’s and women’s programs.
Under Seaton’s leadership, her program has continued to focus upon a One Team approach - valuing every member of the team and providing a family atmosphere. The One Team ideal can be seen throughout all aspects of the Bearcats’ program, including support for teammates as well as other UC student-athletes and their teams.
// COACHING EXPERIENCE Seaton has held several different titles throughout her 11 full seasons in Cincinnati. On May 19, 2015, Seaton was named the Director of Track & Field/Cross Country for the Bearcats, having the interim tag removed from the title she was given the previous September. Prior to her eight-month stint as the interim director, Seaton served as the women’s head coach for six years, first being named the interim head coach in June 2008 and then receiving the full title in May 2009. Seaton started with the Bearcats program in time for the 2004-05 season when she came aboard as a men’s assistant coach. Through the entirety of her UC career, Seaton has worked and continues to work with the men’s and women’s throws group.
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.
Seaton has a Level I and II USA Track & Field coaching education certification, and she is a graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy and a member of the Alliance for Women Coaches. She also served on the NCAA Division I Track & Field/Cross Country Committee for five years, including a stints as the chair of the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships. In addition to her committee responsibilities, Seaton also speaks at major coaching clinics across the United States.
// ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT Since joining the Bearcats in time for the 2005 season, Seaton has had a role in the successful development of many student-athletes. As an event coach, head coach and program director, Seaton and her staff have worked with 11 different Bearcats that have tallied 19 total All-America honors; 41 student-athletes that have participated in 86 events at the NCAA outdoor regional meets; and has had 23 different Bearcats collect 33 conference crowns (32 individual, 1 relay). During the 2016 indoor season, the Bearcats collected seven of those 33 conference crowns, including sweeps of the men’s and women’s long jump and weight throw competitions. Rebecka Abrahamsson swept both the long jump and triple jump events while Erika Hurd made it three in a row in the high jump competition and four overall (one outdoor title). Along with the women’s team finishing runners-up, Annette Echikunwoke earned Female Field Performer of the Meet following her dominating weight throw victory.
Similar to the previous seasons, the women took aim at rewriting the record books in 2016 as six school records were broken, including three of the four throwing events (both weight throws and the men’s shot put). Echikunwoke smashed the weight throw mark, breaking the record five different times during the season, while Macklin Tudor (SP) and Josh Province (WT) took down the men’s throwing marks. All told, both programs combined to record 68 marks that ranked among the school’s all-time Top 10 indoors, including 35 marks by the men and 33 from the women.
The 2015 seasons saw Seaton’s throwers make major alterations to the school’s record book. Combined between the men and women, both indoor and outdoor, her athletes reset nearly half (five total) of the school’s records in a possible 12 throwing events. On the men’s side, Tudor broke three throwing records, resetting the top marks in the shot put, both indoor and outdoor, as well as the discus. Frida Akerstrom also had a hand in multiple records as she took the top ranking in both the indoor and outdoor shot put while throws teammate Monica Phillips bettered the standard outdoors in the hammer. For the program as a whole, 17 total school records were reset in 2015. To cap the 2015 campaign, six All-America honors were attained, including two each from Hurd (indoor and outdoor high jump) and Adrian Valles (indoor and outdoor pole vault), a competitor in the pole vault for Spain at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. Also earning All-America accolades were Abrahamsson (outdoor triple jump) and Kenya Woodall (outdoor 400m), the first such honors for both women.
Through the 2015 outdoor season, Seaton’s throwers have accounted for nearly 61-percent (60.8) of all marks on the school’s all-time Top 10 lists. Of a possible 120 positions, the women (46) and men (27) have combined to hold 73 of UC’s all-time marks both indoor and outdoor. Additionally, her throwers have collected eight total conference titles, including three of a possible four in the shot put during the 2015 season. That year, Tudor won the men’s outdoor title while Akerstrom was the victor in both the indoor and outdoor competitions.
Prior to her time at Cincinnati, Seaton mentored five All-Americans, 16 conference champions and nine NCAA qualifiers. She also was part of 15 conference championship team titles and 10 NCAA Top 10 teams.
// ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Off the track, Seaton has guided the women’s program to new heights in the classroom, and has set a plan in motion to do the same with the men’s program. In each of the last four seasons, the women’s program has earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team Awards. In 2009, the cross country program garnered a program high GPA of 3.64, which ranked them 18th in the country amongst all Division I institutions. UC has also named 11 individuals to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for reaching the NCAA regional while also posting a GPA greater than 3.25. Most recently, the men’s cross country team was honored following its 2015 season as the program with the highest GPA of all men’s teams at UC as the team combined to post a 3.571 GPA. Combined for the 2015 fall semester, 62 student-athletes (33 women & 29 men) earned a 3.0 GPA or better, including 37 (18 women/19 men) that earned a 3.4 GPA or better to be named to the Dean’s List. On top of that, seven individuals posted a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester to earn TopCat status.
// COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Seaton has also led the Bearcats in countless community projects around the Greater Cincinnati Area. UC has volunteered with organizations like Girls on the Run, the local veteran’s hospital, Operation School Bell, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank and Habitat for Humanity, as well as mentoring at various schools throughout the city of Cincinnati and surrounding areas.
// PERSONAL LIFE 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. Susan and her husband, Robert, reside in College Hill and have two sons, Patrick and Aidan.
// COACHING POSITIONS HELD AT CINCINNATI Year Position 2004-05 - Assistant Coach – Men 2005-06 - Assistant Coach – Men 2006-07 - Assistant Coach – Men 2007-08 - Assistant Coach – Men 2008-09 - Head Coach (Interim*) – Women 2009-10 - Head Coach – Women 2010-11 - Head Coach – Women 2011-12 - Head Coach – Women 2012-13 - Head Coach – Women 2013-14 - Head Coach – Women 2014-15 - Director of T&F/XC (Interim^) – Men & Women 2015-16 - Director of T&F/XC – Men & Women * Named interim 6/26/08, with interim tag removed on 5/13/09 ^ Named interim 9/19/14, with interim tag removed on 5/19/15