|Title:||Head Cross Country/Track Coach|
J.D. Evilsizer is in his ninth full year as head cross country coach at Columbus State University entering the 2013-2014 year.
Evilsizer took over a men’s cross country program that produced just two top-five finishes at the Peach Belt Conference Championship and had never had an individual PBC Champion in the 14 years prior. In just a short time, Evilsizer put Columbus State cross country on the national map. The men’s program won five straight PBC Championships from 2006-2010 and has continuously preformed well at the NCAA Southeast Regional. After failing to win the conference championship in 2011, Evilsizer and the Cougars roared back in 2012 capturing the title in dominating fashion for the program’s sixth PBC championship.
In addition to an impressive streak of PBC titles, Evilsizer has produced four individual PBC champions including three of the past five. In 2010, Evilsizer and the program just missed out on an individual national championship as Meshack Koyiaki crossed the line in second place at the NCAA Championship in Louisville, KY.
The 2012 season also produced a first for the men’s program as the Cougars won the NCAA Southeast Regional punching a trip to the NCAA Championship.
In all, Evilsizer has taken the men’s cross country program to four NCAA Championships including three in a row from 2008-2010. CSU’s best result came in 2010 when the Cougars finished in 18th place.
On the women’s side, Evilsizer had an equally challenging
task to turn CSU into a winner. Evilsizer wasted no time
winning the program’s first Peach Belt Championship in his
first season at the helm. He continued racking up the trophies
capturing six straight conference titles from 2005-2010.
Evilsizer has also produced three female individual PBC
Despite finishing second at the PBC Championship in 2012, Evilsizer and the Lady Cougars bounced back to capture the NCAA Southeast Regional championship for the second time in program history with the first coming in 2009.
With the regional crown, the Lady Cougars advanced to the NCAA Championship for just the second time in school history finishing in 27th place. CSU’s best finish came in 2009 crossing the line in 24th.
In total, Evilsizer has won four Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year awards, including sweeping both the men’s and women’s honors in 2010 becoming just the second coach in PBC history to accomplish the feat. He has also coached six PBC Runners of the Year and Freshman of the Year award winners. In all, Evilsizer has coached 58 All-PBC runners.
Evilsizer was also named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) men’s and women’s Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2012. He also earned the award on the women’s side in 2009.
Prior to coming to CSU, Evilsizer coached the Smiths Station
High School program for 15 years and amassing 10 State Team
Championships, 12 runner-up finishes and coached some 150
individual state champions. Among those individuals were six
national All-America runners.
Evilsizer was a two-year letterman at Livingston University (now the University of West Alabama) where he was the first-ever Gulf South Conference Cross Country champion in 1971. After Livingston dropped its program, he transferred to Auburn University where he earned a scholarship and set a school record in the steeplechase event. He went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in 1977, followed by a master’s degree in 1984, and an advanced sixth-year degree in 1987, all from Auburn University.
As a runner, Evilsizer was the Grand Prix Series runner-up in 1980 and has set personal records of 2:19:01 in a marathon, 29:20 in a 10K, 14:10 in a 5K, 49:50 in a 10-mile and 23:55 in an 8K.
Evilsizer and his wife Debra have two adult children - James and Michelle, who both ran in the CSU program. In addition to his duties at CSU, Evilsizer will continue working with the Smiths Station program.