Wednesday, August 08, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –University of North Florida Athletic Director Lee Moon announced the hiring of Jeff Pigg as UNF's Director of Cross Country/Track & Field.
Pigg, who will serve as the head coach for the Osprey men's and women's cross country/track & field programs, comes to UNF after serving four years as the Assistant Cross Country/Track & Field Coach at the University of Georgia. In 2011, Pigg helped the Bulldogs return to the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time since 2004. Five Bulldogs were named to both the All-SEC teams (three men, two women), as well as the NCAA All-Region teams (four men, one woman) over the course of the season.
“We are thrilled to have a coach with Jeff's experience and character leading our track and field programs,” said Moon. “His familiarity with the area and his experience coaching at some of the nation's top programs was a definite plus. Jeff has experience as both a head and assistant coach and has demonstrated a strong ability to recruit top level talent and then develop that talent into championship level performers. In addition, he possesses a solid work ethic and high moral character which fits perfectly with our entire department's family atmosphere.”
In his four cross country seasons at UGA, Pigg amassed an SEC Champion, and All-American, 13 NCAA All-Region performers and 12 All-SEC or All-SEC Freshman honorees. This past spring, Pigg helped lead UGA to a highly successful season, in which 19 UGA athletes advanced to compete at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for me,” stated Pigg. “Having attended school and coached at UF, I'm very familiar with northern Florida and the area surrounding UNF. This has always seemed like such a great place from the outside and after meeting Coach Moon and the staff here at UNF, my opinion has only risen. I think it's a perfect fit for me and I'm looking forward to working with such a healthy program and such exciting student-athletes.”
Prior to coaching at UGA, Pigg served as the head coach of the cross country teams at the University of Florida from 2002-08. At the helm of that program, Pigg led the Gators to top-three finishes at the SEC Championships in each of his six seasons. His tenure at Florida was highlighted by the 2006 season, in which both the men's and women's team advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history.
Pigg has coached more than 30 All-Americans in a 19-year coaching career that has seen him spend a year as an assistant coach for the United States in the Pan-American Games, as well as a 10-year stint as the Head Cross Country/Assistant Track and Field Coach at the University of Missouri.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Florida, Pigg was a member of Florida's cross country and track and field teams that won SEC Championships in 1987. He earned Cross Country All-SEC honors in both 1985 and 1986 for the Gators and was an SEC Academic Honor Roll member in 1987. He had 10 top-10 finishes in cross country races as a Gator and is still listed on several cross country top-10 lists at Florida. He earned two All-America honors and eight All-SEC honors in both cross country and track. He won the SEC indoor mile twice in his career as a Gator.
Pigg's personal-best times were 3:41.08 in the 1500-meter run and 1:48.75 in the 800. In 1986, he led the Gators to the SEC Cross Country Championship and an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Pigg makes his debut with the Ospreys on Aug. 31, leading the UNF cross country teams at a pair of split-squad meets – JU Short Course Duals and the Covered Bridge Open.