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Andrew Allden

Andrew Allden

A 30-year veteran of distance coaching, the 2022-23 campaign for Andrew Allden will be his 10th season after returning to Columbia as the assistant track coach for distance and cross country prior to the 2013-14 season.

The 2022 track & field season featured the rise of freshman distance runner Anass Essayi, who under Allden’s tutelage, set the all-time SEC Indoor meet record for the mile when he won with a time of 3:57.37 to become the first Gamecock to run a sub-4 mile. Essayi earned All-SEC honors during the indoor season and also had a strong outdoor season when he set the program record in the 1500m with a mark of 3:39.03 to earn SEC Runner of the Week. Essayi also won the NCAA East Regional 1500m in the outdoor (3:41.81) and was leading at the NCAA Championships before having to withdraw due to an injury.

Allden’s student-athletes also excelled in the classroom with his cross country squad earning SEC All-Academic Team for the 17th consecutive season following the 2021 season. He also boasted David Olds and Sean Petersen in earning CoSIDA Academic All-District, while two of his distance runners were also named to the SEC Track & Field Community Service teams.

Coach Allden has proven success in both the cross country and the track & field realm. The 2019 distance medley relay team was just one of many accomplishments for Coach Allden’s student-athletes. The DMR group of Allie Mueller, Tatyana Mills, Macie Kavanaugh and Anna Kathryn Stoddard finished fifth at the SEC Indoor Championships, the best result in the event since 2005. Overall, the DMR crew added seven new Top-10 marks to the Carolina records during the indoor season. The outdoor DMR team of Mueller, Jhari Williams, Sierra Biber and Maryah Nasir set the program record at the Penn Relays with a time of 11:39.22. Meanwhile, Heather Stone claimed fourth in the SEC 10K, the best finish by a Gamecock since 2000.

Allden was also impactful with Otis Jones earning First Team All-America honors in the 4x400m relay at both NCAA Championships. Under Allden’s care, Jones earned bronze in the SEC 800m in back-to-back seasons and earned All-SEC honors twice during his career.

Allden has also coached the likes of Carson Strom and Allie Mueller who each hold Top-10 marks in their respective events. Mueller’s 1500m PR of 4:31.35 ranks sixth, while Strom’s 5000m indoor mark of 15:23.55 is 10th.

The 2015 season was a big year for Allden’s student-athletes with Kevin Keating clocking the ninth-fastest 800 and the fifth-fastest 1000m, while Anna Todd set the program record for the 1000m, ran the third-fastest mile and the sixth-fastest 3000m indoor time.

During his nine-year continuous stint prior to the 2022-23 campaign, Coach Allden’s cross country teams have collected 17 team wins, while both the 5K and 6K records have been set under his watch. Since his return, the Gamecocks have finished as high as 11th in the SEC Cross Country Championship, while finishing as high as 14th at the NCAA East Regional. Allden’s student-athletes make up nine of the Top-20 5K marks in program history and 13 of the Top-20 6K times in Carolina history.

South Carolina Cross Country also received a USTFCCCA Southeast Regional Ranking in 2017, the team’s first since the 2014 campaign.

Prior to rejoining Carolina in 2013, Allden ran the AA Elite Coaching in North Carolina, coaching many professional and amateur athletes in the Raleigh-Durham area.

While he was away from Columbia, Allden coached at Coastal Carolina where he was in charge of the men’s program, winning the 2003 Big South Conference title to end a dynasty by Liberty. Allden won the Big South Coach of the Year and Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2003, helping Terak Kipchris win the Big South Cross Country Championship twice and earn All-Region honors twice. Kipchris became the first Chanticleer to compete in an NCAA Championship in cross country or track.

In 2004, Allden also served as a men’s assistant coach for distance in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Hungary. His other international work includes practice track director for distance at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, while also spending 2013-15 with the USOC as an endurance team coach.

Allden’s first stint with the Gamecocks was from 1996-2001, where he helped the women’s track team finish fourth or better in the SEC all five years on staff, including winning the 1999 outdoor title. The team finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships twice during Allden’s first stint with the Gamecocks. He coached four-time All-American Charmaine Howell (800m) and on the men’s side Marvin Watts (once) and Otukile Lekote (twice) earned All-America honors in the 800m during his first tenure. Both Watts and Lekote claimed SEC titles under Allden.

In his five years as the Gamecocks’ head cross country coach, he led the team to its best finish in the SEC in 1999 with a fifth-place finish. That season, Allden had two pupils, Sara Hadwin and Joyce Peebles, earn All-SEC accolades, the only year the Gamecocks have had two runners earn that distinction. Both Hadwin and Peebles were South Carolina natives.

He is also a USATF Level I and II certified coach as well as a Level I and II endurance instructor and serves as the USATF East Coast Coordinator for Level I Coaching Education, directing more than a dozen coaching schools per year on the eastern seaboard. In his over 14 years of coaching education, he’s helped educate over 3,000 coaches. Also, in 2014, he co-wrote the Endurance portion of the USATF Level I Coaching Manual.

Earlier in his career, he coached at Tulane, taking over as the interim head coach in 1995. During that season, his team set nine school records, won seven individual conference titles and saw 19 performers earn All-Conference USA accolades.

This is the third time Allden has worked with Coach Frye, after serving on his staff at North Carolina from 1989-93 as well as his 1996-2000 stint at South Carolina in this same capacity. His 1993 women’s cross country team with the Tar Heels advanced to the NCAA Championships, ranking eighth nationally, while his 1991 men’s team also made the national finals. He also guided one ACC individual men’s cross country champion, one runner-up and seven All-ACC cross country harriers.

Allden earned his bachelors from Emory University in English and History in 1986 and holds a masters in sports administration from Georgia in 1991. Allden helped Emory’s cross country team to one of its three NCAA Championship berths during his time there.

Allden is married to Tara Disy Allden, and they have one daughter, Kathleen, who already is a national qualifier in the junior Olympics in track and cross country.