COLUMBUS, Miss. – Danielle Ferguson – a coach with proven success on the DI and DIII levels of the NCAA – will be the first head coach of the Owls men's and women's track and field programs, The W Athletics Department announced on Wednesday.
"Danielle brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in all disciplines of track and field," said Athletics Director Jason Trufant. "When searching for the position, we were focused on finding the person who not only was committed to building a program athletically but academically as well. Danielle's passion for coaching and leadership will be a great addition to our staff."
"Joining the staff feels special," stated Ferguson. "Having the opportunity to build a track and field program from the ground up is exciting, challenging, and motivating. I'm thrilled to be able to use my knowledge, resources, and passion for the sport to get the program up and moving. The first season will be all about building and getting our name out there."
Ferguson spent four seasons as the head coach of the University of Wisconsin - River Falls men's and women's cross country and track and field teams. During her tenure, she helped lead the women's cross country team to their most successful finish ever in the WIAC with a third-place finish in 2017. She had six runners finish on the Falcon top-20 times list since she took over the program in 2015, including three in the top five. Also in 2017, the team achieved their first-ever ranking in the DIII National Coaches Poll.
Under her leadership, two men and two women qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships. In track and field, the men's indoor team ranked in the top-20 in 2016 and 2017 and men's outdoor team ranked in the top-30 in 2017.
She has coached three WIAC champions and six NCAA Championship participants who have appeared in 11 total events with six top-10 finishes.
Prior to joining the athletics staff at UWRF, Ferguson headed both men's and women's track and field and men's and women's cross country teams at the NCAA DI Mississippi Valley State University from 2012-2014.
She led the MVSU men's cross country team to consecutive conference championships and guided the Delta Devils to the 2012 and 2013 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) cross country championship titles. Ferguson was named SWAC men's cross country Coach of the Year twice in 2012 and 2013 while the women's cross country teams placed second in the SWAC Championship Meet in 2012 and 2013.
From 2008-12, Ferguson coached only the women's programs at MVSU. With a combined six season, she coached 78 All-SWAC performers, seven event champions, two most outstanding meet performers, two NCAA Regional qualifiers, and one USATF Junior National qualifier.
In her career, she has coached 120 All-SWAC performers, 19 event champions, eight most outstanding meter performers, two NCAA regional qualifiers, and one USATF junior national's qualifier.
From 2008-10, she served as the MVSU interim senior women's administrator and academic administrator. Ferguson is a member of the U.S. Cross Country and Track & Field Coaches Association.