Reaching the top of a mountain is something some people talk about but not many actually make it.
In the athletics world, it’s like earning a spot on the top podium. Iowa State’s current staff roster is getting stocked with people who have reached the summit.
Last month, the Cyclones added another such staff member to its head coaching team photo with the hiring of Martin Smith as Director of Women’s and Men’s Track & Field / Cross Country.
Smith has coached five national championship teams. He’s earned a ring for every finger and the thumb on one hand.
His teams have won national titles on both the men’s and women’s sides, in both indoor track & field and cross country and in two different major (ACC and Big Ten) conferences.
The staff that Smith joins also includes the following Cyclones, who made it to the peak as competitors or coaches earlier in their careers:
Kevin Jackson: the head wrestling coach was a member of the Cyclones’ 1987 NCAA Championship wrestling team and then added a 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Barcelona, Spain;
Christy Johnson-Lynch: the former setter at Nebraska led the Cornhuskers to their first NCAA Volleyball Championship in 1995;
Andrew Tank: the Cyclone men’s golf coach was on the roster of Minnesota’s 2002 NCAA Championship team and served as that team’s student assistant coach; and
Jamie Pollard: ISU’s Director of Athletics was a national champion (5,000 meters) as a student-athlete at Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1987.
There are numerous formulas for winning.
With folks like Smith, Jackson, Johnson-Lynch, Tank and Pollard leading their respective programs and units, there is some pretty good experience to learn from in Ames these days.