TRK: From Denton To Sochi - Sheffield Discusses Johnny Quinn, Part 2
In just three years, North Texas Director of Track and Field Carl Sheffield has returned the Mean Green program to its former glory.
In 2015, Sheffield helped coached nine student-athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries during the outdoor season. Senior Shahaf Bereni qualified in the high jump and finished in the top 25 with a jump of 1.73 meters.
At the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championships, Sheffield helped the men’s team finish sixth with three podium finishes and 14 top-8 finalists. On the women’s side, two student-athletes came in the top-3 and 10 finished in the top eight.
During the indoor season, the men’s team finished fifth and the women’s team came in fourth thanks to three individual wins from Troy Taylor (3000 meter run), Shahaf Bereni (High Jump) and Susie Kemper (1 mile).
Under Sheffield, the Mean Green has continued to see success at the national level. North Texas has sent at least one athlete to the NCAA Championships in nine out of the last 11 years.
At the helm of the prestigious track and field program at North Texas, Sheffield has led the Mean Green to two conference championships and two runner-up titles in the last four years. The women’s outdoor program won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, while the women’s indoor team picked up second-place honors in 2012 and 2013. The 2012 outdoor title was the best finish for the women since winning the championship in 2003.
Sheffield also guided the men’s team to the most individual outdoor champions, five in 2012, since 2008 when North Texas had six individual outdoor champions.
Individually, Sheffield has been recognized for his team’s success. He was named the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He was also named the indoor coach of the year in 2012. Under Sheffield’s leadership, athletes have broken a total of 17 school records. In 2014, Sheffield coached both Clinton Collins and Chastity Stewart to the NCAA Championship with Collins earning All-American honors with a 15th-place finish in the semifinal round of the men’s 400. Both Collins and Stewart were also individual champions at the 2014 Conference USA Conference Championship.
Sheffield guided 12 athletes to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries in 2014. At NCAA West Prelims, the 4X400M Relay team of Connor Bey, Clinton Collins, Collin Heard and Anthony Hamilton placed 18th, and freshman Elisha Peters placed 25th in the women’s high jump. In 2013, track and field sent a combined three athletes to the NCAA Finals. It was the first time that three Mean Green athletes participating in individual events went to the NCAA Championships since 1983.
Shahaf Bareni’s sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Prelims ensured her a spot at the NCAA Championships. Bareni placed seventh at the championships with a record-breaking jump of 1.83 meters, one of the top finishes in school history.
Steven White finished his career with a third-place finish in the men’s 400-meter hurdles in a school record 49.32 at the NCAA Championships White’s third-place finish is the best for North Texas by an individual or relay team since Bill Schmidt finished second in the men’s javelin at the championships in 1970.
In 2012, White was named an USTFCA Second-Team All-American after finishing 14th in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400-meter hurdles. White also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Sheffield spent 12 years coaching as a Mean Green track & field assistant coach from 1996 to 2007 before departing for an opportunity to be the performance coach at the Michael Johnson Training Center in McKinney, Texas.
Under Sheffield’s guidance as the sprints and hurdles coach at North Texas, his athletes established or tied over 20 school records and earned more than 70 all-conference awards from 1996-2007. The Mean Green won four team championships with Sheffield on staff, two each on the men’s and women’s sides.
He brings enhanced credentials through his work at the Michael Johnson Training Center where he focused on improving the ability of his athletes to integrate linear speed concepts through biomechanics, motor control and performance analysis.
Sheffield began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at LSU in 1988. The Tigers went on to win a string of 11 consecutive NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He also coached national-caliber athletes with Nike-sponsored teams in Texas and along the Atlantic coast before his first stint at North Texas.
A native of Dallas, Sheffield was one of the top-five hurdlers in the state while attending Skyline High School and attended UTA on scholarship as a high hurdler.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from UTA in 1993, Sheffield earned his Master of Science from North Texas in exercise physiology in 1996. In addition to his coaching duties, he served as an adjunct instructor for North Texas from 2005-07 for the Department of Kinesiology. Carl and his wife, Tara, have two sons, Julian and Aiden.