Bahamian Olympian Dominic Demeritte is the incoming head coach of the recommencing Life University Running Eagles’ men’s cross country and track and field program, as announced on Wednesday.
The announcement was made by Eagles Director of Athletics Jayme Pendergast. The Bahamian was truly honored for the new role and thanked Pendergast for the opportunity.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be named the men’s track and field and cross country head coach at Life University,” Demeritte said. “I would like to thank Pendergast and the hiring committee for having the confidence in me to build and lead one of the most storied programs in NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) history. I am super excited to hit the ground running and I’m looking forward to recruiting and mentoring the next champions of character, the Mid South Conference and the NAIA.”
Demeritte, a graduate of St. John’s College here in Nassau, The Bahamas, is tasked with restarting the men’s program. Recruiting for the program will begin immediately, as the Running Eagles are slated to begin competition in the 2021-2022 year in short order. The indoor program won two NAIA titles in 1997 and 2000, and the outdoor program captured four consecutive titles from 1997-2000. The indoor program produced 41 NAIA All-Americans, and the outdoor program garnered 55 All-American honors. The record-breaking program is highlighted by 13 individual indoor NAIA National Champions and 22 individual outdoor titles.
Demeritte was chosen for the position from a talented pool of candidates. One of the things he was able to articulate, according to Pendergast, was a plan that supported a mutually beneficial collaboration with Coach Nyles Stuart and the women’s program. Stuart is also a Bahamian.
“Dominic presented the greatest breadth of planning for the men’s cross country and track program at Life University and his work with our women’s program has proven his ability to execute the plan. He has a great track résumé and has all the right skills and contacts to bring this program back to national prominence… With enhanced facilities and our coaching staffs, I’m excited to see men’s and women’s track programs excel nationally,” Pendergast said.
As an athlete, Demeritte competed at the 2000 (Sydney, Australia) and the 2004 (Athens, Greece) Summer Olympic Games. He also competed in a combined seven outdoor and indoor world championships. He was the 2004 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, now World Athletics) World Indoor Champion in the men’s 200 meters. He ran a national record time of 20.66 seconds at that time to grab the gold medal.
The women’s program features three Bahamian athletes – Aniqua Darville, Bria Sands and Arianna Mathieu.
Life University is located in Marietta, Georgia.