Clayton State Promotes Brown to Track & Field Head Coach; Mead to Associate AD

Clayton State Promotes Brown to Track & Field Head Coach; Mead to Associate AD

MORROW, Ga. – Clayton State Athletics will see new leadership of its men's and women's track & field programs for the first time in program history as four-time Olympic medalist Chris "Fireman" Brown will assume those duties with long-time head coach Mike Mead being promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Alumni Engagement announced Director of Athletics Ryan Erlacher on Thursday, July 11. Mead will remain head coach for both cross country programs.
 
"We couldn't have asked for two better individuals to promote into new positions," said Erlacher. "Coach Mead has been a tremendous asset to our program for a number of years and having him involved on the administrative side will make our department better. He is a class act and will help us move the needle in a number of areas."
 
"With Coach Brown's background and experience, he too will make significant strides forward for our programs. He has an exciting vision for our track and field programs and I have no doubt he will do an exceptional job. Our student-athletes, campus community, and alumni will all benefit greatly from these promotions."
 
Brown, who joined the program as an assistant coach prior to this past season, brings instant credibility to a program that has seen success at the national level throughout its 22 years under Mead's leadership. A native of the Bahamas, "Fireman" as he is known has been a fixture on the international stage since the age of 20 when he competed in the first of five consecutive Olympic Games.
 
As part of the 4x400-meter relay at the Sydney Olympics he helped the squad earn a Bronze medal before earning Silver eight years later in Beijing. In 2012 in London he was given the honor of serving as his country's flagbearer and would be part of a group that would reach the apex of the running world as he was a key part of the Gold medal winning 4x400-meter relay.
 
That performance earned he and his teammates the moniker "The Golden Knights" as it was the first men's gold in the history of the Bahamas, a national record time (2:56.72) and the third fastest time in Olympic history. He would add a fourth medal, this time a Bronze, at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games to go with fourth place finishes in the 400-meters in 2008 and 2012.
 
This past season he helped guide the Lakers to three individual Peach Belt Conference Champions, recording those in the 400-meters and 4x400-meter relay on the men's side and the 200-meters for the women, and was heavily involved in the training and recovery regimen. He also contributed to a record-setting year for the women's track & field program.
 
"It is an honor to receive this amazing opportunity," said Brown. "Being named head track & field coach with big shoes to fill, following the legacy Coach Mead has built, is a new journey that I am excited to embrace. I look forward to contributing to Clayton State in this new role by continuing to build strong student-athletes and add to the program's success. Let the journey begin!"
 
A fixture at Clayton State since November of 1990, Mike Mead is the only coach that the cross country and track & field programs have known. As part of the program's move to NCAA Division II in the late 1990's he was part of the group that founded cross country in 1995 and followed with outdoor track & field in 1997-98 and indoor track & field in 2005-06.
 
Over a period of 24 years he has coached 124 seasons (six sports per year since 2005-06) and has built a legacy unrivaled by anyone else in Clayton State history.
 
He has guided the cross country programs to a pair of PBC Championships with the men taking home the hardware in 2005 and the women in 2012 and saw the latter finish second at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships to earn a trip to the NCAA National Championships.
 
Individually, he has coached four cross country All-Americans, one region champion, five conference champions, 27 PBC All-Academic runners and 68 all-conference and 35 All-Region runners. Those All-Americans also included Allison Kreutzer who finished second in the nation in 2004.
 
He has also been named PBC Coach of the Year six times, earning the honor with the women in 1996, 2001 and 2012 and the men in 1997, 2005 and 2008. On top of that Mead has garnered United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-South Region honors with the women in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and All-Southeast recognition with men in 2009.
 
In terms of track & field he has coached 18 All-Americans, including national fourth place finisher Destiny Johnson this past year (High Jump - Outdoor) and 2013 national runner-up Ayrton Azcue (800m - Indoor). Also included among those individuals are half of Clayton State's CoSIDA Academic All-Americas as Robert Spezzacatena and Joy Diaz earned Third-Team honors in 2012 and 2018, respectively.
 
Additionally, he has coached three of the 18 former student-athletes enshrined in the Clayton State Athletics Hall of Fame, those being Kreutzer (2015), Joni Guffey (2018) and Eric Simmons (2018).
 
A former long-time assistant athletic director (1995-2017) and the program's interim athletic director during the 2011-12 campaign, Mead will return to the administrative side of things while retaining his role as head men's and women's cross country coach and continuing to be a resource not only for Chris Brown with track & field but the entire department.
 
His new role will see him serve as the Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Alumni Engagement where he will be the primary contact for both of those areas. Mead's new facility responsibilities will include managing and maintaining all Clayton State Athletics facilities while handling all scheduling for each area.
 
In terms of alumni engagement he will be the liaison between Laker Athletics and the athletic alumni that make up the first 29 years of the program's history. It is a role that he is uniquely qualified for as he has been a member of the Clayton State community since the inception of Athletics in 1990.
 
Additionally, he will serve as the primary coordinator for the Athletics Hall of Fame and Homecoming and assist with development efforts as they pertain to alumni engagement and annual giving.
 
"I look forward to the next chapter of my athletic life here at Clayton State in contributing to the overall Athletics program while continuing to grow our cross country program which embarks on season 25 this fall," said Mead. "I am proud of the 22 years serving as the head track & field coach and am honored to pass the head coaching baton on to Coach Brown. I also look forward to returning to athletic administration in assisting Ryan and our athletics staff in providing a quality experience for our student-athletes."