University of the Sciences announced the hiring of former Olympian Yvonne Harrison as its next head men’s and women’s cross country and track & field coach prior to the 2019-20 season.
She joined the Devils after serving as the head women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s and women’s track & field coach at Division I LIU Brooklyn in 2018-19.
LIU Brooklyn women’s cross country improved on its Northeast Conference Championship finish by two positions in Harrison’s lone season at the helm of the program.
Prior to her arrival at LIU, she spent nine seasons as an assistant coach for the cross country and track & field teams at St. John's. Her time with the Red Storm was highlighted by five different NCAA national qualifiers, three new program records, two BIG EAST individual champions, two ECAC champions and a Metropolitan Championships team title.
She also coached Olympian Phobay Kutu-Akoi, who competed in the 100m and was the flag bearer for her home country of Liberia at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Harrison has experienced the pinnacle of track & field success, reaching the semifinal round of the 400H while representing Puerto Rico at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
She was also a semifinalist at both the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, and she won gold in the 400H at the 2003 Central American and Caribbean games (CAC) Games.
Other notable results include a bronze medal at the 2004 Iberoamerican Championships and a fifth place finish at the 2004 Pan American Games.
She is still the Puerto Rico national record holder in the 400H, and she was also a member of the 4x400m relay quartet that still holds the national record.
Harrison ran collegiately at the University of Illinois, where she was a four-time All-American and the NCAA runner-up in the 400H her senior season.
She graduated from Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and went on to receive her Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Homiletics, from Houston Graduate School of Theology.
Harrison is a licensed and ordained minister and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at New York Theological Seminary.