USF ties to Indiana run deep
With two coaches on staff native to the state of Indiana, the University of South Florida’s track & field program is well on its way to establishing deep roots in the Hoosier State.
Both head coach Warren Bye and sprints/relays coach Eric McCarrol call the state home and both are graduates of Indiana University.
The two had a homecoming of sorts when they traveled to Indianapolis with the four USF athletes who qualified for the USA Junior National Championships that took place June 20 through 24.
Freshmen D’Andre Ruff (100m), Josh Wimbley (200m), Carlton Mitchell (400m) and Mikail Ebanks (800m) represented the Bulls after stellar rookie campaigns on the track. Mitchell set the school record in the 400m earlier this season at 47.28 seconds, and Wimbley came just short of his own school record in the 200m with a time of 21.42 seconds at the Big East Championships. Ruff ran the third leg of the 4x100m relay that rewrote the USF record books with a 40.83 seconds showing in the season opener.
Bye’s coaching life began at his alma mater where he was a volunteer assistant from 1996-1998. During that same period, he also served as executive director of the Indiana Track Club in Bloomington. Under Bye’s guidance, the club’s membership increased from 70 to 250 members in just one season.
Also at IU, he worked with legendary coach Sam Bell, who developed numerous Olympic athletes and is an inspiration to Bye.
‘Warren is perceptive, cares about kids and is very knowledgeable about the sport,’ said Bell, now retired. ‘His mind is like a sponge when it comes to absorbing information on how to make improvements. He is an exceptional coaching talent who has a bright future in the sport of track and field.’
In addition, he is well versed in the technical events, having shared coaching and training duties with both former NCAA Decathlon Champion and Corydon resident Kerry Zimmerman (Indiana ’83) along with 2000 Heptathlon Olympian De Nathan (Indiana ’91).
Bye, a former decathlete who specialized in the jumps and hurdles at Indiana, earned a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology-Teaching in 2000. He is also a graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School near Marengo.
Eric McCarrol, a native of Fort Wayne, was named an assistant coach for USF’s track and field team on Oct. 26, 2006. McCarrol was a collegiate standout at both Ball State and IU, and has since served as an assistant coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.