Taylor University announced on Friday, May 23, 2014, that Olympic Gold Medalist David Neville had been named as the new head coach for the TU men’s and women’s track and field programs.
Neville retired from the professional circuit in March of 2014, wrapping up a tremendous running career that included winning gold and bronze medals for the United States in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Neville, a Merrillville, Indiana, native and Indiana University graduate, claimed gold and set an Olympic record in the 4x400-meter relay for the United States in the 2008 Olympics, while also notching a bronze medal by 0.04 seconds with a dive across the finish line in the 400-meter dash.
The Olympic medals highlighted an outstanding professional career for Neville, who also won the gold medal in the 400-meter dash at the 2008 Indoor USA Championships, took bronze in the same event at the 2008 Olympic Trials and also earned bronze at the 2006 USA Championships.
Prior to his standout career on the world stage, Neville claimed six Big Ten titles and was a five-time NCAA All-American on the track with Indiana from 2004 through 2006. Neville set Hoosier program records in the 200 and 400-meter dash, the 4x400-meter relay and the distance-medley relay, along with being named the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Despite bypassing his senior season at IU to sign a professional contract with Team Nike, Neville completed his undergraduate work and earned a degree in music education from Indiana in 2007.
While continuing his training in Los Angeles with fellow world-class sprinters, Neville has worked as a personal trainer and given individual lessons to area prep athletes. Neville also served as the worship pastor and director of young adult ministries at Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship Church.
Neville is a certified fitness trainer and a member of International Sports Sciences Association.
Neville is married to his wife, Arial, and the couple have a newborn daughter named Acaia.
The 2016-2017 year is Quinn White’s seventh season at the helm of the women’s cross country program, as well as his seventh on staff with the women’s track and field team.
White, who was named the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Crossroads League Coach of the Year, ranks second in Taylor history with an all-time record of 454-85 at the helm of the women’s cross country program and is TU’s all-time winning percentage leader with a career clip of .842 entering the 2016 campaign. During White’s tenure, the Trojans have posted the 10-fastest team times and logged seven of the top-15 individual times in school history.
In six seasons at the helm of the Taylor women’s cross country program, White has helped the Trojans to three Crossroads League Championships and a trio of top-11 finishes at the NAIA National Championships. The program has also racked up 30 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors, 25 All-Crossroads League awards and one NAIA All-America honor over that time.
The 2015 campaign saw the Trojans post a 91-3 team clip, while winning four-of-six regular season races and storming to the program’s third-straight Crossroads League Championship. Taylor rattled off five of the eight-fastest times in program history, climbed to as high as No. 4 in the nation to match its highest NAIA Top-25 ranking and placed three individuals inside the top-100 finishers at the NAIA National Championships for the third-straight year, while ending 11th as a team. The squad was equally as impressive off the course, leading the Crossroads League and posting the 15th-highest grade-point average of any team in any sport with a collective mark of 3.77.
White guided Taylor to a regular season clip of 97-4 in 2014, en route to a 10th-place finish at NAIA Nationals and a second-straight Crossroads League Championship. The Trojans claimed meet victories at the Ray Bullock Invitational, Indiana Intercollegiates and Crossroads Championships, while matching the program’s highest national ranking with a No. 4 mark. TU also set a program record with four individual finishers inside the top-100 at NAIA Nationals.
The 2014 season followed an equally dominant breakout year in 2013 for the Trojans, as White guided TU to a regular season mark of 96-4, a Crossroads League Championship and a 10th-place showing at NAIA Nationals. Taylor set a new school-record time of 92:49 during TU’s championship run at the Great Lakes Invite, climbed to a program-best NAIA No. 4 ranking and became the first Taylor team to place two runners inside the top-50 and three inside the top-100 at NAIA Nationals.
In addition to his role as head coach of the women’s cross country team, White has served as an assistant coach with the women’s track and field program since 2011 and filled the role of interim head coach for the Trojans in 2014. White was honored as the USTFCCCA Women’s Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year in 2016.
During his time specializing with the distance and javelin events over the last six seasons, White’s student-athletes have piled up 15 indoor school records, 51 NAIA Indoor National Qualifiers and four NAIA Indoor All-Americans.
The success has carried over into the outdoor seasons as well, where White has helped his student-athletes to 10 school records, 39 NAIA Outdoor National Qualifiers, 51 All-Crossroads League selections, 14 Crossroads League Individual Championships, five NAIA All-Americans and 30 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
White coached high school cross country and track for 14 years prior to taking over the TU program. During his time as a high school coach, White guided his teams to four conference championships, six district titles, and had 22 All-State athletes earn a total of 47 All-State honors.
An accomplished runner in his own right, White ran four seasons of cross country and track at Taylor, earning five varsity letters with the Purple and Gold.
After graduating from TU, White went on to earn a master’s degree in language, literature and reading in 1996 from Ohio State University and a Ph. D. in language, literacy and culture in 2005 from OSU.
White returned to Taylor’s Upland campus as a professor of education in the fall of 2006 and was the recipient of the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, as well as the Excellent Educator Award in 2008.
White is actively involved in his Team Victory ministry, having taken trips to the Dominican Republic in 2009 and 2010 during which his teams delivered shoes, shirts, and Bibles to impoverished youth while sharing the Gospel through running. White has also led Team Victory trips to Guatemala (2011), Nicaragua (2013) and Belize (2016).
White lives in Upland with his wife, Julie ('89), and children, Haley, Keanan, and Connor and also continues to serve as a professor within TU’s Education Department.
The 2016-2017 season will mark the second season as throws coach for Logan Knox at Taylor University. During his first season as throws coach, Taylor throwers placed in seven out of eight throwing events at the 2016 Crossroads League Championships.
A 2014 graduate of Huntington University, Knox competed in track and field during his four years where he was an accomplished thrower. He earned his degree in both business management & exercise science.
Knox works full-time as director of The Wellness Center in Marion, Indiana. He lives in Huntington with his wife, Kelsey.
The 2016-17 season will mark the first season at Taylor for Jeff Kauffman Jr. Kauffman comes to Taylor after spending a season as an assistant coach at NCAA Division III Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont in 2015-2016. While at Castleton Kauffman worked with sprinters, hurdlers, and sprint relay teams as well as assisting with recruiting efforts.
A 2007 graduate of Cedarville University, Kuaffman served as the varsity track and field and cross country coach at Vergennes High School in Vergennes, Vermont from 2008 to 2015. While at Vergennes Kauffman's teams enjoyed tremendous success on the track, including having the Vermont Division II Boys State Champion in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles as well as the 400-meter relay championship team.
Kauffman also holds his USA Track and Field level I certification and is an NASM certified personal trainer.