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.
In two seasons at the helm of the Taylor men's and women's track programs Neville has guided the Trojans to numerous school records and national championship appearances. Under Neville's leadership the TU men's track and field program has seen 24 athletes qualify for the NAIA indoor and outdoor national championships, breaking five school records, and earning nine NAIA All-American honors over the past two seasons.
Neville's women's track and field program has been even more successful, producing 42 NAIA indoor and outdoor national championship appearances, including eight NAIA All-Americans and breaking 12 school records.
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 enjoyed the unique opportunity to compete in a reality television series called "American Grit" which aired on NBC in the spring of 2016. Hosted by WWE Superstar John Cena, the show featured 16 elite athletes competing as teams for a prize of one million dollars. Neville made the show finale, ultimately finishing sixth.
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 the fourth for Lance Vanderberg as the head coach for the men’s cross country program at Taylor University and his 11th year on staff with the men’s track and field squad.
Vanderberg’s first season at the helm of the cross country program brought the Trojans back into the national spotlight, with TU posting a record of 89-23 and earning votes in the NAIA Top-25 Poll for the first time since the 2009 campaign. Taylor took second at the Crossroads League Championships, while sending a pair of runners to the NAIA National Championships.
The momentum continued in Vanderberg’s second season, as the Trojans cracked the NAIA Top-25 Poll for the first time since 2009, spending the entire year in the national ranking and ending with an 85-13 regular season record. Along the way, Taylor climbed as high as No. 13 nationally for its best ranking since 2000 and claimed a second-straight, second-place showing at the Crossroads League Championships. The season was highlighted by the program’s first trip to NAIA Nationals since 1999, where TU finished 15th overall.
In his third season at the helm of the men’s program, Vanderberg guided the Trojans to a 76-17 record, a third-straight top-three finish in the Crossroads League and a second-straight top-20 performance at the NAIA National Championships. The team posted the four-fastest times of the Vanderberg era and spent the entire season ranked inside the NAIA Top-25, while climbing as high as No. 9 for its highest spot in the national poll since the 2000 campaign.
Vanderberg’s teams have also found plenty of success in the classroom, as the 2015 squad led the NAIA with eight NAIA Scholar-Athletes, while ranking 10th in the nation with a 3.57 team grade-point average. The academic performance marked the program’s third-straight year with a collective GPA over the 3.0 mark under the watch of Vanderberg.
In addition to his role as head coach of the men’s cross country program, Vanderberg also serves as an assistant coach for the Taylor men’s track and field program, where he has focused on the distance squad since the start of the 2006-2007 campaign.
During his tenure on staff with the TU men’s track and field team, Vanderberg has helped Taylor student-athletes rewrite the program’s indoor and outdoor record books by notching a pair of indoor records, one outdoor record and 12 current top-10 marks in outdoor distance events. The performances have led to plenty of accolades, with the distance crew tallying five NAIA All-American honors for Vanderberg.
Vanderberg graduated from Taylor in 2006 with a degree in social studies education, before earning a master’s degree in higher education from TU in 2013.
Vanderberg excelled as a student-athlete with the Trojans as a three-time NAIA National Qualifier in both cross country and track. Vanderberg still owns top-10 marks for Taylor in the 1,500-meter, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs and highlighted his standout career with a seventh-place finish and an All-American honor at the 2005 NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
Prior to his days at TU, the Muskegon, Michigan, native was a two-time All-Michigan performer in cross country at Mona Shores High and earned All-Michigan and Adidas All-American accolades as part of the 4x800-meter relay team during his senior season in 2002.
Along with his role as the head men’s cross country coach and assistant men’s track coach at TU, Vanderberg works as a Learning Specialist in the Academic Enrichment Center for Taylor University.
Vanderberg is married to his wife, Amy, and the couple currently resides in Upland with their two-year old son, Ezra and newborn daugher, Margo.
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.