Track and field searching for replacements after five coaches leave SIU

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Track and field has lost all but one event coach after Connie Price-Smith left for the University of Mississippi on July 21.

Kathleen Raske, who was hired as the director of Saluki Track and Field/Cross-Country on Aug. 11, has begun searching for a new staff and will begin coaching Monday.

Event coaches John Smith, Andre Scott, Anthony Acklin and Brian Porter all left the team. 


Distance coach David Beauchem is the only returning coach from Price-Smith’s time at the university.

Former Saluki thrower J.C. Lambert will take over for Smith as throws coach. 

Raske, who had former throws coach John Smith as a coach when she was an athlete at SIU, said Lambert will be a good replacement because he learned from Smith. 

“I think it is going to be a really smooth transition for our throwers,” she said. “It is exciting for him as a young coach and for our current throwers because [Lambert] is going to have a similar type of philosophy, mindset and training program [as Smith].”

Terry VanLaningham, Raske’s husband, also begins at SIUC on Monday. He was the director of Track and Field/Cross-Country at Sacramento State for 11 years, where he worked with jumpers and multi-event athletes. 

Raske said she is excited to jump into an already successful program even without some coaches in place. 

“The last two programs I’ve taken over were bottom of the conference so it took time to work our way up to the top,” she said. “I’m not working from the bottom anymore.” 


Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brentmeskeDE.