HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University Director of Athletics Christian Spears officially introduced Keith Roberts as the new Director of Track and Field and Cross Country today. Roberts joins Marshall after serving in the same role at Eastern Illinois for the past two years.
Spears expressed his excitement about Roberts’ appointment, emphasizing his commitment to building a championship program that will make an immediate impact in the Sun Belt. Roberts’ student-centered approach and dedication to the athletes’ overall experience align with the university’s values. Spears believes that Roberts and his family will embrace the community and region, contributing positively to the university’s athletic department.
In the 2022-23 season, Roberts achieved notable success at Eastern Illinois, leading the teams to three Ohio Valley Conference Championships in Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Cross Country, and Men’s Indoor Track. His coaching prowess earned him the recognition of 2023 OVC Indoor Men’s Track Coach of the Year. Under his guidance, seven EIU student-athletes competed at the NCAA Championships West Preliminaries.
Roberts’ focus on academic excellence was evident with the women’s track team boasting a 3.57 Team GPA and the men’s track team earning a 3.19 Team GPA.
Spears sees Roberts’ formula for success as a perfect fit for the Thundering Herd as they strive to be the top athletic program in the Sun Belt. The Director of Athletics believes that excellence in Track and Field and Cross Country will be crucial in achieving their overall goals.
Prior to Eastern Illinois, Roberts served as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for Pitt, specializing in sprints, hurdles, and relays. His mentorship produced national contenders and school record-holders, including 2017 All-American and ACC Champion Desmond Palmer, 2018 ACC champion Desiree Garland, and more recently, Shyheim Wright, who achieved the No. 2 time in Pitt history in the 60-meter hurdles.
Roberts’ impressive coaching experience also includes leading Grand Valley State to several NCAA Division II Championships, with highlights such as consecutive NCAA Championships for the women’s indoor and outdoor teams in 2011 and 2012, and coaching Sean Wells to NCAA Championship titles in the 60-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles.
As part of the announcement, Coach Roberts confirmed that Caleb Bowen will continue as Marshall’s Head Cross Country Coach, and Andrea Deem will remain an assistant track and field coach.
Having earned his B.A. in Interpersonal Communications from Kent State University, Roberts brings both educational and athletic experiences to his new role. He and his wife, Tessa, are parents to two children – Kaia Grace and Keith Anthony III.