Brenton Emanuel Hired as Director of Track & FieldWednesday, June 20 2018
Former Eastern Illinois track athlete and assistant coach Brenton Emanuel will become just the third director of track & field in the NCAA Division I history of the Eastern Illinois program as Director of Athletics Tom Michael announced his hiring on Friday (June 8).
Emanuel, the current associate head coach at Illinois State, takes over for his former mentor and long-time EIU director of track and field Tom Akers who is retiring after leading the program for the past 24 years. Emanuel will take over the program on June 18.
"We are happy to welcome back Brenton to serve as the director of track and field at Eastern Illinois," said Michael. "During the interview process Brenton's name was one that continued to rise to the top of our list with recommendations from both EIU track & field alumni and other people in the track world. The success he has had during his time here at EIU and at ISU, more than prepare him to take over the Panthers program. As a former student-athlete and assistant coach at EIU, Brenton knows what type of student-athlete it takes to be successful and win championships in the Ohio Valley Conference."
"I would like to thank President Glassman and Tom Michael for this amazing opportunity to come home to EIU. I would also like to thank my wife and family for all of their support," said Emanuel. "EIU has always been a special place to me. I have received two degrees and began my coaching journey right there in Charleston. The opportunity to follow in the shoes of my great friend, mentor, and coach is a very special opportunity. I look forward to building on to the dynasty Coach Akers has established."
The former Panthers sprinter has developed into one of the most well-respected, up and coming track coaches in the nation as he was named the 2018 USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Assistant Men's Coach of the Year during the indoor season as the Redbirds sprints, hurdles and relay crew swept the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships helping ISU win the conference championship. During the 2018 indoor season Emanuel coached three athletes that advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships while two of his athletes wrapped up competition at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships on Wednesday in Eugene, Oregon.
Emanuel has coached at Illinois State for four seasons serving as the associate head coach for the 2017-18 season. He specializes in coaching sprints, hurdles and relays. During his time at ISU he has coached seven national qualifiers in Anderson Devonish (2 times), Derrius Rodgers (2 times), Jaylan McConico (2 times) and Kentre Patterson. This past season Devonish won the MVC Most Valuable Athlete Award in 2018 as he won the 200 meter, 400 meter and 4x400 meter relay titles. McConico earned All-American honors in the indoor and outdoor hurdles. In addition Emanuel has coached 26 NCAA West Preliminary First Round Qualifiers and three USATF Junior Qualifiers.
During his time in Normal, Emanuel's athletes have set nine school records, won five All-American honors, 25 MVC Championships and collected more than 80 All-Conference honors.
Emanuel joined the ISU staff after serving as an assistant coach for sprints and hurdles and the recruiting coordinator at California University of Pennsylvania. While with the Vulcans program he coached one athlete to the World Junior Championships in the 200 meter dash.
A former sprinter at Eastern Illinois, Emanuel spent five years as the assistant track and field coach and recruiting coordinator for the Panthers following graduation. He helped coach the Panthers to nine Ohio Valley Conference Championships helping coach All-American sprinter Zye Boey. The athletes he coached set eight school records with 44 OVC individual champions and 55 All-OVC honorees. In addition to his coaching duties he helped serve as Eastern Illinois meet manager, helped run Illinois State High School State Meets and managed the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor National Championships.
Emanuel ran at Eastern Illinois from 2005-08 earning second team All-OVC honors while serving as team captain. He earned his bachelor's degree in 2008 while completing his master's degree from EIU in 2009.
He is married to the former Jessica Parker.