Julius Higginbotham, a two-time All-American in track & field and all-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive back in football at Heidelberg University, is now in his fifth year coaching both sports at Wooster. He’s in charge of the defensive backs (after previously coaching the strong safeties and wide receivers) in football, and focuses on the sprinters and jumpers on the track.
This past spring, Higginbotham played a key role in two student-athletes qualifying for the national indoor meet for the first time in program history. Additionally, he was tabbed as the NCAA Div. III Great Lakes Assistant Coach of the Year for women’s indoor track & field by the USTFCCCA.
Before joining the Wooster staff, Higginbotham was an assistant track coach at his alma mater for two seasons (2011-12). Of the sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers he worked with there, they combined for five school records and five All-American performances (men’s high jump, women’s long jump, pentathlon, and men’s triple jump), and he also was an assistant football coach at Fostoria High School during that time.
As a student-athlete for the ‘Berg, Higginbotham earned All-American honors in the long jump both indoors (3rd-place; 23 feet) and outdoors (6th-place; 23 feet, 4.5 inches) during the 2010 season. Overall, he was a seven-time qualifier for the NCAA Div. III Championships – indoor long jump (2008, 2009, 2010), outdoor long jump (2010), indoor 55 meters (2009), and outdoor 4x100 meters relay (2007, 2010). Within the OAC, he combined for four individual championships and all-conference status 20 times, highlighted by being named the Don Frail Most Outstanding Track Athlete once (2009) and the Bud Yoest Most Outstanding Field Athlete twice (2008, 2009).
In football, Higginbotham was the team’s fourth-leading tackler (46) as a senior to go with four pass breakups and two interceptions en route to second-team all-OAC recognition.
A native of Elyria, Ohio, Higginbotham completed a bachelor’s degree while majoring in psychology at Heidelberg, and would later earn a master’s degree in arts and education from his alma mater in 2014.
Kenny Fisher is in his 12th year as an assistant coach with the Wooster track & field program, and 22nd year overall coaching. With the Fighting Scots, he coaches the pole vault as well as the jumpers and throwers.
Prior to coming to the College, Fisher was a track coach at local high schools for several years. From 2003-05, he coached the pole vaulters, sprinters, and relays while helping develop the overall program at Northwestern High School in northern Wayne County. That was his second stint there, previously coaching the sprinters and jumpers between 1994 and 2000. Also during that latter stretch, Fisher assisted with the football team, coaching the receivers, defensive backs, and special teams.
In between (2000-03), he coached the track & field team at Wooster High School, assisting with all of the jumps and sprint relays.
Chase Thomson enters his first season as an assistant coach at The College of Wooster, where he will primarily work with the Fighting Scots’ throwers, while also having an extensive role in recruiting.
Thomson comes to the College from Saint Lawrence University, where he spent the past three seasons as a graduate assistant. While at St. Lawrence, Thomson tutored nine Liberty League champions and two New York State Collegiate Track Conference champions. While with the Saints, Thomson was a part of a staff that earned eight Liberty League Staff-of-the-Year citations and won eight conference titles.
While at St. Lawrence, Thomson had a unique opportunity to help promote the 2015 Div. III National Championships that were held on campus. Specifically, Thomson worked on the marketing side, working with local media outlets to secure advertisements.
As a student-athlete, Thomson was a four-year member of the track & field team at Misericordia University, where he competed in all of the throws events.
Thomson earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Lawrence, and a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Misericordia.
Paris Hilliard joined the Tiger coaching staff in December 2011. After nearly four years on staff as an assistant, Hilliard moved into the lead role with the track and field program in August 2015. He will continue to serve as an assistant to the cross country program as well.
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Hilliard arrived at Wittenberg after one year as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Heidelberg University. That followed a stellar collegiate career for the Student Princes in which he earned 10 All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors and six all-state honors, including a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash in 2008. Hilliard was a member of four NCAA Division III provisional qualifying relay teams during his collegiate career, and he made NCAA Division III Championship appearances in 2007 and 2010. He also left his name in the Heidelberg record book as a member of two relays: the 4x200-meter indoor (1:30.04) and the 4x100-meter (41.45).
After joining the Tiger staff, Hilliard helped Victor Banjo to two individual NCAA Division III All-American honors (60-meter dash indoor twice and 100-meter dash outdoor) and coached the Tigers to more than two dozen new school records in sprints, jumps, hurdles, and relays. He also guided the men’s 4x400-meter relay team to a new indoor NCAC record of 3:21.41.
While attending Heidelberg, he was a member of Tau Pi Phi honorary and the Black Student Union, and was twice named to the Dean's List. Hilliard graduated from Heidelberg in May of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in sports management and business administration. In May 2013, Hilliard finished a master's degree in education at Heidelberg. He currently resides in Springfield, Ohio.
Sarah Bechtel is in her second season as a member of the Ohio Wesleyan coaching staffs in track & field and cross country. She works with the Battling Bishop pole vaulters serves as combined events coordinator.
Bechtel returned to Ohio Wesleyan after serving as an assistant coach at Ursuline College during the 2015 season, coaching the jumps and assisting with sprints and hurdles. During the 2015 season, the Arrows set 6 school records in the jumps and won 5 Great Midwest Athletic Conference championships and 11 all-conference citations, with one hurdler going on to win All-America honors.
She earned her UASTF level one coaching certification in December 2013.
Bechtel is a 2014 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan. She won All-America honors in the pole vault in 2013 and qualified for the NCAA Division III championship meet 4 times. Bechtel won 7 North Coast Athletic Conference championships in the pole vault and added all-conference honors in the 100-meter hurdles. She was the first woman in NCAC history to win 4 consecutive conference championships in the indoor pole vault and set the conference record in the event by clearing 11-7 3/4 at the 2014 indoor championship meet. Bechtel holds both indoor and outdoor Ohio Wesleyan records in the pole vault, and won 6 All-Ohio titles in the event.
She is a native of Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Myles Tyler will join the Cleveland State track and field coaching staff for the 2017 season, stepping into the role of volunteer assistant coach for the Vikings.
Tyler is a familiar face to the Cleveland State Athletic Department, as he has spent the last three years serving as an intern for Athletic Director John Parry, where he has learned the daily operations of a collegiate athletic department. During his time in the Cleveland State Athletic Department, Tyler was able to gain insight into NCAA rules and regulations – specifically those that involve the sport of track and field – and will be able to put this knowledge to use during the upcoming season.
Tyler, who spent his freshman year at Kent State University, competed in sprint events for the Golden Flashes before transferring to Cleveland State where he graduated with a sport management major.