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 sixth year coaching track & field at Wooster where he focuses on the sprinters and jumpers, and recently added duties as the recruiting coordinator. Higginbotham coached football at the College from 2012-17 spending time in chrage of the defensive backs after previously coaching the strong safeties and wide receivers.
Higginbotham's role led to two student-athletes qualifying for the 2016 national indoor meet for the first time in program history, and he was tabbed as the NCAA Div. III Great Lakes Assistant Coach of the Year for women's indoor track & field by the USTFCCCA. Last spring culminated in sophomore Carolyn Webster qualifying for the national championships in the high jump for the second time.
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.
Brian Kooser, a three-year starter on the offensive line at McDaniel College is in his first season at The College of Wooster where he serves as the offensive line coach for the football team and the throws coach for the track & field program.
Kooser's first season with the Black and Gold on the gridiron was one to remember as Wooster's offense set or matched 28 school records, center Patrick Mohorcic was voted captain of the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, and the offensive line had three representatives on the all-conference teams, including the late Clayton Geib, who was a posthumous selection.
Kooser came to Wooster from Westminster College (Mo.), where he served as the offensive line coach and video coordinator for two seasons. In 2015, Kooser's charges ranked 31st nationally in sacks allowed per game (1.10) and were 41st in tackles-for-loss surrendered per game (5.00).
Prior to coaching at Westminster, Kooser spent two seasons as a student assistant working with the offensive line at McDaniel after exhausting his eligibility. As a student-athlete, Kooser helped pave the way for the conference’s leading rusher in three straight seasons and he formerly was a shot put and discus thrower prior to attending McDaniel.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from McDaniel.
Paris Hilliard enters his 4th season as the Head Coach of the Tigers Track and Field program. Hilliard has been a member of the Track and Field staff since December of 2011, in which he took the head position in August of 2015. In addition, Hilliard continues to serve as an assistant to the cross-country program.