Nationally renowned Plummer to lead XULA track, cross country

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NEW ORLEANS — Yhann Plummer — who rebuilt Southern University at New Orleans into a national power as head coach — will take over Xavier University of Louisiana’s track and field and cross country programs, Director of Athletics & Recreation Jason Horn announced on Wednesday.

Plummer’s hiring is effective immediately.

During 11 seasons at SUNO (2006-17), Plummer’s accomplishments included:
• First-place individual or relay finishes 11 times at NAIA National Championships — four by the men (two outdoors, two indoors) and seven by the women (five outdoors, two indoors).
• Top-15 team finishes 11 times at NAIA National Championships — five by the men (one outdoors, four indoors) and six by the women (three outdoors, three indoors). In his final season at SUNO (2017), the Lady Knights were third nationally outdoors, and the Knights placed third indoors.
• 25 student-athletes earning a combined 116 NAIA All-America honors.
• 78 first-place finishes from 2011-17 at Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships — 43 by the men, 35 by the women.
• Winning NAIA South Region Coach of the Year in men’s and women’s outdoor track from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2017. He was the NAIA Region XIII Coach of the Year in men’s track in 2008.

“Yhann is a person who shares Xavier’s commitment to fostering growth and continuing to build our track and field and cross country programs in all areas,” Horn said. “Yhann has a championship mentality developed over the many seasons he spent in our conference at SUNO. He will be focused on helping the young people he leads to grow as students. We are pleased to welcome Yhann to the Xavier family and Team Gold.”

Horn added, “Yhann might be the most successful coach ever to be hired by Xavier in any sport, based on prior national success.”

Plummer was a standout student-athlete at SUNO, winning the NAIA outdoor national title in the 100-meter-dash in 2006. Plummer earned a silver medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships in the 400 relay — on a team that featured Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder Usain Bolt as the anchor. Plummer ran the third segment, and he, Bolt, Winston Hutton and Orion Nicely medaled with a time of 39.15 seconds.

Plummer competed in the 60-meter dash at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

SUNO won the 2018 NAIA national team title in women’s outdoor track, with 56 1/2 of its 64 points scored by athletes Plummer recruited and coached.

Plummer will inherit a XULA program which won the last 11 GCAC team championships in women’s cross country, 10 of the last 11 GCAC team championships in men’s cross country and six of the last eight GCAC team championships in women’s track and field. Men’s track was up-and-coming in 2018; a second-place finish and 123 points were the Gold Rush’s best at a GCAC meet since 2004.

Plummer succeeds Joseph Moses, who coached cross country for 13 seasons (2004, 2006-17) and track and field for nine seasons (2010-18).

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity as Xavier’s head coach,” Plummer said. “I want to thank everyone I worked with at SUNO. They gave me a chance, and I’ll always be so grateful to have worked with them. Thank you to Jason Horn for his leadership and for trusting me to take on this role at Xavier. I look forward to building winning teams in the classroom and on the track.”

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