Justin Bishop Named Interim Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach

In his 4th year with the Columbia College Track & Field program, Justin Bishop will step into his new role as Interim Head Coach of Track & FIeld and Cross Country. He will coach the distance events, jumps, and multis.

Bishop has won 3 National Championships while competing as an Open athlete, with 4 North American Championships and 46 National Championships competing as a Masters athlete. He has coached 10 national champions, 1 world record holder, and put 3 women on the USA National team in Track & Field, Duathlon, and Triathlon. Bishop is also a member of the USA National Team for masters track & field. He has been coaching for 14 years ranging in levels from high school, NCAA Division III, and USATF clubs.

Justin has guided his athletes at the USATF club level to 11 USATF Masters National Championships across the 5000 meters, steeplechase, 4x800m relay, shot put, super weight-throw, and pentathlon events. He's also coached 2 Duathlon, 1 Paralympic, and 1 Triathlon National Champions, along with South Carolina road racing state champions in the 5K, 15K, and half marathon distances. Over the last 5 years, Coach Bishop has trained 11 athletes to qualify for their first ever Boston Marathon.

Bishop holds the American Record for the single-day double decathlon set back in 2007, and has qualified for the Boston Marathon 10 times. In 2014, he was the fastest South Carolina resident to finish the Boston Marathon in 2:42:34. He also won the 2014 Delirium 6 Hour Ultramarathon by running 44.2 miles in the allotted 6 hours.

Bishop was named the USATF Masters Athlete of the Year for the Men's 30-39 age division in 2015 and 2016. He is also a certified USATF Level 2 coach, and was trained by 1976 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Jim Bowles.

In his first year as the Assistant Track & Field Coach at Columbia College, he coached Katie Kopp (Javelin) and Yasmine Keeley (Long Jump) to become the first AAC Conference Champions in Columbia College's Outdoor Track & Field history. Yasmine Keeley also tied the AAC outdoor track & field conference record in the long jump (5.33 meters). Bishop's stable of jumpers, throwers, and hurdlers, broke 14 school records in the 2016-2017 year.

In his second year, the Koalas won the Appalachian Athletic Conference Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship, the first in the program's history. Bishop's hurdlers and jumpers won 4 individual conference titles during the indoor and outdoor seasons in the 60m hurdles, long jump, 100m hurdles, and 400m hurdles. 10 performances throughout the year qualified for the AAC All-Conference team. A total of 20 school records were broken by Bishop's jumpers, throwers, hurdlers, and heptathletes in 2017-2018.

In his third year, the Koalas won their 2nd consecutive AAC Women's Indoor Track & Field championship. Coach Bishop's jumpers, hurdlers, and throwers captured 6 individual all-conference honors including 1 individual conference champion, and 1 national qualifier at the indoor championship. In the outdoor season, 4 individual all-conference awards were won including 2 individual conference champions, and 1 national qualifier.

Bishop also coached Columbia College's first ever Track & Field All-American. Kelsey White Kennedy finished 4th at the 2018 NAIA Indoor National Championships in the 60m hurdles to achieve that honor. Kelsey White Kennedy finished 9th in the 60m hurdles at the 2019 NAIA Indoor National Championships and also earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors.