Matthew Roden named head coach of Transylvania track and field and cross country teams

Matthew Roden named head coach of Transylvania track and field and cross country teams

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Matthew Roden has been chosen as the head coach for the Transylvania track and field and cross country teams, Vice President for Athletics, Dr. Holly Sheilley announced Thursday.  

Roden, who spent the 2018-2019 season for the Pioneers as an assistant coach with throws, takes over as the new head coach for the Pioneers cross country and track and field teams, two programs which sprinted into new frontiers this past season. 

"Matthew will continue to build upon the work that has been done with our program and elevate it to the next level," Sheilley said. "His experience made him an ideal candidate for this position as well as the success that he had shown with the program. We are delighted to have him as our head coach."

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to become the next head coach at Transylvania University and excited about what we can do here," commented Roden. "I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a part of last year's team that saw a tremendous amount of success on a personal, program, and national level. That experience has helped me forge relationships with the returning student-athletes, the athletic department, and the community for which I am so proud to be a part of."

Roden takes over as the head coach of the Transylvania track and field and cross country teams for Taylor Throckmorton, who returned to North Central College (Ill.) in a new coaching capacity with the Cardinals.  

A native of Corry, Pennsylvania, Roden brings a diverse coaching background and a pedigree for development spanning NCAA Division I and Division III levels to his new position as head coach of the Transylvania track and field programs.

During Roden's first year with the Pioneers, the Transylvania track and field program experienced a watershed of milestones, including the establishment of 25 new school records during the 2018-2019 season.

With Roden providing his expertise and assisting Transylvania throwers, the Pioneers seized a collection of new achievements as the program continued its steady rise. In 2019, Transylvania track and field produced three All-Region winners following the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's outdoor championships; freshman Taylor Allen captured a conference title in the women's 400 meters, junior Rian Boelter won the HCAC conference championship in the women's triple jump, and senior Graham Smith won his second consecutive HCAC championship in the men's javelin. 

Across all of the Pioneers' many achievements this past season, Roden's impact was felt the most as the Pioneers fielded their first male All-American athlete in program history. Roden's guidance propelled Smith to capturing national runner-up status at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field National Championships with a personal best throw in the men's javelin event in the final collegiate competition of his career.

Roden's appointment as Transylvania's new head coach marks his second stint as a collegiate head coach. Prior to joining Transylvania's track and field coaching staff in 2018, Roden served as the interim head coach at NCAA Division III Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, where he was instrumental in getting a brand-new track and field program off the ground. Roden served as the head coach for the Wasps for their inaugural outdoor track and field season in the spring of 2018.

Prior to his head coaching experience with Emory & Henry, Roden helped build competitive programs at a collection of Division I programs in the southeast region. From 2006 through 2011, Roden was an assistant coach for throws at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina where he also was responsible for directing home competitions for the Phoenix's track and field team. Under Roden's tutelage, Phoenix throwers set new school records in all six throwing events comprising the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, hammer throw, discus, and javelin. During his tenure there, Roden coached the Elon throwers to 16 All-Southern Conference honors while overseeing the emergence of three Southern Conference individual champions during the 2010 season in the discus, shot put, and javelin.

Roden's time at Elon followed a role at Coastal Carolina University as the athletic program's strength and conditioning assistant coach. At Coastal Carolina, Roden worked with the baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country and track and field, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball teams. Roden also worked with the throws coach at Coastal Carolina while serving as the strength and conditioning assistant coach. Along with this endeavor, Roden spent four years working with collegiate and post-collegiate throwers as an assistant coach and clinic coordinator with the USATF Mjolnir Track and Field Club in Conway, South Carolina.

Roden draws upon his own experiences as a high-level collegiate athlete, forging a decorated career as a student-athlete at both Coastal Carolina and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Roden began his collegiate career at Coastal Carolina, capturing the 2002 Big South Conference Championship in the hammer throw.

Following his sophomore season, Roden transferred to UNC Wilmington and won the Colonial Athletic Association Championship in 2005 in the hammer. Roden qualified for the NCAA Division I East Regional Championships twice during his collegiate career and was named an NCAA Division I All-East Region performer in 2005. Roden also holds the UNC Wilmington school record in the men's hammer throw.

A 2005 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Roden possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Roden earned a Master of Science in Sport Management with a concentration in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration from the California University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

Roden makes his home in Nicholasville with his wife Katherine, and his two sons, Aiden and Conor.

Roden is certified by USA Track & Field in Level I Coaching and Level II Coaching (Throws) and will transition into his role as head coach of Transylvania cross country and track and field immediately.

"We've created a rich tradition that I look to continue to building upon as we strive to create an environment that not only enriches the experience of our student-athletes but one that creates lifelong memories and lasting relationships."