Special to the Hays Daily News
TOPEKA — Washburn director of athletics Loren Ferré has announced Topeka native Cameron Babb has been selected to revive the Washburn Ichabod track and field and cross country programs. His first day in the office will be Aug. 10 as the Ichabods will compete starting in the fall of 2016.
“Cameron was selected out of an outstanding field of 64 total applicants for the job and we’re excited to bring him back to Topeka to restart our track and field and cross country programs,” Ferré said. “His experience as a student athlete in the conference as well as being a head coach at the NCAA Division II level makes him an excellent choice to lead our program going forward.”
Babb recently completed his first season as Assistant Track & Field Coach for West Texas A&M in 2014-15 after primarily taking over the coaching duties of WTAMU’s jumpers and multi-event athletes who accounted for five of the program’s seven All-America awards in 2014.
“I’m excited about being back in the area and leading this program as it is restarted,” Babb said. “I think the area of Topeka and Kansas overall is excited for the program to take shape and the administration is already behind what our vision is for the future. I can’t wait to get student athletes on to campus and involved in the community. Washburn University has a great reputation both academically and athletically and I am ready to get started.”
In a very successful first season in Canyon in 2015, Babb helped coach the Lady Buff indoor team to a second-straight Lone Star Conference title while program-best national finishes were achieved by the men’s and women’s indoor teams and women’s outdoor team. Additionally, the Buffs finished a program-high eighth place in the USTFCCCA Program of the Year rankings. During the 2015 seasons, Babb coached his athletes to eight national qualifiers, three First-Team All-America and two Second-Team All-America accolades, and three LSC titles.
Babb joined the WT coaching staff after an outstanding three-year tenure and the previous two as head coach at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. In 2013, his first at the helm of the program, Babb led the Saints to one of their most successful seasons in school history as his men’s team won its first-ever Conference Carolinas Outdoor Team Championship. That season he also coached the NCAA DII Southeast Region Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and was named the Conference Carolinas Outdoor Head Coach of the Year and the NCAA DII Southeast Region Indoor Head Coach of the Year.
In only two years running the Saints’ program, Babb coached the school’s first track & field national qualifier, and eventually four total, including its first track & field All-American. Additionally, under his three-year watch on the staff, the men and women combined to break an astounding 59 school records.
Prior to arriving in Gaffney, Babb coached for two years at Blue Valley North High School (Kan.) where he was mentored by former DI and USA National Coach Rick Attig (University of Kansas & University of Nebraska). There, Babb coached six Kansas State qualifiers in jumps, five of whom scored at the state meet, and helped the boys team to an Eastern Kansas League Championship.
Babb’s first stint in the coaching realm was at his alma mater, Emporia State. As the assistant in Emporia, Kan., he coached 21 national qualifiers, 13 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) champions, eight NCAA DII All-Americans, four school record holders, and one NCAA DII National Champion in jumps and multi-events.
He was a student-athlete himself at Emporia State from 2003-07 where he was a five-time qualifier for the NCAA Division II National Championship in the long jump, decathlon, and javelin events. In 2006, Babb won the MIAA decathlon championship. During his athletic career with the Hornets, he was a 12-time All-Conference selection and competed in the decathlon at the USA Junior National Championships as a freshman in 2004.
Babb earned a B.S. in Health Promotion and a minor in Coaching from Emporia State in 2007. In May of 2014, he completed his M.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, also at Emporia State. Babb also has a teaching background at both Emporia State and Limestone College.