Position: Assistant Coach - Distance
Michael Porter is in his sixth season with Clemson’s track & field and cross country programs in 2018-19, his fifth as an assistant coach. He previously served in a volunteer capacity in 2013-14. He is directly responsible for assisting head coach Mark Elliott with the instruction of Clemson’s middle distance and distance runners, and is the program’s cross country coach for men and women.
Porter has had a positive impact on Clemson’s distance group, most notably on former Clemson standout Grace Barnett (2013-18), a seven-time All-American between cross country (1), indoor (5) and outdoor (1) competition. During her tenure at Clemson, Barnett garnered 13 All-ACC distinctions between cross country (1) and track & field (10 indoor, 2 outdoor), six of which were First-Team distinctions under the guidance of Porter. Barnett is also an 11-time All-ACC Academic selection. In 2016, she was the ACC Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was also a recipient of the Weaver-James-Corrigan scholarship in 2018. Porter also guided Barnett and the Tigers to their first ACC distance medley title in over 20 years along with an All-America showing at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Emerging in the footsteps of Barnett is Logan Morris, a sophomore in 2017-18, who became Clemson’s first-ever women’s participant in the 3000m steeplechase at the NCAA outdoor championships. During the 2018 cross country season, Porter led Morris and the Tiger women to their highest southeast regional finish (9th) since 2012. At the regional meet, Morris qualified for the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships after achieving her 6k personal best. Morris earned a sixth-place overall finish and became the program’s 22nd All-Region honoree.
On the men’s side, Porter coached James Dwyer to a berth in the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5000 meters, a first by a Clemson athlete since Matt Clark nearly a decade ago.
Prior to his stint at Clemson, Porter also served in a volunteer capacity for the 2012-13 season at LSU alongside Elliott. He helped coached Natoya Goule to NCAA National Championships in both the indoor and outdoor 800 meters. He also helped coach Charlene Lipsey, first-team All-American in both seasons and the SEC’s 800 Indoor Champion in 2013. Porter also had a positive effect on the performances of Laura Carleton, who won an SEC crown in the indoor 5000 meters.
Before his volunteer experience on the Bayou, Porter was the head cross country and track coach at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Va. His teams collected 10 Commonwealth District titles, six Northwest Region Championships and two State Championship podium finishes.
Individually, he coached 18 all-state athletes and an All-American squad in the boys 4×800 meter relay. Additionally, 12 of his athletes from Colonial Forge went on to compete at the Division I level in track & field and cross country.
Porter was named Coach of the Year for boys cross country by the Washington Post and Free-Lance Star in 2010. He was also the girls Coach of the Year in cross country that season. In 2012, he was named Coach of the Year in both sports for indoor and outdoor track & field by the Free-Lance Star.
Porter spent two seasons as a member of the University of Maryland cross country and track & field teams, from 2003-05.
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