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Shawn Cobey - Track & Field - Clemson University Athletics

Shawn Cobey

Position: Assistant Coach - Throws

Shawn Cobey enters in to his 14th year as a member of the Tiger track & field staff in 2022-23. He was an assistant coach from 2009-12 before spending the fall semester of 2012 as operations manager for the program. He served as the program’s interim director of track & field for the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons.

With Cobey as interim director, Clemson finished off the four-year sweep of ACC championships in women’s indoor and outdoor track & field. The women’s team had eight straight NCAA top-20 finishes, including top-five efforts in 2012 and top-10 results in 2013.

Cobey was retained by head coach Mark Elliott as the program’s director of operation once Elliott took the helm of Clemson’s program during the summer of 2013. Cobey was responsible for all administrative functions for the program and is truly an integral part of Elliott’s staff. He also helped the Tiger women to ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2015.

In September of 2017, Cobey was elevated from the role of director of operation to that of assistant coach for the throwing events. The past few years has seen Cobey develop a stable of talent within the throws group.

In 2022, Cobey coached Rojé Stona in the discus throw to a school-record 65.11 meter mark set at the Penn Relays. Stona went on to secure a second-team All-American nod. Cobey also coached newcomer Daniel Cope to an ACC Championship in the Weight Throw, where he broke a Jamaican record.

The 2021 campaign saw Cobey’s group rewrite Clemson’s record book after combining to register 20 top-10 all-time marks during the indoor and outdoor seasons. After a year away from outdoor competition, Cobey’s group competed with an unmatched intensity and was rewarded by garnering two outdoor All-American honors, three All-ACC awards, and six event victories. Roje Stona finished as the national runner-up in the discus during the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, setting a new personal best and improving his No. 2 all-time mark at Clemson by throwing 61.94m in the event’s final. On the women’s side, Veronica Fraley became the school record holder for the discus (56.70m) and No. 2 all-time for the outdoor shot put (16.59m) over the course of the year. Fraley’s postseason success also saw her become just the second woman in program history to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the discus and shot put during the same season. Danielle Sloley joined Fraley in finding great achievement in 2021, as the freshman from Jamaica became No. 6 all-time in the women’s outdoor shot put after having thrown 15.10m.

Cobey’s group showcased its excellence throughout the 2019-20 indoor season by etching four new top-10 marks into the Clemson record books for the men’s and women’s shot put. During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Cobey’s athletes registered at the time the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 7 marks in program history for the women’s shot put, while the men logged the No. 2 and No. 5 marks all-time for the men’s shot put. Stona, who has showcased his talent from his first days in Tigertown, has thrived under the coaching of Cobey. During the first indoor season of his career, Stona threw the No. 5 mark in program history for the shot put at the ACC Indoor Championships on Feb. 27, 2020, eclipsing his previous best by over 1.2 meters. Fraley had as electric season in the shot put back in 2020, eclipsing the 15-meter barrier in each competition and throwing a sizable personable best by reaching 16.10 meters during the campaign. The 2020 season also saw Cobey lead Danielle Little to scoring her first career ACC point in the women’s weight throw at the 2020 edition of the ACC Indoor Championships.

Off the track, Cobey’s group garnered two Academic All-ACC team honorees, as Fraley and Grant Voeks each received the honor from the conference office for their academic and athletic achievement throughout the campaign.

In 2019, Cobey qualified two athletes, Stona and Voeks, for the NCAA outdoor national championships in the men’s discus. Stona would earn All-America honors at the meet and would later earn a gold medal at the U-23 NACAC games in the same event. On the women’s side, Fraley represented the United States at the U-20 Pan American Games where she finished as the top American and fifth overall. Cobey coached five athletes to All-ACC honors during the 2018-19 campaign.

The record books have been transformed by Cobey’s group, with his athletes adding 22 marks to the program’s top-10 lists. Stona and Fraley own the freshman event records in both the men’s and women’s discus. 

Cobey has also developed well-rounded student-athletes, as it was announced that Janell Fullerton and Voeks were named the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) Athletes of the Year. 

In 2013, with Cobey at the helm of the program, the women’s program was ranked in the top 15 of every USTFCCCA poll in the 2013 season, with a high of No. 1 for three weeks during the indoor campaign. He also guided the men’s team to its best collective effort in a number of years. The Tigers were third at both the ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, both program bests since 2008. The indoor men’s team tied for 25th place.

His program produced 17 first-team All-Americans in 2013, including Brianna Rollins with National Championships in the high hurdles both seasons. Rollins won The Bowerman, presented to the top collegiate track athlete in the nation. Rollins set NCAA records in the 60 hurdles and 100 hurdles in 2013. Cobey, the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Indoor and Outdoor Women’s Coach of the Year, guided several award winners. Rollins was USTFCCCA National Track Athlete of the Year, as well as ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Dezerea Bryant, Keni Harrison and Brittney Waller all earned Most Valuable Performer recognition at the league meets in 2013. He also coached the ACC’s Indoor Freshman of the Year for both sports, Tevin Hester and Mimi Land.

Prior to Cobey’s appointment as interim director, he served as an assistant throws coach and developed athletes who were important contributors to the team success, both on the men’s and women’s sides.

Zach Berg overcame a long bout with injuries to flourish in 2010, his final season in a Clemson uniform. Under Cobey’s leadership, Berg established Clemson records in both the weight throw (66-11.5) and hammer throw (210-7) and was the third-place finisher at the ACC level in both events. He also earned his first-ever NCAA qualification by placing 12th at the East Prelims in Greensboro to close the outdoor season.

Alex Padgett would go on to break Berg’s record in the weight throw as a senior in 2011. His senior season culminated with his first and only ACC championship in the shot put at the outdoor league meet in Durham, NC. Padgett was also All-ACC in the indoor shot put under Cobey’s tutelage in 2011 as well.

On the women’s side, Waller worked her way from all-conference in the weight throw as a freshman to ACC Champion and second-team All-American in the event as a sophomore in 2011. Waller followed with league titles again in 2012 and 2013. She established a Clemson record in the weight throw as a senior and went on to earn a bronze medal in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Cobey compiled an impressive coaching résumé at Youngstown State. He coached the Penguin throwers to great individual success from 2003-09, serving the last three years as the program’s recruiting coordinator. Cobey coached 105 all-conference performers as an assistant coach at Youngstown State, which included 32 conference champions. Cobey had nine Horizon League champions and 20 all-conference performers in 2009 alone.

In addition to those outstanding totals, Cobey coached 23 NCAA Mideast Regional qualifiers, five Horizon League Performer-of-the-Meet recipients, and one Horizon League Athlete-of-the-Year. The Penguins experienced tremendous team success during his time as well, with the women’s team claiming five of the last six Horizon League outdoor championships.

In 2009, Cobey instructed a pair of NCAA Mideast Regional qualifiers in Joe Lahmon and Aaron Merrill. Both student-athletes also won a pair of Horizon League crowns. Merrill was also a USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete and third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Also in 2009, Danielle Curry won three Horizon titles (including a sweep of the indoor and outdoor shot put) in the women’s throwing events.

The most decorated thrower in Youngstown State history was coached personally by Cobey. Bethany Anderson was a 12-time Horizon League champion from 2005-08. She also was named Most Outstanding Field Performer at three different Horizon League meets during her time with the Penguin program.

He also coached Jarrod Davis to an outstanding career. Under his tutelage, Davis was a two-time Most Outstanding Field Performer and three-time qualifier for the NCAA Mideast Regional. Davis won three Horizon League championships in 2006.

Prior to his time as an assistant coach at Youngstown State, Cobey was head coach of his alma mater, Canfield High School, for two years. Canfield won two conference championships under Cobey’s watch.

Cobey was a six-time all-conference thrower at Youngstown State, including a two-time conference champion. He ranks among the school’s top 10 performers in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, discus and hammer throw. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 2001. He earned a master’s degree in education leadership and administration in 2004.

Cobey, 41, is married to the former Ashleigh Evatt. The couple has a son, Thomas.