Drummond Returns to MDES as Head Track & Field Coach
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has announced the appointment of alumnus and former assistant coach Damion Drummond to the position of the head coach for the school’s track & field and cross country programs on Thursday. Drummond replaces Ernest Barrett, whose contract ended on June 30 and was not renewed.
“Hawk Athletics is a family and there is no greater joy than to welcome back someone into the fold who has been a member of that fraternity,” Athletic Director Keith Davidson said. “As we looked to the future of the track and field and cross country programs, our focus was on the stewardship of a branch of the Hawk family and there was no better person to be responsible for the preparation of our student athletes than Damion.”
A graduate of the class of 2006, Drummond brings more than a decade of coaching experience to his alma mater. Most recently Drummond was the head coach of Route 13 rival Delaware State, a post he has held since 2015.
“It is exciting,” Drummond said. “It’s a humbling situation to be able to give back to somewhere that I received so much. It’s a place that I would consider saved my soul. I’m excited to be able to instill a sense of academics that I have come to appreciate. When I got there everything boomed for me athletically and academically being on the honor roll and the MEAC academic team. Those things to me are so much more important that being a record holder in the 800 meters in the conference."
“For me to be able to sit back in that chair now and give back, share my story with these student athletes,” Drummond said. “That is the opportunity that I am looking forward to. The coaching part will take care of itself. The talent will come and the results will speak for themselves.”
During his time in Dover, Drummond helped orchestrate a revamp of the Hornets’ track & field program. This culminated in his program receiving the 2017 Hornet Cup, which is awarded to the top athletic program that excels on campus and within the surrounding community through academic achievement, sport performance, campus stewardship, community services and volunteerism.
Prior to Delaware State, Drummond’s first collegiate head coaching experience was one season at the helm of the Lincoln University Lions in Pennsylvania, where he led the women’s cross country team to the school’s first CIAA title since being classified in Division II. Supervising two coaches and 40 student-athletes, Drummond also helped steer the Lions’ women’s team to All-Academic distinction from the United States Track & Field Cross County Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), along with providing Lincoln with its 2015 salutatorian from the men’s team.
However, these experiences as a head coach elsewhere do not mean Drummond has been a stranger to The Shore since his graduation. He served as a graduate and volunteer assistant from 2006-2009, and was on the staff as the Hawks enjoyed a successful campaign during the late 2000s, resulting in three cross country championships and a co-championship for the women at the 2008 MEAC Indoor Championships.
Drummond also served as coach of nearby Washington High School during the 2009-2010 school year, coaching the Jaguars to two regional titles with one individual state champion and 12 regional champions.
“I look at the Hawks roster and I know that there is no reason we can’t have more athletes from the local community,” Drummond said. “To me, building a program and an environment that shows that we care about the surroundings means taking a shot at recruiting those kids who are close by. Much of the talent will come from five states over or overseas, but there are programs out there on Delmarva where there are kids doing some exceptional things.”
Drummond channeled his success at Maryland Eastern Shore into successful assistantships at Mount Mercy University in Iowa and Hampton University, where he aided an already successful Pirates program to multiple MEAC Championships.
The move to The Shore will be big for Drummond, who will take over programs that have a history of success on both the men’s and women’s side, but have the potential to do even more. The Hawks also have the benefit of an indoor track in the Hytche Athletic Center and will also open a brand new outdoor track this season, which will be a strong recruiting tool.
“Those facilities to me mean everything,” Drummond said. “You look out there and coaches have dreams of the opportunity to coach at a Power Five school. It’s because most Power Five schools are going to have a nice cross-country course, an indoor facility and an outdoor faculty. To have that at Eastern Shore — the only school in the conference with such a nice indoor facility, a cross country course that has hosted NCAA Regionals and now a brand new outdoor facility — is an incredible recruiting tool.”
A native of New York by way of Jamaica, Drummond originally enrolled at the University of Tennessee, where he won SEC team titles for indoor and outdoor track, before transferring to Maryland Eastern Shore. He was an All-MEAC selection as a mid-distance runner for the Hawks, setting MEAC Championship records in the 800 meters during both the indoor and outdoor season, along with assisting in setting the school’s distance medley relay record which stood for 14 years until being broken this past season.
“I transferred to The Shore back in 2002 from Tennessee and at the time I didn’t transfer directly,” Drummond said. “I left the Volunteers and went back home to New York with the intention of enrolling at DeVry University to be an auto mechanic. I don’t think I really applied myself at Tennessee and I had to remove myself from that situation and find myself. Once I realized that I wanted to go back to college, Maryland Eastern Shore came into the fold because I had considered coming there from the beginning. After I graduated, Coach Barrett extended the opportunity to be a graduate assistant that is where it all started for me.”
Drummond turned semi-pro after his collegiate racing career ended. He specialized in the 800m run, taking numerous 3rd place finishes at national events, along with a 4th place finish in the 2004 Olympic Trials where he represented Jamaica.
He graduated from Maryland Eastern Shore with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2006 and a master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2008.