Coach Annette Acuff sets the Gold Standard
In August 2000, Annette Acuff was named the head cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Binghamton University. She had recently completed her master’s degree at Northern Colorado and was a graduate assistant with its cross country and track programs. Binghamton would be her first full-time coaching position.
When Acuff was hired, the Binghamton Athletic Department was in transition. The university was completing its final year at the NCAA Division II level. In August 2001, it would elevate to the Division I level.
Acuff and Binghamton were both in a transitionary stage but she saw her new position as a great opportunity.
“I was very fortunate to get this job right out of grad school,” she said. “It was a great opportunity and fit for me with the school moving to Division I. I knew I was going to be growing a lot as a coach as the school was getting established at the Division I level.”
If anyone walks into Acuff’s office today, 15 years after she took the job, they will see instantly how much she has grown as a coach. Like all coaches, trophies and awards fill her office. But the number of such in Acuff’s office is astounding. There are five All-America certificates, three Northeast Region Assistant Track Coach of the Year trophies, two America East Cross Country Coach of the Year trophies, several America East Championship Meet trophies and a pair of ECAC Championship Meet awards.
While Acuff was confident in her ability to grow as a coach, the past 15 years have exceeded her wildest expectations. To fully appreciate where she and the Binghamton distance program are today, it is necessary to go back in time.