It was only fitting that David Bobb, who is one of UMBCís most decorated athletes to ever don the Retriever black and gold, take over as head track and field coach following his stellar career as a Retriever athlete. Now entering his 15th season with the women and 12th at the helm of the menís squad, Bobb continues to raise the bar for his athletes as he leads them into their tenth season in the America East Conference.
In the first year, UMBCís menís team placed sixth at the outdoor conference championship meet while the women took eighth. A year later, Bobb moved the menís team to third place while the women moved up a spot to seventh, while nearly doubling their team score. During the 2005-06 campaign, the men placed second at the indoor conference championship and fourth in outdoor, while the women placed fifth and fourth, respectively. In 2006-07, the Retrievers hosted their first meet since 2003 with the America East Championships, and Bobb led the men to a third-place and the women to a seventh-place finish. In 2007-08, the Retriever men and women finished fifth and fourth at the outdoor meet, respectively, and in 2008-09, the men finished fourth in both indoor and outdoor competitions.
During the 2009-10 season, the Retriever men placed third during the indoor season and fourth outdoors, while the women finished fifth in both seasons. The 2009-10 season was highlighted by Dominic Devaud, who was named to the CoSida/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Third Team and won the heptathlon at the America East and IC4A Indoor Championships.
In 2011-12, the Retriever women impressed both indoors and outdoors, taking third and fourth, respectively, at the America East Championships with freshman sensation Mercedes Jackson earning Most Outstanding Rookie at both meets. In addition, thrower Amanda Deller was named the indoor meetís Most Outstanding Field Performer.
The men also had a successful season, placing fifth and sixth at the conference meets. Indoors, hurdler Trae Proctor won the 60m hurdles for the second straight year and outdoors Brandon McGee won the steeplechase in school record breaking time (9:01.73).
This past season, the Retrievers posted successful campaigns both individually and as a team as both the men and women finished in the top-half of the America East standings at both the indoor and outdoor championships. Following the Retriever menís teamís second-place finish at the outdoor meet, Bobb and his staff were named the America East Coaching Staff of the Year. In all, Retriever athletes won 26 conference titles during the year.
UMBCís success did not end there, however, as Mercedes Jackson qualified for the NCAA Championships in the indoor 60m dash, becoming just the fourth Retriever to ever reach the national meet. In the spring, she qualified again for the NCAAs, this time in the 100m dash, and Vincent Rentzsch joined her, marking the first time the Black and Gold have sent multiple athletes to the same national championship meet.
Since Bobbís first season with the Retrievers, his squads have produced four NCAA Championship competitors with Cleopatra Borel and Huguens Jean qualifying in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Borel won UMBCís first NCAA Championship in the shot put in 2002. Both became All-Americans and won multiple individual conference titles.
Prior to Bobbís rise into the coaching profession, he was a five-time Division I All-American as a student-athlete at UMBC and was inducted into UMBCís Athletics Hall of Fame in February 2003, along with legendary coach Jim Pfrogner, his mentor.
Bobb became UMBCís first Division I All-American in track and field with third-place finishes in both the 55m and 200m dashes at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis, during his junior season. His performance alone catapulted UMBC to an 18th-place finish in the nation.
Bobb capped off his career with a second-place result in the 100m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind., where he was the top American finisher in the country and earned All-American honors for the fourth time. He also qualified for the 200m finals, becoming an All-American for the fifth time, but a slight muscle pull forced him to drop out of the race.
Bobb, who was featured on the ESPN show ďNCAA Today,Ē graduated from UMBC with a degree in information systems in 1997. He and his wife, Dawnnette, have two daughters, Caitlyn Cassandra and Madisyn Alexandra.