It was only fitting that David Bobb, who is one of UMBC's 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 21st season with the women and 18th at the helm of the men's squad, Bobb continues to raise the bar for his athletes as he leads them into their 16th season in the America East Conference.
In the first year, UMBC's men's team placed sixth at the outdoor conference championship meet while the women took eighth. A year later, Bobb moved the men's 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.
The Retriever mentor has earned America East Coach of the Year honors in 2013-14 and 2016-17, having led the Retriever men to four consecutive second-place league championship finishes from 2014-17. Moreover, the women’s program placed second in 2015 at the conclusion of the outdoor season.
Last year, he helped guide Tony White and Kelechi Nwanaga to All-American honors with White earning a spot on the second team and Nwanaga earning first team honors. Bobb also coached Vincent Rentzsch, who made it to the NCAA Finals in the javelin in 2016, Huguens Jean, who placed fourth nationally in the high jump in 2003 and Cleopatra Borel who won the indoor shot put national title in 2002.
During the 2010-11 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 women's team earned its highest-ever finish, third place, at the America East Indoor Championships, and followed it up by finishing fourth at the outdoor meet, their top-finish since 2006. The Retrievers were led by freshman Mercedes Jackson who broke the school record in multiple events and was named the conference's Most Outstanding Rookie at both championship meets. Meanwhile, the men's squad took fifth place indoors and sixth place outside.
In addition, UMBC received three invitations to the NCAA Championships as Mercedes Jackson competed at the indoor championships in the 60m dash, and then she and thrower Vincent Rentzsch flew to the West Coast for the outdoor championships at Oregon. The NCAA Outdoor Championships marked the first time in program history that multiple Retrievers qualified for the same national meet.
Prior to Bobb's rise into the coaching profession, he was a five-time Division I All-American as a student-athlete at UMBC and was inducted into UMBC's Athletics Hall of Fame in February 2003, along with legendary coach Jim Pfrogner, his mentor.
Bobb became UMBC's 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 "NCAA Today,” graduated from UMBC with a degree in information systems in 1997. He and his wife, Dawnnette, have two daughters, Caitlyn Cassandra and Madisyn Alexandra.