David Self has been part of Sam Houston's successful track and field program since 2005, taking over as the Bearkats' head coach in July 2009 when previous coach Curtis Collier moved to an administrative position as the athletic compliance coordinator.
Over the past three seasons (2013-2015), the Sam Houston men and women have finished no lower than third at the Southland Conference championships, spanning 12 meets between the indoor and outdoor season.
In 2014, the women’s track and field program claimed both the Southland indoor and outdoor championships, marking the ninth title in 10 seasons since Self has been affiliated with the program. The men have brought home their share of hardware, as well, taking home five Southland runner-up trophies since 2013.
Meanwhile, trips to Eugene, Ore., – proclaimed Track Town, USA – have become an annual occurrence as Self’s athletes have racked up 14 All-America honors since 2009 including Matthew Viverette, Ashley Jenkins and Danielle Demas, who did so during the 2015 outdoor season.
Two weeks following the trio’s trip to the 2015 NCAA Championship in Eugene, Demas returned to the great northwest to compete in the USA Outdoor Championships along with freshmen Tyler Adams and Aaron Akens who participated in the USA Junior Outdoor Championships alongside some of the nation’s best.
With an ability to develop athletes, Bearkat men have claimed the last two ‘Southland Conference Freshman of the Year’ honors with Tyler Adams doing so in 2015 and Jay Roberson collecting the feat in 2014. Meanwhile, graduate student Kara Whitson became the first woman in Southland track history to claim the league’s ‘Student-Athlete of the Year’ honor in consecutive indoor and outdoor seasons (2015).
Since 2010, SHSU athletes have captured 49 Southland Conference individual championships and have been named All-Southland Conference a whopping 234 times. The Bearkat record book also reflects the recent success with 32 school records being held by athletes in the Self head coaching era.
In 2008, Self was named the Southland Conference Indoor Coach of the Year, becoming the first assistant coach in the conference to earn such an honor.Self previously served as head track and field coach at Garden City Community College from 1996-2002. There he coached 123 athletes who earned National Junior College Athletic Association All-America honors. He also produced 21 national individual champions and one of his athletes was a member of the 2004 United States Olympic Track and Field team.