Marvin Gibson enters his sixth season as an assistant coach on the LSU staff where he is responsible for not only recruiting the nation’s premier athletes, but also working with one of the elite sprints and hurdles groups in the NCAA as an assistant to head coach Dennis Shaver.
The Tigers enjoyed another record-setting season in 2010 led by the performance of hurdles star Barrett Nugent, who shattered LSU school records in both the 60-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles while emerging as a true NCAA title contender in the sprint hurdle events.
Nugent set a pair of school records in the national finals while earning a pair of All-America honors during his sophomore campaign. He set the standard at 7.60 seconds to finish in fourth-place in the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships before clocking 13.49 in a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. While falling just .04 seconds shy of the national title, Nugent broke the 23-year-old school record of 13.50 previously set by former LSU national champion Eric Reid in 1987. Nugent then shattered his own school record in a fifth-place performance at the USA Outdoor Championships, where he crossed the finish line in 13.35.
In addition, Nugent also made history by becoming the first Tiger in history to sweep SEC Indoor and SEC Outdoor titles in the sprint hurdles in the same season at the SEC Championships.
The group flourished during the 2009 season as LSU’s sprinters racked up 15 All-America honors while leading the Tigers to a pair of top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships.
None were more dominant than Trindon Holliday, who became the third different LSU Tiger in four seasons to be crowned NCAA champion in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Holliday captured his first career individual NCAA crown by running a new personal-best time of 10.00 in the national final. Not only that, but the Zachary native was the NCAA runner-up in the 60 meters during the indoor season and anchored the Tigers’ 4×100-meter relay team to an NCAA runner-up finish during the outdoor season.
The Tigers also dominated the men’s sprints at the NCAA level in 2008, led by LSU great and international superstar Richard Thompson.
Thompson burst onto the international scene as one of the top young sprinters in the world with his silver-medal winning run in the 100-meter dash at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Thompson, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, tied the collegiate record of 9.89 seconds in the final to finish second behind only world-record holder and gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica. He went on to also win the Olympic silver in the 4×100-meter relay.
Thompson wrapped up his collegiate career in 2008 by being named the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after Gibson helped coach him to a sweep of NCAA titles in the 60 meters and 100 meters, while also adding a runner-up finish in the 200 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. He became the first sprinter in the history of LSU track and field to break the 10-second barrier in the 100-meter dash with a winning time of 9.93 at the SEC Championships.
Thompson’s personal-best times of 6.51 in the 60 meters and 9.89 in the 100 meters are school records that may never be broken. Not only did Thompson tie the collegiate record in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games, but his winning time of 6.51 in the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships is still a meet record.
LSU is world-renown for its performance in the relays, and the Tigers added yet another national title in the 4×100-meter relay to their already impressive resume as the team of Armanti Hayes, Thompson, Gabriel Mvumvure and Holliday clocked the sixth-fastest time in collegiate history at 38.42 in the NCAA final. For LSU, it was their seventh national title in the 4×100 relay in program history.
Gibson also helped coach Holliday to another impressive season as the Tiger sprint star finished runner-up in the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships before taking third place in the 100 meters at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2008.
Gibson’s efforts helped LSU earn its third-straight runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and fourth second-place finish in NCAA competition since joining the staff as an assistant coach in 2005.
The Tigers earned a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2007 as Gibson helped coach former LSU standout Isa Phillips to a national title in the 400-meter hurdles. The Jamaican star cut 0.8 seconds off of his personal best with a time of 48.51 in the national final, becoming the first Tiger to win a national title in the 400 hurdles since Billy Hardin accomplished the feat in 1964.
In addition to Phillips’ success, Gibson coached Holliday to NCAA runner-up honors in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Championships, where he clocked a 10.06 in the final after setting a then school record in the event with a time of 10.02 in the national semifinal. Holliday also anchored the Tigers’ 4×100 relay to a runner-up finish at the NCAA meet after clocking a seasonal-best time of 38.85 in the final.
The 2006 season was also a banner year for the men’s sprints and hurdles under Gibson’s watch as he was instrumental in the development of former LSU star Xavier Carter, who became the first athlete since Jesse Owens in 1935 and 1936 to capture four national titles at a single NCAA Championships. Carter took top honors in the 100 meters and 400 meters, as well as the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relays at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2006. In fact, he became the first athlete in the 85-year history of the meet to double in both the 100 meters and 400 meters. Carter posted the fastest collegiate times in three sprint races during the 2006 season, including the 100 meters (10.09), 200 meters (20.13) and 400 meters (44.53).
Gibson also worked with LSU great Kelly Willie, who finished his career as the most decorated athlete in the program’s storied history with a school-record-tying seven national titles and an LSU best 19 All-America honors. Willie posted outstanding times of his own while competing for the Tigers in the 100 meters (10.18), 200 meters (20.13) and 400 meters (44.63) during the 2006 season.
National champion relay teams have been an integral part of LSU’s winning tradition, and Gibson played a vital role in an undefeated season for the Tigers’ sprint relay teams in 2006. The men’s 4×100 squad capped the 2006 season by winning a national title with a collegiate-best time and the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history at 38.44. The 4×400 team also clocked the nation’s fastest time at 3 minutes, 1.58 seconds en route to winning an NCAA title of its own during the outdoor campaign.
Gibson was also instrumental in the record-setting performance of the 4×400-meter relay team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2005 as the team clocked a collegiate record 2:59.59 in winning yet another national title. The team featured four of the nation’s premier 400-meter runners that season in Reggie Dardar (46.59), Olympic gold medalist Kelly Willie (44.24), Olympic 400-meter hurdle finalist Bennie Brazell (44.84) and Xavier Carter (43.99).
Gibson returned to his roots as a volunteer assistant in 2005 after serving five years with the LSU Officials Association. He spent six years coaching at the high school level in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System and one year in the San Antonio Independent School District. During that time, Gibson also started the Louisiana Elite and the Baton Rouge YMCA Youth Track and Field development programs where he coached numerous athletes to All-America honors at the Junior Olympics.
A native of West Palm Beach, Fla., Gibson competed for the Tigers under former head coach Pat Henry in 1994-95 following a two-year stint at Long Beach City College, where he ran for head coach Ron Allice in 1992-93. Gibson graduated from LSU in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and currently holds a USATF Level II certification in sprints/hurdles.
The Gibson File
Capitol HS (La.)
Assistant Boy’s Track & Field Coach
1997-2004 • Track & Field Coach
2-year letterwinner at LSU
Records and Achievements at LSU
1 Olympic Medalist
10 NCAA Champion athletes winning 11 NCAA titles
4 NCAA Champion Relay Teams
18 All-American athletes earning 74 All-America honors
12 SEC Champion athletes winning 19 SEC titles
20 All-SEC athletes earning 66 All-SEC honors
Has helped coach athletes to 7 current LSU school records
Assisted in coaching Xavier Carter to four individual NCAA titles at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Assisted in coaching Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson