The 2016-17 season marks the eighth season for Mark Carroll as both the head cross country coach and assistant track and field/distance coach. During his tenure on The Plains, Carroll has coached four All-Americans, three NCAA South Region Champions, seven SEC Champions, and 13 All-SEC honorees. With Carroll presiding, Auburn distance runners have set four school records, including two in 2011.
Along with athletic success, Carroll has led the Auburn cross country team to tremendous success in the classroom. Along with numerous SEC awards, Auburn cross country has been named a USTFCCCA All-Academic team six times in Carroll’s seven seasons. In 2014 Ty McCormack was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Carroll saw great success from his younger runners in the 2015 season, with two SEC All-Freshman selections. Brenda Kigen raced to a fourth place finish at the 2015 SEC Championships and then qualified for the NCAA Championships with a fifth place finish at the NCAA South Regional. Kigen was also selected to the All-Region team, along with Veronica Eder.
The fall of 2014 saw great success as Carroll guided Ty McCormack to the NCAA South Region Championship and a runner-up performance at the SEC Championships. The men's team finished third at the SEC Championships, its best finish since 2009, and third at the NCAA Regional. Senior Kane Grimster finished eighth at the NCAA Regional, joining McCormack at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, marking the first time Auburn has sent two individuals to the NCAA Championships. The accolades continued to roll in for McCormack, as he was named SEC Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as the USTFCCCA South Region Runner of the Year.
During the 2013 season, Carroll helped lead McCormack to cross country All-American honors after finishing 40th at the NCAA Championships. During the outdoor season, freshman Rachel Givens set the school's 3000m steeplechase record with a time of 10:26.25 at the SEC Championships.
The 2012 cross country team saw a youthful men's and women's squad claim a combined six meet wins as the men finished the season 11th at the NCAA South Regional. During the 2013 track season, over 50 individual PRs were established under Carroll's watch.
During the fall of 2011, Carroll guided freshman Kane Grimster and senior Joby Peake to All-Region honors and the Auburn men's team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA South Regional. Additionally, Grimster was named an All-SEC performer and a member of the league's All-Freshman team.
In the spring of 2011, Ben Cheruiyot won the SEC Indoor 5000m championship and placed second in the 3000 meters under the tutelage of Carroll. Cheruiyot continued to shine during the 2011 outdoor season, winning the 5000m and 10,000m at the SEC Championships.
2010 featured three of Carroll's runners earning first team All-SEC honors after solid performances at the conference championships - highlighted by Cheruiyot claiming the 5000m and 10,000m and Holly Knight placing second in the 10,000m. Additionally, both Cheruiyot and Knight advanced to the 2010 NCAA Championships.
In his first season with Tigers in 2009, Carroll tutored Felix Kiboiywo and Cheruiyot to All-American accolades as the men's team placed 25th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The Auburn men also brought home two third place finishes from the NCAA South Regional and SEC Championships, and Kiboiywo took medalist honors for the third time of his career at the NCAA South Regional.
With Carroll at the helm, the Auburn women finished in the Top 10 at five of their six meets for the 2009 season. Carroll led the women to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA South Regional and a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championships.
Prior to joining the Auburn staff, Carroll was the US Athlete Manager for Athletics Ireland, where he guided Gareth Turnbull, Mark Christie and Liam Reale to becoming one of the top Irish running trios in the nation while also training several other Irish runners stateside. In the summer of 2012, Carroll was the Irish Olympic Coach for Endurance (Distance) at the London Olympic Games. He also served as the 2010 Irish Team Distance Coach at the European Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Before coaching Carroll was a world-class distance runner specializing in the 3,000 and 5,000-meters. As a 19-year old, the Cork, Ireland native, earned the first major title of his career, capturing the 1991 European Junior Title in the 5K in Thessalonika, Greece.
In 1998 he won bronze at the European Track & Field Championships held in Budapest. In 2000, he won the European Indoor 3K title. In that same year, Carroll posted the top mile time of his career (3:50.3) in Oslo, Norway.
Carroll is a four-time IAAF World Track and Field member, and set the Irish-national record in the 3K (7:30.36), which he set in 1999, as well as the 5K (13:03.93) set in 1998. He also held the national record of 27:46.42 in the 10K that was set in 2000, a record that has since been broken. Carroll was a member of the 2000 and 2004 Ireland Olympic Team. He competed in the 5K both years, and in 2000 just missed qualifying for the finals by one place.
He has participated in several marathons in the later stages of his career, highlighted by a sixth-place finish in the 2002 New York Marathon. His time of 2:10.54 sits only 61 seconds off of the Irish national record of 2:09.17.
During his collegiate days at Providence College, Carroll earned six All-American honors as well as seven Big East titles (cross country; 1,000 meters; 1,500 meters; 3,000 meters (twice); distance medley relay and 4 x 800 meters). His crowning achievement as a Friar came when he won an NCAA Indoor Championship title in the 5,000-meters.
Carroll holds a USTFCCCA level two coaching certificate that he acquired in 2008.
He married the former Amy Rudolph in October of 2005. Rudolph, an accomplished runner in her own right, is a two-time Olympian, as well as a U.S. Indoor Champion in the 3,000-meter run.