Drawn to Florida State by the winning culture and the opportunity to compete for national championships, Keith Herston enters his third year as the Noles jumps, pole vault and multi-events coach in 2019-20.
The successor to the highly-accomplished 31-year veteran Dennis Nobles, Herston has already made his mark at FSU, contributing to five ACC team titles in two years and a pair of top-10 NCAA Championship finishes The FSU men were sixth at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships and the women placed 10th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, with Herston’s jumpers producing points in both meets.
Under his tutelage, Armani Wallace broke FSU’s indoor and outdoor triple jump records as a senior in 2019, and produced two of Herston’s three first-team All-American honors. Wallace took down the record of Olympian Rafeeq Curry, sailing 16.72 meters (54-10.25) indoors and 16.99 meters (55-9) outdoors, while placing fourth and third at the respective championship meets.
Over his first two years his Noles have recorded nine All-American performances, won five individual ACC titles and piled up 33 All-ACC honors, including 21 first-team selections.
Rougui Sow, a graduate transfer, swept the ACC indoor and outdoor long jump titles and placed fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Along the way his athletes have added 17 new additions to FSU’s top-10 all-time lists in covering all of the disciplines under his direction. In addition to bringing out the best in elite athletes like Wallace and Sow, he had developed former walk-on long and triple jumpers Jacore Irving and Trentorria Green to All-ACC performers.
As a sophomore in 2019, Irving earned first-team All-ACC honors in both events outdoors, while Green – just a freshman – cracked FSU’s top-10 in the triple jump outdoors and went on to win the USATF U20 title.
With eight full-time seasons as an assistant under his belt after stops at Sam Houston State, Texas State and most recently, Miami, Herston hit the ground running for the Noles in 2018.
Kenneth Fisher, the ACC indoor long jump champion, delivered Herston his first, first-team All-American honor by placing eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Wallace and Corion Knight were the ACC Championship Field MVPs at the indoor and outdoor meets, respectively.
Prior to his arrival in Tallahassee, Herston was responsible for developing 27 All-Americans, 38 individual conference champions and 21 school record-holders. Between his three previous stops as a full-time assistant, he was a part of six conference championship teams, while also producing a pair of 2016 Olympic pole vaulters.
In his first year at Auburn he had a first-hand look as the Seminoles wrapped up what was then their third consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships team title by an eight-point margin over the Tigers.
A native of Greenhill, Ala., Herston holds USATF Levels 1 and 2 certifications and is GAIN Network certified.
He is married to the former Tina Valenzuela.