Katie Stanford
Katie Stanford
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 706.419.1506
Email: katie.stanford@covenant.edu
Year: 10th overall
Alma Mater: Samford ('03)
Undergraduate Degree: (B.A.) Political Science
Postgraduate Degree: (M.S.) Public Administration

Katie Stanford begins her 10th year overall of coaching at Covenant in 2020-21. She serves as the head cross country coach and head of the track & field programs, which officially began competition in the spring of 2017.

Katie Stanford action photo


  • Years at Covenant: 9 (2011-present)
  • Men's Cross Country Conference titles: 2 (USA South - 2013, 2014)
  • Women's Cross Country Conference titles: 2 (GSAC - 2011, 2012)
  • Individual Men's Cross Country Conference titles: 2 (Graham Massot, 2014 - USA South; Micah Sneller, 2015 - USA South)
  • Individual Women's Cross Country Conference titles: 2 (Tera Woods, 2011 - GSAC; Beth Burgess, 2014 - USA South)


  • 2014 USA South Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year
  • Two-time USA South Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year (2015, 2017)


  • 1 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships qualifier (Lilly Smith, 2018)
  • 5 Conference Cross Country Runners of the Year (Men - 1; Women - 4)
  • 32 All-USA South men's cross country performers
  • 33 All-USA South women's cross country performers
  • 3 USA South Men's Cross Country Rookie Runners of the Year
  • 4 NCAA South/Southeast Cross Country All-Region honorees (Men - 3; Women - 1)
  • 45 USA South All-Academic men's cross country (through 2019-20)
  • 49 USA South All-Academic women's cross country (through 2018-19)
  • 14 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Academic Team honors (Men - 7; Women - 7)
  • 11 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Academic honorees (Men - 4; Women - 7)
  • 2 CoSIDA Academic All-District team honorees (Beth Burgess twice)


  • 4 All-USA South men's track & field performers 
  • 4 All-USA South women's track & field performers
  • 30 USA South All-Academic men's track & field (through 2019-20)
  • 37 USA South All-Academic women's track & field (through 2019-20)
  • 7 USTFCCCA Track & Field All-Academic Team honors (Men - 3; Women - 4)


2019-20: 2019 saw the Covenant cross country teams continue to establish itself as strong programs in the USA South and the region. The men's team had six top-10 finishes on the year, including one team title, while the women tallied five top-10 placements and produced one team title. Covenant tallied four All-USA South performers on the men's side and four on the women's side. On the men's side, Brendan Yeager earned All-Region honors and charged to three of the top-eight 8k times in program history. S.K. Lipperd paced the women's team and was fourth in the USA South meet.

In track and field, the seasons were cut short due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Stanford's teams still set five indoor program records and four during the abbreviated outdoor season.

2018-19: The 2018 cross country season saw Covenant achieve record performances both individually and as a team. Both squads placed ninth at the NCAA Regional meets, setting program records, while Smith earned re-wrote the history books. Stanford's men's team was regionally ranked by the USTFCCCA for the first time in the NCAA era. In track and field, Stanford's teams competed in the first USA South Championships in over 30 years and collected several individual medals, including the 800 meter and 1,500 meter champions in the women's meet.

Stanford coached one of the top athletes in Covenant history in Lilly Smith. Smith was a two-time USA South Runner of the Year and became the first runner to qualify for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships when she did so in 2018. Smith competed from 2015-19 and holds several program records in both cross country and track and field.

2017-18: In 2017, Covenant placed a record four athletes on the USTFCCCA All-Academic as Caleb Aikens, Matthew Tueller, Michelann Settle, and Lilly Smith earned honors. As a team in 2017, both programs finished second in the USA South Championships. Smith was named USA South Runner of the Year on the women's side, and Aikens was the USA South Rookie Runner of the Year for the men. At the NCAA regional meets, both programs set records with their finishes (men 12th, women 12th).

2016-17: In the fall of 2016, Stanford's cross country teams had strong performances as the men finished second at the USA South Championships, while the women were fourth. At the NCAA region meet, the women posted a then-record finish by placing 17th. In the spring of 2017, under the guide of Stanford, Covenant's first track & field teams began competition. Both teams saw success in the outdoor portion of the year culminating in solid finishes in the Atlantic Independent Championships against current and future USA South members.

2015-16: Stanford's cross country teams in 2015 both finished second in the USA South. Freshman Micah Sneller was selected as the Rookie of the Year and also claimed the individual title at the USA South Championships. Stanford had four women's runners earn All-USA South honors and five made All-Conference on the men's side.

2014-15: In 2014, Stanford was named USA South Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year as she guided the Scots to their second straight conference title. The men also had the individual conference champion in Graham Massot. The women placed second in the conference meet for the second year in a row.

Overall in 2014, 10 runners (five on each side) earned All-USA South honors. Eliot Kaufmann was the Runner and Rookie of the Year on the men's side while Beth Burgess was named Runner of the Year on the women's side.

2013-14: Stanford continued the pattern of success in 2013 as Covenant moved into the USA South Athletic Conference. The men's team captured the USA South title, while women's runner Beth Burgess was the individual USA South champion on the women's side. Both teams made an appearance at the NCAA South Regional meet for the first time in school history.

2012-13: Success also found the programs in the 2012 campaign. The women's team once again unofficially won the Great South Athletic Conference championship and two runners earned All-GSAC honors. Stanford also successfully oversaw the revitalization of the cross country trails on Covenant's campus that enabled the program was able to host meets. Covenant has hosted a season-opening event each of the last five years.

2011-12: In 2011, Stanford took over a program that was coming off a very successful 2010 campaign during which it "unofficially" saw its men's and women's teams respectively finish first and second in the Great South Athletic Conference Championship meet. In her inaugural 2011 campaign with the teams, Stanford continued the squads' recent successes, guiding the Lady Scots to an "unofficial" first-place finish and the Scots to a second-place prize at the GSAC Championships. Under her direction, the teams combined for two wins, six runner-up performances, and 10 top-five finishes in 2011.


Stanford joined the athletic staff as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach in the spring of 2011. Following the departures of former head coaches Debby Vannoy and Scott Williams, Stanford became the third cross country coach in as many years during her first season with the Scots and Lady Scots.

Prior to Covenant, Stanford served as the cross country and distance track coach for Notre Dame High School (Chattanooga, Tenn.), where she worked for one cross country season (2010) and two track seasons (2010-2011), following a four-year stint as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's assistant cross country and track and field coach, and head recruiter.

During her time at UTC, the Lady Mocs were the Southern Conference cross country champions from 2006-2008, and the Mocs were runners-up in 2005, 2007, and 2008. Stanford also served as the women's assistant cross country coach at the University of West Georgia from 2003-2004 while obtaining her Master of Public Administration.

Stanford attended Samford University and earned a B.A. in political science in 2003. She competed for the Bulldogs in cross country, indoor and outdoor track from 1998-03. During her collegiate career, she twice earned All-Conference track honors and was the Atlantic Sun Conference 1500 meter champion in 2002.


She and her husband, Trey, live on Lookout Mountain, Ga., with their daughter, Taylor, and son, Noah, and attend Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. Stanford is Level 1 certified under the USA Track and Field coaching education program and has a certification in USTFCCCA Technical Coaching.