Title: Assistant Coach
Experience: 5th Year
Alma Mater: UCLA, '00
Scott Abbott begins his fifth year at Sacramento State. He coaches the cross country teams and the track middle distance and distance runners. In addition, he functions as the programs academic liaison with the student athlete resource center, assists with event scheduling and team travel, and assists with home event management.
Under Abbott’s tutelage the Cross Country teams have experienced unprecedented success. In his five seasons Abbott has coached the women to; five all-conference accolades (top ten championship race finishers), seven of the Hornet all-time top 10 times and all-time top placers at the conference championship, and nine of the top 10 all-time NCAA regional championship times and five of the top 10 finishers respectively. He was voted the Big Sky Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2008. The men have been very successful as well, having posted six of the all-time top ten conference championship race times and seven of the all-time NCAA regional championship times respectively. Additionally, the men have established four of the top ten Big Sky conference championship finishes and five of the top ten NCAA Regional finishes during his tenure. On the track, Abbott coached athletes that are equally impressive. In his five seasons Abbott has coached five NCAA and one USATF Jr. All-Americans, 12 Big Sky conference champions, 30 all-conference accolades, 22 NCAA championship meet participants, 27 new school records, 94 all-time top 10 marks, two Big Sky championship meet MVP’s, and three top 20 USATF marks.
2011 was a year for the record books for the Abbott coached Harriers. Once again the tandem of Lea Wallace and Renisha Robinson led the way for the women as they finished first and second at the indoor conference meet and both earned All-American accolades at the NCAA indoor national championship meet. Outdoor Wallace continued her dominance winning the Big Sky 800m and 1500m. She then proceeded to be the only athlete in all of NCAA Div. 1 to participate in the championship meet and earn All–American honors in both events. In doing so she became the first Hornet to earn all-American status twice in the same meet and at both the indoor and outdoor championships. Along the way she was named MVP for both indoor and outdoor conference championships and broke all the school records for both events indoor and outdoor as well. To top it off Wallace was awarded CO-Athlete of the year for the NCAA West Region by the United State Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Wallace finished the year ranked ninth indoor in the USA at 800m with a time of 2:03.07. Outdoor her times of 2:02.15 and 4:10.77 were 20th and 18th respectively on the USATF list. For the men it was sophomore Nathaniel Litwiller that led Abbott’s group. Litwiller, placed second at the indoor championships with a school record time and backed it up with a runner-up and third place in the 1500m and 800m respectively. He then proceeded to advance to the NCAA Championships with a school record of 1:48.35 and brought home All-American honors in the 800m. For the year Abbott coached; two USATF National championship qualifiers, five NCAA All-Americans, six NCAA championship meet participants, four conference champions, eight all-conference performers, nine new school records, 25 new all-time top ten marks, and two Big Sky Conference championship MVP’s.
In 2010 the dynamic duo of Lea Wallace and Renisha Robinson headlined the women’s group accolades. Lea became the first Hornet woman to earn indoor NCAA All-American honors with her eight place finish in the 800m. In doing so she also set a new school record with a time of 2:04.73. Not to be outshined Robinson continued her dominance by sweeping the indoor and outdoor conference titles in the 800m and advancing to both respective NCAA national meets. The men had a terrific tandem as well. David Rabinowitz set new school records both indoor (1:51.39) and outdoor (1:49.12) and competed in the outdoor NCAA championships. Freshman, Nathaniel Litwiller shocked the conference by winning the outdoor 800m conference championship race and then went on to earn USATF Jr. All-American status in finish 6th with a time of 1:50.82. For the year Abbott coached; one NCAA All-American, one USATF Jr. All-American, 3 conference champions, 7 all-conference performers, and 7 new school record holders.
In 2009, Abbott guided both Wallace and Robinson to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field championship meet. Wallace advanced to the semifinal and broke an 11-year old record with a personal best time of 2:05.55. Wallace and Robinson also finished first and second at the Big Sky Conference championship meet both indoor and outdoor in the 800. Robinson took the indoor title and finished runner up in the outdoor 1500, while Wallace took the outdoor title. Between the two, they set three new school records, and established four all-time top five marks. The longer distances were very successful as well with Kristina Holtz placing second in the 5,000 and Erica Sahli third at 10,000 meters.
In 2008, Abbott coached athletes became immediately successful with; three Big Sky Conference championships, five all-conference accolades, and establishing seven school records. The duo of Jeffrey Paneda and Renisha Robinson combined to sweep the men and women’s indoor and outdoor championship 800 meter titles. While doing so they established three of the four events new school records. His success continued into the cross country season where the Sacramento State women recorded a second-place finish at the Big Sky Championships — the highest in school history — and were also ranked 15th in the West Region. He also coached three Hornets (Kristina Holtz, Renisha Robinson and Caprice Bradshaw) to all-Big Sky Conference honors in cross country. Following the year, Abbott was named the Big Sky Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year by his peers.
Prior to joining the Sacramento State staff, Abbott served two seasons as a volunteer assistant at UCLA. With the Bruins, UCLA produced back-to-back top-ranked recruiting classes and advanced to its first NCAA national championship appearance in 23 years. Abbott was also responsible for home meet management, travel, equipment and academic services for the cross country team.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Abbott was an assistant cross country coach at Jesuit High School in Sacramento from 2002-05. During his tenure, the Marauders won California state titles in 2002 and 2005. He also spent one year as the assistant coach at Bend High School in Bend, Ore., where the team won the Oregon state crown in 2001. Abbott also served on the United States Olympic Committee Coaching Division in 1999.
As a student-athlete at UCLA, Abbott served as a team captain for the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and was a three-time Pac-10 all-academic team member and two-time UCLA Track Student-Athlete of the Year.
Abbott prepped at Jesuit where he teamed with future Olympian Michael Stember to lead the team to three California State team championships. As a senior, he was named all-state and all-west in 1995.
Away from the track, Abbott has developed, promoted and marketed clinics and camps for distance coaches and athletes since 2000.
Abbott graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. He added a master’s degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco in 2007. His thesis focused on NCAA track & field reform.
Scott is married to former Hornet distance standout Katie Fontana. The couple have two children: Isaac (4), Alyssa (2).