Lionel Nau was named the Tusculum College men's and women's track & field head coach in October 2016.
In the program's inaugural season of 2017-18, he mentored freshman Widchard Guervil to a multitude of conference and national honors. Guervil finished fourth in the 60 meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, and followed up with an eighth-place finish in the 100 meters at the Outdoor Championships. Guervil was named the Southeast Region Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and was one of five Pioneers named to the All-Region team.
Nau (pronounced "no") came to Tusculum from South Atlantic Conference member Queens University of Charlotte, where he served as an assistant coach with the Royals for the last three years. During that time, he helped the Royals capture five SAC Track and Field championships (2 men, 3 women) while mentoring over 100 combined All-Conference honorees, including 16 conference champions in the sprints and hurdles.
Nau also coached over 50 All-Region athletes including two-time SAC and USTFCCCA Region Track Female Athlete of the Year Nikia Squire. Squire was also tabbed the 2015 SAC Field Athlete of the Year. On the men's side, Yannick Stubbe and Elijah Inuwa were named the SAC Track Athletes of the Year and SAC Freshmen of the Year in 2015 and 2016, respectively, while Khyle Higgs was the 2016 Field Athlete of the Year.
While at Queens, he helped expand the track and field teams from 20 members to over 70 student-athletes.
Nau served as the assistant track and field coach at Paine College for two seasons. While at the Augusta, Georgia school, he coached national finalist and All-American Baiesha Johnson in the long jump (6.31 m PR), along with a men's 47.58 quarter miler and a women's 5.16:50 1,500-meter runner. He also served as Paine's cross country coach during his tenure with the Lions.
Nau holds certification as an USTFCCCA Sprints/Hurdles/Relays Specialist. In addition, he holds a USATF Level 1 Track and Field Certification (2010). He recently also obtained his USTFCCCA Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification.
He has worked numerous international athletes, as he himself was a three-time French Nationals participant in the 400-meter sprint and a two-time finalist in the open 400-meter French junior and senior nationals. He was also a member of the Haitian Olympic Team Relay Pool in 2008 on the 4x400 Relay Team and competed on the EAP and EAA European Circuit.
He has mentored several outstanding track athletes including 200 and 400 meter sprinter Alphas Kishoyian of Kenya who competed at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. He also worked with USA Nike Athlete Kevin Hicks in the 400 and 800 meter events.
He is a 2003 graduate of South Carolina State University where he earned his business administration degree while majoring in marketing. He earned his master's degree in business administration from Webster University in 2010 where he was an honors student.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH NAU
"Lionel is a special young man with a special gift to reach young people. I really think that becoming the head coach this early is a testament to his gift as a person of international background who attended a HBCU and became an educator. He is an educated man that has developed many student-athletes. The Tusculum College Track and Field program that has to be build from the ground up, has gotten a rising star."
Curtis Frye - Head Coach - University of South Carolina
"Lionel Nau is my former athlete. He ran for me at SCSU from 1999-2003. Dedicated, always on point and helped secure two championships as a 400 and 4x400 relay runner. Lionel also helped with some office work and planning, so I am not surprised he is now a head coach at Tusculum College."
Ernest Tche - Head Coach - South Carolina State University
"I have had the privilege of working with Lionel over the past few years and have seen first hand his passion for the sport. I am further excited for this great opportunity where he will no doubt continue developing young men and women into champions, on and off the track."
Jim Vahrenkamp - Head Coach - Queens University of Charlotte
"Lionel will be an invaluable addition to the Track and Field Program at Tusculum College, his hard work and dedication is second to none. Lionel will lead by example with honor and integrity, and be a positive role model for student-athletes who will attend the university."
Mr. Allen Johnson - 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist (Atlanta Olympics) - 110 hurdles
"Lionel was a great training partner that worked his butt off every single day. His passion for coaching Track and Field is unparalleled. There is no doubt that he will help his athletes achieve success on and off the track."
Otis Harris - 2004 Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist (Athens Olympics) - 400 and 4x400 relay finals
"I am very pleased that Tusculum saw the potential in Lionel to give him an opportunity to be the Head Track and Field for the Pioneers. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be an asset to Tusculum and will do an outstanding job. I have known Lionel for many years and when given the opportunity to show his coaching skills, he has always lived up to expectations."
George D. Williams - Athletic Director, Track and Field Coach, Saint Augustine’s University