Zola (Budd) Pieterse has joined the Coastal Carolina University track & field/cross country programs as an assistant coach in September 2015. Pieterse had previously served on staff as a volunteer assistant coach from 2008-15.
"I'm very pleased to announce the hiring of Zola as an assistant coach for our track & field/cross country programs," said Jacobs. "She will be a tremendous asset to our student-athletes with the wealth of experience she has at the both the international and Olympic level. She is very passionate about the sport and I believe she will provide a boost to our international recruiting profile."
A native of South Africa, Pieterse is a two-time Olympian, having competed for Great Britain in the 1984 Los Angeles Games and South Africa at the 1992 Barcelona Games, having dual citizenship due to her grandfather. During her international track career, she twice broke the world record in a period of less than three years in the women's 5,000 meters (14:48.07), and twice was the women's winner at the World Cross Country Championships (1985 and 1986).
Best known for training and competing barefoot during her track & field career, Pieterse still holds two junior world records in the mile (4:17.54) and the 3,000 meters (8:28.83). During her career she also broke records in the outdoor 2,000 and 3,000 meters and the indoor 3,000 meters.
She is still currently training and competing in road and cross country races. Most recently, she twice completed the Comrades Marathon (2012 and 2014), a 56 mile race across South Africa.
While serving as a volunteer assistant, Pieterse competed at the 2008 Blue Ridge Mountain Open, winning the 5k race with a time of 17:53. Additionally, she participated in the 2008 New York Marathon, placing 10th in her age group and was the 69th female overall with a time of 2:59.53. In August, 2011 she finished second in the World Master's Cross Country Championship, representing South Africa, competing against all master level runners in the world above the age of 35. Additionally, in October 2011 she finished second in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon with a time of 1:19:51.
From 2011-15 Pieterse worked to establish Newton, a new brand of running shoes, in South Africa. In 2011 she served on the local organizing committee for the USATF Youth National Track & Field Championships and the Junior Olympic Cross Country National Championships both held in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In addition, she is a USATF Level I certified coach.
Pieterse, her husband Mike and three children - Mikey, Azelle and Lisa - reside in Myrtle Beach.