Zola Pieterse
Zola  Pieterse

Head Men's & Women's Cross Country Coach


Cross Country to Hold Tryouts

Coastal Carolina's cross country team will be holding tryouts for the fall season


Coastal Starts Strong at Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational XX

Ryan Minor finished fourth in the men's hammer


Fleet Feet CCU Invitational

Fleet Feet CCU Invitational


Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational XX

Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational XX (March 18, 2016)

Zola (Budd) Pieterse, who was named head men's and women's cross country coach prior to the 2017 season, 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.

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.

Following her lead, several Chanticleers have continued Pieterse's tradition by running basrefoot, namely the annual CCU Invitational, most notably fellow South Africans Letitia Saayman and Annie Bothma - each of whom have left a mark in the CCU history book.

Saayman was 2015 NCAA Cross Country All-American, 2015 Big South Outdoor Women's Runner of the Year, 2015 Big South Champion in the 5,000m (outdoor/indoor) and 10,000m (outdoor), 2015 NCAA DI Southeast Region Runner of the Year (cross country), 2015 Big South Women's Runner of the Year (cross country), 2014 Big South 10,000m Champion, indoor 5000m Champion, 2013 ig South Champion in cross country, 2012 Big South Champion in 10,000m and 2012 Big South Freshman of the Year in cross country.

In 2016-17, Bothma, who was a redshirt freshman, was 2017 honoable mention All-American (10,000m), 2017 Sun Belt Champion (5000m Indoor, 10,000m), 2017 NCAA East Preliminary Champion (10,000m), 2016 Sun Belt Cross Country Champion, NCAA Southeast Cross Country Champion and earned a berth to the NCAA Championship.

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.



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