In 11 seasons at the helm of Milligan’s cross-country and track & field programs, the men and women Buffaloes have earned over 150 national championship qualifiers to go along with more than 40 All-American honors.
In 2007, the women’s team ran to a third-place finish at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, the highest-ever finish by a Milligan athletic team. A year later, the women returned to the NAIA National Championships, this time joined by the men’s team. The women’s encore performance found them in fourth place overall, while the men recorded their highest finish ever at 16th. In 2003, freshman Marta Zimon (Lodz, Poland) earned Milligan’s first national title in any sport by winning the 5000 meter NAIA indoor title. In 2001-2002, senior Philip Rotich, from Kenya, became the first-ever three-time All-American in Milligan history when he finished 10th at the NAIA Cross Country Championships, second in the mile at the Indoor National Championships, and second in the 800 meters at the Outdoor National Championships. Coach Layne has coached over 60 different athletes to national championship qualifiers at Milligan College and East Tennessee State University. The women’s team earned the NAIA National Champions of Character award during the 2006 cross-country and 2007 indoor track & field seasons, while both squads have earned numerous academic honors throughout Layne’s coaching campaign.
In addition to his collegiate coaching accomplishments, in 2007, Layne coached former Texas A&M All-American Melissa Cook, now running for New Balance, to personal bests of 4:14 (1500m), 15:34 (5k), and 32:31 (10k). In 2004, Layne coached his wife, Catherine, who currently runs for Nike, to a 5000-meter victory at the British Olympic Trials. She went on to run the Olympic Games B standard with a personal best time of 15:19 at the Huesden Grand Prix meet in Belgium that same year.
While a collegian, Layne was named to the All-Southern Conference and All-Ohio Valley Conference teams in the 400 meters, 800 meters, 4 x 100m relay, and 4 x 400m relay. In 1992, as a member of the Middle Tennessee State University 4 x 100 meter relay and 4 x 200 meter relay teams, the Blue Raiders finished third and fifth respectively at the prestigious Penn Relays. The 4 x 200 meter relay would go on to earn a world ranking by Track and Field News. Post collegiately, he competed in the 1996 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 4 x 400 meter relay.