Julius Higginbotham, a two-time All-American in track & field and All-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive back in football at Heidelberg University, is now in his eighth year coaching track & field at Wooster where he focuses on the sprinters and jumpers, and recently added duties as the recruiting coordinator. Higginbotham coached football at the College from 2012-17, spending time in charge of the defensive backs after previously coaching the strong safeties and wide receivers.
Higginbotham's role led to two student-athletes qualifying for the 2016 national indoor meet for the first time in program history, and he was tabbed as the NCAA Div. III Great Lakes Assistant Coach of the Year for women's indoor track & field by the USTFCCCA. The 2018 season culminated in sophomore Carolyn Webster qualifying for the national championships in the high jump for the fourth time, and she went on to sweep the NCAC's Field Athlete of the Year awards at the 2019 indoor and outdoor championships.
Before joining the Wooster staff, Higginbotham was an assistant track coach at his alma mater for two seasons (2011-12). Of the sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers he worked with there, they combined for five school records and five All-American performances (men’s high jump, women’s long jump, pentathlon, and men’s triple jump), and he also was an assistant football coach at Fostoria High School during that time.
As a student-athlete for the ‘Berg, Higginbotham earned All-American honors in the long jump both indoors (3rd-place; 23 feet) and outdoors (6th-place; 23 feet, 4.5 inches) during the 2010 season. Overall, he was a seven-time qualifier for the NCAA Div. III Championships – indoor long jump (2008, 2009, 2010), outdoor long jump (2010), indoor 55 meters (2009), and outdoor 4x100 meters relay (2007, 2010). Within the OAC, he combined for four individual championships and all-conference status 20 times, highlighted by being named the Don Frail Most Outstanding Track Athlete once (2009) and the Bud Yoest Most Outstanding Field Athlete twice (2008, 2009).
In football, Higginbotham was the team’s fourth-leading tackler (46) as a senior to go with four pass breakups and two interceptions en route to second-team All-OAC recognition.
A native of Elyria, Ohio, Higginbotham completed a bachelor’s degree while majoring in psychology at Heidelberg, and would later earn a master’s degree in arts and education from his alma mater in 2014.