Carter Coughlin Explains His Commitment to Wake Forest

Carter Coughlin has been one of the most consistent runners in the state of Tennessee over the past three seasons.

He's won three KIL Championships, three state titles and earned 15 first place finishes.

And that's just in cross country.

His next chapter will continue at Wake Forest University, as Carter announced this past week.

Carter told TN Milesplit on Tuesday that there were a lot of factors that went into his decision. He feels like he's a good fit in Winston Salem for a variety of reasons.

"I really like the coaches and the training philosophy they have put into place at Wake," Coughlin said. "I also fit super well into the team dynamic, and I became friends with lots of the guys during my official visit. The campus is also unreal, and the location in Winston-Salem is close enough to Knoxville that I can travel home and see my family, but it's far enough that I can experience some more independence."

Coughlin looked at a couple of other ACC schools, scheduling visits with North Carolina and Virginia. After visiting UNC and Wake, his decision was made.

"I have talked mostly with Coach Ferris over the past few months, and we actually didn't talk on the phone a lot before my official visit," Coughlin said. "We exchanged a few emails then decided to schedule an official visit. During the weeks leading up to the visit, we communicated a lot more. Most of my communication with the coaches, though, was during my visit, where I spent lots of time with them."

Coughlin, who plans to study biology and Spanish, also enjoyed the academic environment of Wake Forest.

That played a major role in his final decision.

"My favorite thing about Wake is probably the team," Coughlin added. "I loved all the guys, and the dynamic they have over there is great. I also loved the academic environment of the school. Everyone is driven and motivated to do well in and out of the classroom, and I really like that vibe."

Location was also a big factor. Coughlin told us he wanted to be able to drive home in less than a day.

While he communicated with coaches at the University of Tennessee right down the road, everything worked out smoothly for him to become a Demon Deacon.

"I have prayed a lot about this whole process, and everything came to fruition really quickly at Wake, which gave me confidence and faith that it is the right place for me," he said. "Everyone I talked to said that I seemed to like Wake the best and that I would fit in there, and I agree. The input from my family and friends, along with God's faithfulness and guidance through this whole process were the main factors in my decision."

With the State Championship coming up this weekend in Nashville, Coughlin is excited to get this decision out of the way. 

Now, the most important thing left to do is win his third straight Division II-A State Championship on Saturday.

The whole college process has been uber stressful, and I've had to write way too many essays, but it is so relaxing and relieving to be done with the whole thing," Coughlin said. "It is especially satisfying to know that I made the right choice. My friends and family have been super influential in praying with me and helping me decide, as well as putting everything into perspective when I got stressed."

Coughlin will lead his Webb School of Knoxville team in the Division II-A state meet on Saturday at 12:05 PM CT.