Paul Deaton began coaching at Berry as an assistant women’s running coach in the fall of 1991, working with Dr. Bob Pearson. He was named the head coach of the men’s cross country and track teams in the fall of 1992, and head coach of the women’s running team in the fall of 1996.
Deaton coached Berry for 18 years in the NAIA. During his tenure at Berry in the NAIA, Deaton has coached 15 All-Americans to a total of 43 All-American awards in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. He has also made demands of his athletes in the classroom, where 24 of Deaton's runners have earned NAIA Academic awards a total of 63 times. Deaton was named the Conference Coach of the Year 12 times, NAIA Regional Coach of the Year 12 times, and State Coach of the Year 4 times.
Deaton is a great fit philosophically for the Southern Athletic Association and NCAA Division III athletics. In the first year of competition within the Southern Athletic Association, Berry’s men’s team finished fifth and our women’s team finished fourth in the SAA Cross Country conference championships. Two runners were named SAA All Conference.
Deaton emphasizes a complete student athlete experience. Successful completion of a quality college degree is a priority for every student on the team. The BC cross country and track teams take full advantage of the opportunity to work together as a team. Athletic development and competition is sought daily, and culminates in the NCAA Regionals and Nationals each November.
A graduate of Berry College, Deaton earned All-American honors in the men’s marathon at the 1991 NAIA Outdoor Track National Championships. Deaton is originally from Athens Georgia where he attended Athens Academy. As a high school runner he won three GHSA state championships. Post collegiately he continued to compete including three Atlanta Marathon wins in 1997, 1998, and 2000. More recently he has enjoyed competing with the National Champion Atlanta Track Club Masters (40 and over) division USATF Club Cross Country team. Most of all he enjoys joining the team or local runners for a run on the Berry College campus, a running haven.
He seeks ways to give back to the sport as a whole. Deaton is a founding member of the Go Go Running club locally. He also maintains memberships in the Atlanta Track Club, the USTCCCA and the USATF. In addition to hosting quality collegiate cross country competitions on the Berry campus he hosts post collegiate, high school, middle school and elementary school races on campus including the annual Berry College Clara Bowl event each year.
Deaton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Berry, and his Master¹s degree in exercise science from Georgia State University. He is married to the former Jody Carey of Lexington, Ga. Jody has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a graduate degree from Berry College in education. They have two sons, Jared and John Prosser.