Instructors Announced for Track & Field Academy’s Summer Specialist Certification Courses
February 23, 2011 Share
NEW ORLEANS – The USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy announced that Don Babbitt (Georgia), Boo Schexnayder (USTFCCCA), Al Schmidt (Mississippi State), and Gary Winckler (frm. Illinois) will be the lead instructors for the academy’s summer specialist certification courses. The courses, to be held July 11-15 on the campus of St. John’s University in New York City, will offer specialist certifications in track & field coaching.
For an overview of the Specialist Certification Courses, visit …
To apply for the courses, visit …
Don Babbitt – University of Georgia
Lead Instructor Throws Specialist Certification
Don Babbitt has transformed the Georgia throws program into arguably the most talented group in the country. Six NCAA titles, 14 All-American honors and 10 SEC crowns during the past five seasons further solidified Babbitt’s hold as one of the premier throws coaches in the track and field world. The USTFCCCA recognized his outstanding contributions following the 2009 season and named him the East Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
Under Babbitt’s guidance, Georgia’s throwers have reached a high level of success including 11 NCAA titles, 53 All-American certificates and 39 SEC titles.
In 2003, Babbitt was named National Assistant Coach of the Year in the men’s throws category by the U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association. He was also later named the USTFCCCA East Region Women’s Throws Coach of the Year in 2007.
Babbitt has coached 35 throwers who have competed in the Olympic Games and/or World Championships and who have won eight medals. These include 2005 World Outdoor shot put champion Adam Nelson and 2006 World Indoor champion & 2007 World Outdoor shot put champion Reese Hoffa. He is has also served as he personal coach of eight-time U.S. Champion and current American record holder Breaux Greer (javelin), as well as Canadian record holder Jason Tunks (discus) and three-time Canadian Olympian Brad Snyder (shot put). In addition, Babbitt has been the long-time coach Andras Haklits, the three-time Croatian Olympian and hammer record holder, who finished eighth in the Beijing Olympics and seventh in the hammer at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
An avid writer and clinician, Babbitt has written over 50 articles and three book chapters for publications on four continents and in five different languages He has spoken on the throws at clinics in 14 states. Internationally, he has conducted clinics and seminars in Canberra, Australia, Sao Paolo, Brazil, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Windsor, Canada, Tampere, Finland, Paris, France, Loughborough and London, United Kingdom, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Taipei, Taiwan. He also hosts an annual Throws Clinic at the University of Georgia, which has attracted 713 coaches from 14 different states and three different countries over the past 11 years. Babbitt is also the Senior Editor for the IAAF Coaches Education Program and is an IAAF Level V Lecturer for the IAAF Throws Academy Course. He currently serves at the Throwing Event representative on the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy Advisory Board.
Babbitt is also an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and designed strength and conditioning programs for Cal State-Los Angeles’ basketball, soccer and track and field teams. He also served as assistant manager and throws coach for the U.S. men’s track and field team at the 1997 World University Games in Italy. He has also been a national team coach for Canada, Croatia and Argentina in various major international championships.
Boo Schexnayder – USTFCCCA
Lead Instructor Jumps Specialist Certification
Irving "Boo" Schexnayder is regarded internationally as one of the leading authorities in training design. Most noted for the 12 years he spent as a member of the Track and Field coaching staff at LSU. Schexnayder, who coached collegiately at Louisiana-Lafayette and Blinn Junior College prior to arriving at LSU, placed quite an imprint on the collegiate track and field scene. Regarded as one of the world’s premier field event coaches, he was the mastermind behind 19 NCAA Champions during his collegiate coaching career. He was a part of 12 NCAA Championship teams and a pair of Juco National titles, as well as developing a host of conference champions and All-Americans.
Schexnayder has also been a prominent figure on the international scene, having coached triple jumper Walter Davis to multiple World Championships, and long jumper John Moffitt to a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He has also coached U.S. Long Jump Champ Brian Johnson and Miguel Pate who was ranked 6th in the world in 2008. He has coached 10 Olympians, and has served on coaching staffs for Team USA to the 2003 Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, and was the Jumps Coach for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
As impressive as Schexnayder’s accomplishments are on the track, he has been just as successful off the track. He is certified at Level I, II and III, and owns the prestigious Master Coach Designation from USA Track and Field. He has formerly served as national chair of USATF’s Coaching Education Committee, Jumps Subcommittee chair, and chair of the Biomechanics subcommittee. Schexnayder currently serves as the Chair of Advisory Board of the USTFCCCA Track and Field Academy, and directs its programs.
An educator by profession and a mentor of hundreds of coaches, he has been very active in curriculum development for Coaching Education programs, and has lectured nationally and internationally on speed/power training programs, jumps and combined events training, biomechanics, and rehabilitation. He has authored several publications covering these topics.
Al Schmidt – Mississippi State University
Lead Instructor – Endurance Specialist Certification
Regarded and respected nationwide as an authority on endurance running and training, Al Schmidt spent 22nd season at the helm of the Mississippi State’s men’s and women’s track teams. Since his hiring on Oct. 22, 1988, Schmidt has parlayed his 37 years of collegiate coaching experience into many individual and team accomplishments for MSU, both on and off of the track. During his tenure at MSU, Schmidt has produced 39 all-Americans and 35 SEC champions.
Three-time All-American Tiffany McWilliams closed out her MSU career in 2004 by becoming the most decorated female athlete in Lady Bulldog track and field history. McWilliams repeated her 2003 feat of winning the outdoor 1500-meter title and also won the NCAA Indoor title in the mile. Behind McWilliams and a strong distance corps, MSU achieved a No. 12 national ranking.
In 2003, McWilliams became the first woman in MSU track and field history to win a national championship. Running 4:06.75, McWilliams broke an NCAA Championships record en route to winning the 1500-meter run. She was also crowned the SEC indoor champion in the mile run in addition to the outdoor 800- and 1500-meter runs.
Before coming to MSU, Schmidt was instrumental in the success of Florida State University’s track and field program in the mid 1980s. First serving as assistant women’s track coach and head cross country coach, he later became an assistant men’s track coach and head cross country coach. Under his guidance, the Lady Seminoles won two national titles, taking the 1984 outdoor and 1985 indoor titles. The FSU women also claimed runner-up honors at the 1983 and 1985 outdoor meets.
Schmidt has spent the past couple of decades as an educator as well, serving as the Chairman of the USATF Coaching Education Program during which time he developed and taught the Level 1 and Level 2 Endurance curriculum. Schmidt currently serves as the Endurance Representative on the Advisory Board of the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy.
Gary Winckler – University of Illinois (ret.)
Lead Instructor – Sprint, Hurdle, Relay Specialist Certification
Former University of Illinois head coach Gary Winckler is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the training and technical aspects of sprinting and hurdling. He has coached collegiate athletes to 281 All-America selections and has guided runners to seven national collegiate records. Since 1985, Illini student-athletes have won 188 Big Ten titles.
Additionally, Winckler has coached nine different athletes who have reached the Olympic Games. Included in that group is a gold, silver and bronze medalist. Winckler-coached athletes have appeared in ever World Championship and Olympic Games since 1992.
A tribute to his tremendous organizational skills and proven training techniques, Winckler received one of track and field’s most prestigious roles in June of 1997 when he was named head coach of the United States World Championship Team. The squad competed at the Outdoor Track and Field World Championships, held at Athens, Greece, in August of 1997. Under Winckler’s tutelage, the USA won the gold medal in the 4×100 relay and set an American record in the event. He was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Currently Winckler serves as the Sprint, Hurdle and Relay representative on the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy Advisory Board.