Track & Field Academy Summer Semester Instructors Announced
April 4, 2012 Share
The USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy Summer Semester taking place July 7 – 11 in Houstonwill boast several of America’s top track & field coaches serving as instructors. The 2012 Specialist Certification Courses will take place at Rice University in Houston. For more information on a specific course, find the links below. Or, apply for any courses through our online application.
The Jumps Specialist Certification Course will be taught by former LSU & Olympic coach Boo Schexnayder and current LSU coach Todd Lane. Schexnayder, the Director of the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy, is one of the most sought after clinicians in the country. He has developed much of the curriculum taught in the TFA programs including all of the SCC Jumps material. Schexnayder has coached a two time World Champion in the Triple Jump (Walter Davis), an Olympic Silver Medalist in the Long Jump (John Moffitt) and 19 NCAA champions. Lane succeeded Schexnayder at LSU and has kept LSU among the elite jumps programs in the country. Lane is also a veteran of the coaching education world, having served as USATF Level 2 Jumps instructor for many years.
The Sprints/Hurdles/Relays Specialist Certification course will boast a diverse group of veteran instructors led by Texas A & M sprints coach Vince Anderson. Anderson has had a storied career at Texas A&M and prior to that, Tennessee. He has coached multiple Olympic & World Championship medalist as well as dozens of NCAA champions during his 25 plus year career including 2011 Bowerman Award winner Jessica Beard. Anderson has been honored as the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA for four consecutive years.
Joining Anderson on the staff will be Kebba Tolbert (Harvard), Tommy Badon (Westminster HS) and Joey Woody (Iowa). Badon, a former coach at the University of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL) where he helped lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to 14 Indoor and Outdoor Conference Championships. During his time at UL, Badon coached over 20 NCAA All-Americans including Hollis Conway, the world’s No. 1 ranked high jumper in the early 1990‘s and still the United State record holder in the indoor high jump. Badon is a veteran instructor with over 20 years of experience in coaching education programs.
Prior to joining the staff at Harvard in 2011, Tolbert served as an assistant coach at UTEP and the head coach at Portland State enjoying great success with the Vikings as his teams consistently had top finishes in the Big Sky conference indoor and outdoor championships and the highest point totals in school history. He also had a hand in guiding UTEP’s first individual female NCAA champion (Blessing Okabare) since 2001. Prior to joining the TFA staff, Tolbert served as a USATF Level 2 Jumps instructor for several years.
The newest member of the TFA sprints staff is Joey Woody. An assistant coach at the University of Iowa, Woody is a former World Championship Silver medalist in the 400 meter hurdles, earning a ranking of number 2 in the world in 2003 in the process. Woody was voted by his peers as the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year for both indoor & outdoor in 2011.
The Throws Specialist Certification Course will be taught by longtime University of Georgia throws coach Don Babbitt, Nebraska’s Carrie Lane and the University of Michigan’s Mohamad Saatara . Babbitt has been a fixture on the national and international scene for 20 years. Under Babbitt’s guidance, Georgia’s throwers have reached a high level of success including 11 NCAA titles, 55 All-American certificates and 42 SEC titles. Babbitt is the co-author of the SCC Throws curriculum. He is one of the most sought after clinicians on the throws and has lectured in multiple countries around the world. He is a multi-time USTFCCCA regional coach of the year and the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003. Babbitt has coached 39 throwers who have competed in the Olympic Games and/or World Championships and who have won eight medals including 2006 World Indoor champion & 2007 World Outdoor shot put champion Reese Hoffa. He has also served as the personal coach of eight-time U.S. Champion and current American record holder Breaux Greer (javelin)
Carrie Lane is in her first year as the Huskers’ throws coach after spending the past seven seasons at Virginia where she guided the Cavalier male and female throwers. In Lane’s seven years at Virginia, she helped guide the Cavaliers to an Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Championship in 2009, while notching nine ACC individual titles and 14 additional top-three finishes in ACC competition.
The 2009 Southeast Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2004 Mondo National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year, Lane’s athletes have earned 17 All-America titles, nine ACC titles, three NCAA East Region Championships and four Penn Relays titles. Lane also coached professional shot putter Adam Nelson from 2006-2009, when he earned a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships and had the world-leading shot put mark in 2008. At Virginia, Lane coached All American discus thrower Billie-Jo Grant, the program’s first four-time All-American in a single event. She also coached discus thrower Yemi Ayeni to three All America titles and a fourth place finish at the 2007 All Africa Games. Prior to UVA, Lane spent five years at Coastal Carolina University. At CCU, she led hammer thrower Amber Campbell to five All-America honors and two American Collegiate records in the hammer and weight throw. Campbell also earned a bronze medal at the 2003 NACAC Championships. Lane’s athletes have also earned 17 top-10 finishes at USATF National Championships.
Mohamad Saatara is in his second season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan men’s track and field team. Saatara spent the previous eight seasons at Northern Arizona University. During that span, he helped guide the Lumberjacks to 12 Big Sky Conference men’s and women’s team championships. He has coached more than 20 Big Sky individual champions and guided more than 30 student-athletes to the NCAA Regional Championships. Three of Saatara’s athletes competed in the 2008 Olympic Games.
The Combined Events Specialist Certification course will be taught by Cliff Rovelto of Kansas State and Kris Grimes of Nebraska. The 2011-12 season marks Rovelto’s 20th season as the head coach at Kansas State and his 24th at the school overall. The steady progression of the K-State program culminated in 2001 with Rovelto being honored by his peers as the women’s outdoor National Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA.
Under Rovelto’s tutelage, combined-events athletes have earned 17 All-America certificates and won 13 conference titles. He has coached several internationally known multi-event athletes, including current Wildcat assistant coaches Steve Fritz, who was fourth in the decathlon at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and Tom Pappas, the bronze medalist at the 2004 World Indoor. Rovelto also directed former Wildcat assistant Austra Skujyte, who claimed the 2001 and 2002 NCAA heptathlon championships and set a collegiate record in the pentathlon while at K-State. Skujyte is a three-time Olympic representative (2000, 2004 and 2008) for her native Lithuania. Skujyte notched her highest finish in international competition with a silver medal performance in the heptathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In the spring of 2005, Skujyte set the IAAF world record in the first female decathlon competition on North American soil with a point total of 8,366.
Since becoming the head coach in November of 1992, the men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field programs have earned 180 All-American certificates and 114 individual conference championships. Over his 23 seasons at K-State, Rovelto has personally directed 51 individuals to 122 NCAA All-America certificates, as well as 51 individuals to 73 conference event championships.
In 2005, Rovelto’s international assignment was as an assistant for the Team USA at the 2005 World Track & Field Championships. He served as the women’s jumps and combined events coach at the games in Helsinki, Finland. He most recently served as the men’s head coach for Team USA at the Pan America Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October 2011.
He has also served as head coach of the U.S. Decathlon Team in dual meets with Germany in 1997 and 2003. He also was named to the U.S. coaching staff for the 2002 World Cup and the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris.
Kris Grimes is in his seventh season as Nebraska’s combined events and pole vault coach during the past four years he has sent 22 athletes to the NCAA Championships and coached thirteen to Big 12 crowns and thirteen All-America honors. Overall in six years, Grimes has coached athletes to one national title, 21 All-America honors and 19 conference titles.
In 2011, three athletes garnered four All-America accolades. Chantae McMillan once again swept the women’s events at the conference level, earning her second-straight pentathlon and heptathlon titles. Her win at the conference outdoor meet extended the Huskers’ streak to seven years. She went on to tally her fourth All-America title by finishing second in the pentathlon at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships. Natalie Willer was also a standout for the Huskers in 2011, as she became a three-time All-American pole vaulter, with solid performances at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Willer also swept the Big 12 women’s pole vault titles, notching top finishes during both the indoor and outdoor championships. In addition, Grimes coaches Nate Polacek to his first All-America title with a fourth-place finish in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Huskers combined eventers showed their dominance at the conference meet in 2010, as McMillan swept the women’s events. McMillan became the second straight Husker to sweep the pentathlon and heptathlon, after Megan Wheatley achieved the feat in 2009. McMillan also extended the Huskers’ winning streak in the heptathlon to six years at the conference outdoor meet. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, McMillan earned her third career All-America honor with her first career award in the heptathlon, while Willer became an All-America pole vaulter for the first time in her career.
The 2009 season was arguably Grimes’ most successful year at NU, as six of his athletes qualified in 11 events at the NCAA Championships, including four athletes who qualified for both the indoor and outdoor national meets.
The Endurance group will be led by two of the most experienced educators on the Track & Field Academy staff. With a combined total of over forty years in coaching education, Al Schmidt of Mississippi State University and Scott Christensen of Stillwater HS (MN) have conducted literally thousands of hours of classes and lectures on the training of distance runners. Regarded and respected nationwide as an authority on endurance running and training, Al Schmidt spent 22 seasons at the helm of Mississippi State’s men’s and women’s track and ﬁeld teams. Schmidt parlayed his 37 years of collegiate coaching experience into many individual and team accomplishments. In those 22 seasons, Schmidt has produced over 40 All-Americans and over 30 SEC champions. He is the former chair of the USATF Coaching Education program and co-author (with Christensen) of both the Endurance Specialist Certification course curriculum and the USATF Level II Endurance curriculum.
Christensen is widely considered one of the top distance coaches in America at the high school level. His Stillwater teams have claimed 11 Minnesota state championships. His 2011 Boys Cross Country team placed 10th at the Nike Team Nationals and his 1997 team was recognized as the #1 team in the country by Harrier magazine. Christensen served as the U.S. Senior Team Leader at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships and as the U.S. Junior Team Leader for the 2003 World Cross Country Championships. He has published two books and countless technical articles.