CONVENTION UPDATE: Connor Sports to Present Symposium Sessions

CONVENTION UPDATE: Connor Sports to Present Symposium Sessions

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is pleased to announce Connor Sports as the presenting sponsor of the USTFCCCA Convention’s technical symposiums, annually one of the Convention’s most popular attractions.

Connor Sports, a worldwide leader in the design and installation of track & field surfaces, will be the presenting sponsor for the 32 technical symposium sessions during the Convention in San Antonio, Texas, on December 15-18 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.

“Technical symposium sessions are crucial to annually making the USTFCCCA Convention a unique and formative experience for our member coaches in attendance,” USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes said. “Connor Sports’ presentation of these sessions shows not only a commitment to the special opportunities provided at Convention, but also a commitment to the professional growth of our member coaches and the overall development of the sport.”

Each of the four main track & field disciplines – sprints/hurdles, endurance, jumps, and throws – will be covered in eight insightful sessions apiece made by some of the top coaches from around the country.

Among the numerous world-class coaches lined up to present are:

• USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Gary Winckler of Illinois/Florida State (retired) [sprints/hurdles]
Patrick Shane of BYU [endurance]
Nic Petersen of Florida [jumps]
Derek Yush of LSU [throws]

The current list of presenters can be found on the USTFCCCA Convention website, with more additions forthcoming as December approaches.

Nationally regarded as one of the nation’s most premier coaches, Winckler’s Illinois teams regularly battled for Big Ten Conference Championships, winning a total of 11 during his time in Champaign. He was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year 11 times, the 2007 USTFCCCA Midwest Region Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, and was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year three times.

Winckler-coached athletes earned 266 Big Ten individual titles and over 175 All-American honors. Dating back to 1992 Winckler has had an athlete compete in every World Championship and Olympic Games.

Prior to his arrival on the Illinois campus Winckler coached at Florida State University, leading the FSU women to the 1984 NCAA outdoor title and the 1985 NCAA indoor title. His 1984 team scored the second-most points (145) in NCAA history at the women’s outdoor championships. Winckler coached over 100 All-Americans while at Florida State.

Entering his 35th year at the helm of the women’s cross country program at BYU, Shane has fostered a tradition of excellence in Provo. In 1997, his cross country Cougars became the first women’s team in BYU school history to win a national title, a feat his squad replicated in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

Those four national crowns headline a run of success that includes 19 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and saw 29 runners earn a combined 48 All-America honors. Six of those women went on to become Olympians.

That national success manifested itself at the conference level, where his teams have won 24 conference titles between the WAC and Mountain West, and the regional level with his 16 region crowns.

Petersen, entering his fourth season guiding the jumpers at Florida, has mentored his athletes to an incredible run of success during his tenure. He most recently coached Marquis Dendy to three consecutive sweeps of the NCAA Division I long jump and triple jump titles. The Bowerman Trophy finalist claimed both events at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and the 2015 Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

His athletes have claimed NCAA outdoor triple jump titles in three consecutive seasons, contributing to an overall streak of six in a row for Florida – the most dominant streak by one team in the event’s history. He also coached Ciarra Brewer to the NCAA Indoor triple jump national title in 2015.

Between his many successes at Florida and at previous stops at TCU and Nebraska, his impressive resume includes coaching 13 individual NCAA Champions, 44 All-Americans, eight World Championship team members, 12 SEC Champions, an Olympian and a collegiate record-holder.

The LSU throws group has flourished in eight seasons under the direction Yush. In a short period of time, Yush has guided the Tigers to a national discus title, nearly 20 USTFCCCA All-America honors and no less than ten SEC league titles. In addition, Yush was named the 2010 USTFCCCA Men’s South Central Region Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year.

Since Yush joined the LSU coaching staff in 2008, the Lady Tigers have taken home six SEC championships and one NCAA championship as they continue to add to trophy case as the premier women’s program in collegiate track and field. In fact, the Tigers and Lady Tigers have now combined for 19 top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships between the indoor and outdoor seasons since 2008.

Yush came to LSU in 2007 after spending eight seasons at the University of Rhode Island, where he helped lead the squad to 11 Atlantic-10 Conference titles from 2001-07, including five indoor and six outdoor crowns during his tenure.