CONVENTION UPDATE: A Look At The Jumps & Throws Symposiums

NEW ORLEANS – Technical Symposiums will once again take center stage at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention. This year the Technical Symposiums will be presented by REKORTAN.

There will once again be 32 Technical Symposiums spread across four days at the USTFCCCA Convention, which this year will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa between Tuesday, December 12 and Friday, December 15.

USTFCCCA CONVENTION WEBSITE

For those who don’t know about the Technical Symposiums or need a refresher, four disciplines will be represented – endurance, jumps, sprints/hurdles/relays and throws – and with eight coaches sharing their knowledge, that brings us to a grand total of 32.

Here is a closer look at those coaches who are scheduled to present Technical Symposiums in the jumps and throws disciplines.

Jumps

Nate Davis, Wisconsin

Topic: TBA

Nate Davis enters his 13th year as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Wisconsin for the 2017-18 season.

Davis coaches the Badgers’ men and women in the combined-events, pole vault high jump. In addition, “Coach Nate” serves as a USA Track and Field Level II instructor for the combined events, and is also one of only a few coaches to have earned both the USA Track & Field certified Level III accreditation and the IAAF Elite Coach certification in the jumping events.

Davis came to Wisconsin from Eastern Illinois University, where he served as the coach of the men’s and women’s jumpers, pole vaulters and multi-event athletes.

Quincy Howe, Wyoming

Topic: A Triple Jump Journey – Evaluation, Implementation, Execution

Quincy Howe recently completed his 12th season with the UW program in 2016-17 as an assistant coach in charge of jumps. He spent the 2012-14 as an assistant coach at West Texas A&M University, after serving on the UW coaching staff from 2003 to 2012.

In his first season back Howe coached Scott Carter to All-MW honors during the indoor season, as he qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the triple jump.

Howe is widely considered the best jumper in Wyoming history. He was a two-time All-American indoors in the triple jump in 2001 and 2002, but was dominant at the conference level. He never lost to a conference foe in his four years in the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West, as he won a total of eight conference titles. Howe also competed professionally for his native country of Trinidad & Tobago, as he placed third at the 2002 NACAC games and ninth at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. He was also a 2003 Pan-Am Games team selection, before joining the Wyoming coaching staff as a graduate assistant.

Arthur “Iggy” Ignaczak, Eastern Michigan

Topic: High Jump

Arthur “Iggy” Ignaczak recently joined the staff at Eastern Michigan after a previous stop at Central Arkansas. At UCA, Ignaczak was responsible for just under two dozen school records while producing multiple All-Conference performances including Indoor and Outdoor Champions.

Prior to Central Arkansas, Coach Iggy, a native of the Northeast spent his final months on The Shore as a sprints, hurdles, jumps coach with the Jersey Shore Elite Track Club. He has also coached at Saint Francis University as the multi and jumps coach, as well as at Monsignor Donovan High School in New Jersey.

Derek Miles, South Dakota

Topic: TBA

Derek Miles has turned the South Dakota vault program into one of the premiere programs in the nation. He has coached 11 All-Americans at the NCAA Division I level, including 2013 National Champion Bethany Buell and 2017 Indoor National Champion Chris Nilsen. Miles’ athletes have dominated USD’s all-time charts, with at least seven of his athletes making the top 10 list for men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor seasons. Miles’ collegiate marks remain ranked in the top-10 as well.

Miles, a native of Four Oaks, Calif., was a five-time All American in the pole vault at USD. He also qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships in the long jump, triple jump and decathlon during his collegiate career.

Dan Pfaff, World Athletics Center

Topic: TBA

Dan Pfaff has been named to the dual roles of Education Director and Jumps coach at the World Athletics Center, based in Phoenix, Ariz. Pfaff has coached nine Olympic medalists and five world record-holders during his 40-plus year career.

Pfaff is responsible for elite athlete development, coach’s mentorship and education curriculum development and human performance research and development.

Most recently, Pfaff served from 2009-12 as the director of the UKA High Performance Centre in London, and coached Greg Rutherford of Great Britain to a gold medal in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Danny Wilkerson, Bethel College

Topic: TBA

Danny Wilkerson enters his 13th season as an assistant coach for Bethel College’s men’s and women’s track & field program.

While competing for Aquinas College, Wilkerson participated in six NAIA National Championships in both cross country and track combined. Professionally, Wilkerson earned his USATF Level 2 coaching certification in the sprints, jumps, hurdles, and combined events as well as other certifications in coaching and is part of the National Pole Vault staff.

Throws

Brian Bedard, Colorado State

Topic: TBA

Brian Bedard is entering hi12th year as the Rams’ head coach and his 30th season as a track and field coach for Colorado State University.

Bedard has been on the Rams coaching staff since the fall of 1988, when he began his career as the throwing events coach. He was honored as the Mountain Region and NCAA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. All of Colorado State’s school records in the throwing events have been set during Bedard’s tenure.

In 2015, Bedard was selected as the throwing coach for the women’s Junior Pan-Am team. The women’s squad won three gold medals and three silver medals in the throwing events.

Jerry Clayton, Michigan

Topic: TBA

Jerry Clayton recently completed his third season as the head coach with the University of Michigan men’s track and field program, working primarily with the Wolverine throwers and jumpers. A Big Ten alum and Midwest native, Clayton took over the Wolverine program after spending the previous 15 seasons at Auburn University.

One of the nation’s top field event coaches, Clayton has successfully developed individualized training programs for the sprints, hurdles and the field events. Clayton has also coached at Florida, Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and Illinois.He graduated from Illinois in 1980 with a bachelor of sciences degree in physical education. Clayton was a two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put.

T.J. Crater, Arizona

Topic: Training for Multiple Throwing Events

T.J. Crater joined the Arizona track & field coaching staff in the fall of 2015. In his first season coaching with Arizona, Crater made a significant impact for the throwers. Two of Crater’s Wildcats earned All-American status in his first year as coach.

Crater previously served at the University of Washington for the past four seasons. He coached the throwers to seven NCAA Championship appearances, while posting 20 new marks on Washington’s Top 10 lists. His other coaching stops include Central Washington, Nevada and Penn State.

Peter Miller, Minnesota

Topic: Talent Selection and Development of the Hammer Throw

The 2016-17 season marked Peter Miller’s fourth season with the Golden Gophers after joining the University of Minnesota women’s track & field staff in summer 2013. Miller, a former Gopher student-athlete, serves as an assistant coach for throws and high jump, while assisting with the combined-events training.

Miller returned to his alma mater for the 2013-14 season after two successful seasons as the throws coach for the University of North Dakota men’s and women’s track & field teams. Prior to his arrival at UND, Miller coached throws and combined events at Wisconsin-River Falls for three years.

Amin Nikfar, Southeastern Louisiana

Topic: TBA

Amin Nikfar recently completed his second season at Southeastern Louisiana.

Nikfar, a member of the Iranian National team from 2003-14, competed in both the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and the 2012 Games in London, England. He was a nine-time Iranian national champion, a six-time Iranian national record holder and was an All-Pac-10 and All-Western Region while at the University of California-Berkeley.

Prior to Southeastern Louisiana, Nikfar had stops at the University of New Orleans, Saint Francis High School, Northern Arizona and Cal.

Dan Pfaff, World Athletics Center

Topic: TBA

Dan Pfaff has been named to the dual roles of Education Director and Jumps coach at the World Athletics Center, based in Phoenix, Ariz. Pfaff has coached nine Olympic medalists and five world record-holders during his 40-plus year career.

Pfaff is responsible for elite athlete development, coach’s mentorship and education curriculum development and human performance research and development.

Most recently, Pfaff served from 2009-12 as the director of the UKA High Performance Centre in London, and coached Greg Rutherford of Great Britain to a gold medal in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mike Sergent, South Carolina

Topic: TBA

Sergent recently completed his 20th season with the Gamecock track and field program in 2017. His primary responsibilities are coaching the throwers and coordinating the strength and conditioning program. Sergent has coached 28 All-Americans, 45 NCAA qualifiers, 14 SEC champions and five NCAA champions at South Carolina.

Prior to coaching at South Carolina, Sergent was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, for five years. At Virginia Tech, he assisted in one Metro and four Atlantic 10 Conference championship teams from 1993 to 1997.

Sergent holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in sports management from Virginia Tech. He was a 1992 All-American and Olympic Trials qualifier in the hammer. In the fall of 2012, Sergent was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.