Technical Symposiums and Professional Development seminars will once again be a major part of the USTFCCCA Annual Convention. Multiple technical sessions in every event group will be offered daily with presentations from some of the country’s top coaches.
Find materials from the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 symposiums HERE.
Biographies courtesy of the coaches’ respective schools.
|Assistant Coach Seminars||Assistant Coach Roundtables
|Directors of Ops
Scott Christensen, Stillwater HS
TOPIC: Fatigue Determines Endurance Performance – The Training Application
Scott Christensen has been the boys head cross country and head track coach at Stillwater High School in Minnesota since 1981. During that period Stillwater has won eleven state titles and has been ranked by The Harrier five different years in the National Top 10 High School Rankings. In 1997 Stillwater was named the National High School Champions in cross country.
In 2011, his team was a Nike Team Nationals finalist claiming 10th place in that event. Since 1995, five different Stillwater milers have captured Minnesota State 1600 meter titles. Since 2003, four different Stillwater alumni have run sub four minutes for the mile. That list includes: Luke Watson, Sean Graham, Jake Watson, and Ben Blankenship.
Christensen worked 13 years as an instructor in the USATF Level II Endurance Schools from 1997-2010 and is currently serving as the lead instructor of the Specialist Certification Course of the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy. He is the co-author of the Endurance Curriculum of the Track & Field Academy program. He was USATF Chairman of Endurance Education from 1999-2010. In 2003 he served as the USA Junior Team Leader to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland and in 2008 served as the USA Senior Team Leader to the IAAF Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dave Emmans, Wayzata High HS
TOPIC: The Changing Dynamics of Volume, Intensity and Density
Emmans, in his 23rd year as a coach, has built quite the program at Wayzata High School in Minnesota
In 2012 his girls won the schoo’s first Minnesota Class AA state title in cross country. The next year, those ladies went on to win the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals title, becoming the first team from outside the state of New York to claim the national crown.
Since winning the state title in 2012 his girls haven’t looked back. They’ve won the state title in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
They’ve also been in the top-10 at Nike Cross Nationals each of those three seasons. A seventh-place showing in 2012 and a sixth-place effort a year ago bookend the 2013 national title.
Rick Hammer, Edinboro
TOPIC: Training Today’s Cross Country Athlete
Now in his third year at Edinboro, Hammer is maintaining and building upon the long-lasting distance running legacy of his predecessor Doug Watts.
During the 2015 cross country season, his men’s and women’s squads outperformed their pre-NCAA Championships rankings with a pair of 15th-place finishes, following up on ninth- and 13th-place finishes in his debut campaign.
He came to Edinboro after a four-year tenure at Lewis, where he coached more than 40 runners to All-GLVC honors in track & field and cross country, nine All-Americans, 10 GLVC champions and two GLVC Freshmen of the Year.
Lance Harter, Arkansas
TOPIC: Development the Arkansas Way – Evolving the Average Athlete to Elite Status
It was a good academic year for Harter in 2014-15, his 25th year at Arkansas. After being inducted into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame in December, his women won the NCAA Indoor team title in front of the home crowd in Fayetteville for Arkansas’ first-ever national title in women’s athletics.
That national title was powered largely in part by national 3000-meter champion Dominique Scott, who also anchored the winning distance medley relay team. His Razorback women also made the podium outdoors with a fourth-place finish behind a pair of national runner-up finishes at 5000 and 10,000 meters by Scott. Scott also finished sixth overall in cross country to lead Arkansas to a fifth-place team finish.
Those performances are among the 28 top-10 NCAA Championships finishes recorded by the Razorbacks in Harter’s tenure.
Harter has achieved success wherever he’s gone. Before coming to Arkansas, he led Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo to 14 NCAA Division II national team titles in cross country (eight in a row) and track & field (six).
Stanley Redwine, Kansas
TOPIC: Training for the 800
As a former world-class distance runner who is now a NCAA national team championship-winning head coach at Kansas, Redwine has experienced success at all levels.
The five-time IAAF World Championships team member and two-time USATF 800-meter champion was among the world’s best during his competitive heyday. Twice he won bronze at the Pan American Games at 800 meters, and twice he claimed silver at the Goodwill Games.
As the head coach at Kansas, he’s coached 15 NCAA individual champions, 98 individual Big 12 champions, 153 All-Americans, and four Olympians. In 2013, his Jayhawks won the first NCAA Outdoor team title in program history.
The 2013 Women’s Head Coach of the Year has also been the head coach of Team USA at the Pan Am Games in 2007.
Lisa Senakiewich, Michigan State
TOPIC: Developing a Cross Country Team at MSU
In five years as an assistant coach and now associate head coach with Michigan State, Lisa Senakiewich has accomplished a significant amount with the Spartans.
Coaching at her alma mater – where she earned multiple All-America awards – she has already made a significant impact on the next generation of Spartan runners.
She helped guide Michigan State to the 2014 NCAA Cross Country team title for the first time in program history. That team was led by four All-America finishers, including fifth-place Rachele Schulist.
One of those All-Americans was Leah O’Connor, who completed her career in 2015 with a third-place finish in the NCAA Championships steeplechase one year after winning the title. With a then-career-best time of 9:33.38 at this year’s NCAAs, she became the fifth-fastest performer in collegiate history.
Prior to the NCAA Championships, she helped guide O’Connor to three Big Ten titles – 1500, steeple and 5000 – as the Spartans won their first outdoor Big Ten team title since 1982.
Patrick Shane, BYU
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.
Derek Stanley, UW-La Crosse
TOPIC: Individualizing Training Based on Lactate Testing
Derek Stanley begins his fourth season as the head coach of the UW-L women’s and men’s cross country teams in 2015. Along with serving as the head cross country coach, Stanley is an assistant coach for the Eagles’ women’s and men’s track & field squads.
The Eagle men have recorded top-four finishes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Championships in each of Stanley’s first three seasons, placing third in 2013 and 2014 and fourth in 2012. Four runners have earned NCAA III All-America accolades under Stanley’s tutelage with Josh Kaul (24th-place) and Josh Dedering (30th) picking up honors in 2012 and Alex Ciesielski (8th) and Jonah Weisse (33rd) in 2014.
The men’s cross country team, winners of a league-best 32 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championships, captured the league title in 2012 and 2013 under Stanley.
The UW-L women’s cross country squad has won the last two WIAC Championships under Stanley (2013, 2014) while finishing second in 2012. A total of 16 All-WIAC cross country honors have been earned under Stanley, including seven first team selections and five second team choices.
Martha Brennan, Central Oklahoma
TOPIC: Creative Training for Injured Athletes
In her seventh year as Central Oklahoma is Dr. Martha Brennan, a former NCAA Division II All-American with coaching experience on the Division I and III levels who serves as Director of Track and Field/Cross Country.
Brennan came to UCO in 2009 after a highly-successful five-year tenure as head men’s and women’s coach at Wisconsin-River Falls during which she led the women’s team to the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship.
After an eight-year hiatus for the program, Central Oklahoma resumed competing on a limited basis in the spring of 2010. Under Brennan’s guidance, the program soon had one outdoor All-American in 2011, ’12 and ’14 and one indoor All-American in 2013.
A five-time Division II All-American while competing at the University of South Dakota, Brennan finished her career at Louisiana State and helped the Tigers capture back-to-back Division I national titles in 1994 and ’95.
She competed in the 1996 Olympic Trails as a heptathlete and was a member of the USA National Track & Field team in 1997 before going to the University of Iowa as an assistant coach in 1997.
Lance Coleman, Albion
TOPIC: Introducing the Horizontal Jumps to Developmental Collegiates
Lance Coleman has been the head coach of the men’s and women’s track & field programs at Albion since 2011. He was named men’s coach the year prior after 15 years as serving as an assistant coach with the program.
During his coaching tenure at Albion, Coleman has been fortunate to work with some very talented student-athletes, including 33 MIAA champions, 43 all-MIAA selections, three MIAA most valuable performers and four MIAA record holders. Coleman’s student-athletes have also been successful at the national level with 17 qualifying for the NCAA Division III National Championships and six of them achieving NCAA Division III All-American status and one earning a national championship (Nick Morgan in the 110-meter high hurdles in 2004). Coleman was also part of the 2004 MIAA track & field championship squad.
Coleman’s coaching philosophy includes cultivating positive, lifelong relationships with student-athletes while mentoring them for success in the competition, classroom and life.
Travis Geopfert, Arkansas
TOPIC: A Holistic Approach to the Long Jump
In six seasons as the men’s field and multi-events coach at Arkansas, Travis Geopfert has become one of the top assistant coaches in the country. His athletes have not only racked up individual accolades, but have also helped the Razorbacks to an NCAA Indoor Track & Field national team title in 2013.
Between his time in Fayetteville, his alma mater Northern Iowa, and Central Missouri, he has put together quite the resume. That list includes an Olympian, four NCAA individual national champions, 51 first-team All-Americans, 86 NCAA Championships qualifiers, 59 conference champions and 107 all-conference performers.
He was recognized as the National Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2013 men’s indoor track & field season, and has twice more been honored at the regional level.
Geopfert himself was a standout decathlete at Northern Iowa, where he was an All-American and a three-time MVC champion. He also competed at the Thorpe Cup three times and at the USA Championships six times.
Chad Gunnelson, Dubuque
TOPIC: Developing Elasticity in the Weight Room
Chad Gunnelson is in his fifth year leading the University of Dubuque Track & Field and Cross Country programs. The 2013 IIAC Men’s Outdoor Track Co-Coach of the Year has helped the track and cross country programs make significant strides during his short tenure at UD.
Under the direction of Coach Gunnelson, the Spartans track & field team has had 14 NCAA qualifiers, earning 4 All-American honors and 1 National Champion (Rick Valcin, Pole Vault, 2014). The Spartans have also had 38 IIAC Champions and 164 All-IIAC Performers in addition to breaking 47 school records.
Prior to his arrival at UD, Gunnelson spent six years as the Head Track & Field Coach at Madison East High School for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. At Madison East, Gunnelson coached 22 school record holders and back-to-back state champions in 2010 and 2011.
The jumps, sprints, and strength training are Gunnelson’s primary coaching areas on the track. He maintains specialist certifications in jumps, strength & conditioning and endurance from the USTFCCCA, is a USA-W certified sports performance coach and also holds his FMS certification.
Petros Kyprianou, Georgia
TOPIC: Combined Events Training
Two-time reigning National Assistant Coach of the Year Petros Kyprianou was recently promoted to head coach of the Georgia track & field and cross country programs.
Kyprianou recently finished his seventh year with Georgia’s, during which his crew won four NCAA titles and six Southeastern Conference individual titles. His group accounted for 93 NCAA combined points and 133½ SEC combined points, set two American Junior Records, a collegiate/NCAA Championships record in the pentathlon and six SEC Championships Records.
In 2014, Kyprianou guided his crew to a school record five NCAA individual titles, a World Junior Championships record and title, six SEC championships and the 100-meter hurdle crown at the USATF Junior Championships. In addition to his national and league champions, Kyprianou boasted 10 NCAA First Team All-America certificates that led to 74½ combined points scored at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets and 95 points at the SEC Championships.
Kyprianou spent two seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha before arriving at Boise State – where he coached the Broncos to 21 WAC individual titles and four All-America honors – and coached the men and women’s combined events for the Greek national team from 2001-2005.
Dave Nielsen, Idaho State
TOPIC: Training Pole Vaulters
Dave Nielsen enters his 29th season as the head track and field coach at Idaho State University with a program that continues to grow stronger each year.
While Nielsen is well known for having coached Olympic Champion and World Record Holder Stacy Dragila, she is far from the only standout that has come through the ISU program over the last 27 years.
Nielsen has helped 21 athletes to All-American status during his tenure at ISU, including 12 in the last five years. Forty-five athletes have advanced to the NCAA Championships, 163 have won Big Sky titles and 391 have earned all-conference recognition.
Nielsen is a nationally recognized expert in the track and field jumping disciplines. He has been published in the journals Track Coach, Coaches Review, Pole Vault Standard, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, was the primary source for an article by the American Institute of Physics. He was featured in the August 2002 issue of Track and Field Coaches Review. In other professional activities, Nielsen has served as USA Track and Field women’s development chair (pole vault), and as a member of the NCAA Track and Field Committee and USTFCCCA Division I Executive Committee.
Once one of the top pole-vaulters in the nation, Nielsen was a Big Ten champion and earned All-American honors and competed at the 1976 Olympic Trials.
Nic Petersen, Florida
TOPIC: Training the Combination Horizontal Jumper
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.
James Thomas, Texas Tech
TOPIC: Approaching the High Jumper
In just three seasons as the associate men’s head coach overseeing the Red Raiders’ combined events, vertical jumps and horizontal jumps, Thomas has already established Texas Tech as a national contender.
In 2015 he coached JaCorian Duffield to both the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the high jump, with teammate Bradley Adkins finishing runner-up in both events. Never before in NCAA Division I history had teammates finished 1-2 at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Duffield would go on to qualify for the IAAF World Championships as a member of Team USA, jumping 2.34m (7-8) at the USATF Outdoor Championships.
His jumpers and combined event athletes contributed 80.5 points toward the Red Raiders’ Big 12-team title-winning 160.5 total at the 2014 Outdoor Championships.
All told, he has coached more than two dozen All-Americans, nearly 60 NCAA Championships qualifiers and nearly a dozen individual conference champions.
Andy Eggerth, Kennesaw State
TOPIC: Restoration in the Speed/Power Events
Going into his sixth year as director of track & field and cross country at Kennesaw State, Andy Eggerth has become one of the most successful coaches in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The past five years have seen Eggerth’s Owls claim four A-Sun men’s indoor team titles in a row and four of the past five A-Sun outdoor team titles. During that time he has coached 64 individual men’s champions of the Atlantic Sun with an additional 44 women claiming A-Sun crowns.
He has also coached at Kansas State and UAB, as well as serving as the track & field director at the National Sports Center.
Ronnye Harrison, Oklahoma
TOPIC: Progress Through Progression – A Biomotor Success Story
Harrison has been at the head of the Portland State track & field and cross country programs since 2008. During that time under Harrison’s guidance, the Vikings’ sprints corps has developed into a Big Sky Conference perennial contender. Since 2008, his PSU athletes have claimed 36 conference titles; two thirds of those have come in the sprints. Overall, his athletes have also earned 31 silver medals and 28 bronze medals at the Big Sky Championships.
In fact, his female sprinters have set a combined six Big Sky records in every sprint event 200 meters or shorter over the better part of the last decade.
His program has produced six NCAA Championships qualifiers, including a first-team All-American and three second-team All-Americans.
Mike Holloway, Florida
TOPIC: Coaching Relays
Florida head coach Mike Holloway, who was named the first head coach of the combined men’s and women’s track & field program on June 19, 2007, has directed clear course for the University of Florida’s success both on and off the track, molding it into one the nation’s elite for the past 20 seasons.
He’s guided his athletes to 27 NCAA Championships titles in the sprint, hurdle and relay events since 1999. That includes six men’s 4×100 relay titles, the most of any program during that span.
This past spring, he led both his women’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams to national titles.
In addition to the five NCAA Championships that Holloway and the Florida men’s team has won since 2010—more than any other Division I program during that span—the Gators are just the second team in Division I history to finish third or higher at both the NCAA Indoor Championships and NCAA Outdoor Championships seven consecutive times. Moreover, their streak of seven straight top-three finishes at the NCAA Indoor Championships is the third-longest run a Division I program has ever reeled off.
On the women’s side, with five individual national titles in the last two seasons, the Gators have become a consistent contender at the NCAA Championships, recording five top-four finishes during the Holloway era. Moreover, Florida’s women have finished fourth or higher at 14 of the 16 SEC Championships—winning four conference titles—with Holloway as head coach.
Clive Roberts, Iowa
TOPIC: My Evolution of Developing the 400m Runner – Why Stamina Development is Important
Roberts has been in charge of the Hawkeyes’ women’s sprints, hurdles and relays (as well as the horizontal jumps) for the past six years, including a recent promotion to associate head coach.
During that time, he’s coached his student-athletes to 14 Big Ten titles, 26 All-America honors and 16 school records. A pair of those school records came this year at both 100 and 200 meters, with the 400-meter relay and 1600-meter relay records having fallen a year ago.
In 2015, his women sprinters got a win and two runner-up finishes to score 36 of Iowa’s 52 points at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, and 18 of its 22 at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Two of his athletes went on to compete at the NCAA Championships, both of whom were sophomores.
Katie Wagner, UW-La Crosse
TOPIC: Coaching Effectiveness and Why It Matters
Going into her seventh year as the UW-La Crosse assistant coach for the women’s hurdles (as well as the jumps and combined events), Wagner has achieved phenomenal success as the NCAA Division III level. She is a three-time indoor USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year, with another award from the outdoor season.
As part of an indoor-outdoor team national title sweep in 2015, she coached Marissa Mahr to the NCAA Division III title in the 400-meter hurdles, after Mahr led a 1-3 UW-La Crosse finish in the event at the WIAC Championships.
She had just as much success as the shorter distance. Her women swept the top three spots in the 100-meter hurdles at the WIAC Outdoor Championships and went on to take three of the top seven spots at the NCAA Championships, including two of the top four. UWL also went 1-2-3 at the WIAC Indoor Championships before taking three of the top six spots at NCAAs.
Gary Winckler, Illinois/Florida State (Retired)
TOPIC #1: Running Skills Development
TOPIC #2: Dos and Don’ts in Training Designs
Nationally regarded as one of the nation’s most premier coaches, USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Gary 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.
Don Babbit, Georgia
TOPIC: Javelin Training Strategies
With the arrival of his 19th year in red and black and in his 31st year overall coaching, Don Babbitt has transformed the Georgia throws program into arguably the most talented group in the country.
Seven NCAA titles, 32 All-American honors and 18 SEC crowns during the past nine seasons further solidified Babbitt’s hold as one of the premier throws coaches in the track and field world. The trend became even more evident as the native of Santa Monica, Calif., led freshman Freya Jones to the 2013 NCAA javelin title and four other throwers to All-America honors that year. In 2014, his throwers swept the SEC hammer throw titles (first time for the Bulldogs since 2001) and added six more All-America certificates, including three top-six national finishes in the men’s hammer, men’s shot put and women’s javelin.
Under Babbitt’s guidance since 1996, Georgia’s throwers have reached a high level of success including 12 NCAA titles, 74 All-American certificates and 47 SEC titles. Additionally, he’s coached 46 throwers who qualified for the Olympics and/or World Championships, who have won a combined 19 medals.
Chris Campbell, Navy
TOPIC: Javelin Training, Drills, and Technique
Chris Campbell, a 1989 Academy graduate, is entering his ninth season as a men’s assistant and the throws coach at Navy.
Campbell guided throwers to All-America honors outdoors in three of the past four seasons, including third-place javelin thrower Jay Stell in 2014.
During his first eight years at Navy, he has guided his throwers to 22 Patriot League titles between the indoor and outdoor seasons, including three championships records.
Campbell, himself, was a four-year letterwinner on the Midshipmen track & field team. A javelin thrower and former school record holder under USTFCCCA Hall of Fame head coach/international javelin standout Al Cantello, he was elected team captain his senior year.
Upon graduation, Campbell was assigned to the San Diego-based naval warship, USS COPELAND, which completed CARAT operations during Desert Storm and counter-narcotic operations off the coast of Central America in 1993.
Sandy Fowler, Michigan
TOPIC: Teaching Discus Technique with Light/Heavy Implements
A former world-class thrower, Fowler is starting her fifth year as an assistant with the Michigan women’s program.
Prior to joining the staff at Michigan, Fowler, a nine-time All-American, national champion and Olympian enjoyed a successful 14-year stint as the head women’s track and field coach at the University of Alabama (1998-2011).
During her tenure at Alabama, Fowler guided nearly 30 student-athletes to All-America status and produced one national champion, one NCAA Top 8 Award winner and more than 40 All-SEC selections.
Prior to taking the reins at Alabama, Fowler spent eight years as the field events coach at the University of Florida (1990-97), where she mentored four student-athletes to seven All-America accolades at Florida.
Internationally, she represented Team USA as the heach coach at the 2005 IAAF World Championships and as an assistant coach at the 2014 Pan-American Sports Festival and the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
While competing at Northeastern, she was the 1982 AIAW champion in the shot put and a nine-time All-American. She was named an alternate for the 1980 Olympics and competed at both the World University Games and Pan Pacific Games in 1981.
Brian Mondschein, Princeton
TOPIC: Commonalities of Throws in Combined Events
Brian Mondschein has been a prominent coach for decades and his latest tenure at Princeton as assistant coach continues a great career.
Mondschein came to Princeton from Southeastern Louisiana where he was an assistant coach from 2007-2012. He primarily worked with the throwers and multi-event athletes. Mondschein helped to coach nine conference champions, 20 all-conference selections and two All-Americas.
Prior to joining the Lions’ staff, Mondschein spent 14 years at Kutztown University, where he turned the program around and dominated the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). In 14 years, the team won 18 conference titles, had 90 individual conference champions and 38 earned All-America honors. Mondschein was named the USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year nine times and the PSAC Coach of the Year 10 times.
A 1977 graduate of the University of Washington, Mondschein was an All-American in the decathlon finishing seventh at the NCAAs his senior year. Four years earlier, in 1973, he was part of the US junior 4×400 relay that posted a then-junior world record.
His father Irv was a longtime coach at Penn from 1967-1987. A member of the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, Irv competed in the 1948 Olympics in the decathlon and was an assistant coach of the 1988 Olympic team.
Kyle Pierce, USA Weightlifting
TOPIC: Olympic Weightlifting Technique
Kyle Pierce is an associate professor of kinesiology and health science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the director of the LSUS USA Weightlifting Development Center.
In May 2006, Pierce was named as the recipient of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Doc Counsilman Science Award for 2005. Named for the legendary Indiana University swimming coach and instituted by the USOC in 2003, the Counsilman Award honors coaches who conduct and use research along with developing innovative training methods.
Pierce, who is widely published and sought after internationally to make presentations on sports science, was one of three finalists for the 2004 “Doc” Counsilman Award. He received the award on June 23, 2006 in La Jolla, California at the Night of Champions Reception, which opened the U.S. Olympic Assembly.
Mark Rodriguez, UTEP
TOPIC: Psychology of the Throws
Mark Rodriguez, currently an assistant throws coach at UTEP, has nearly a three-decade career of coaching spanning stops at Purdue, Miami (Ohio), Indiana State, and on the NCAA Division III level.
In 2015, Rodriguez advanced Samantha Hall in the women’s discus and Rasmus Maukonen in the men’s javelin to the NCAA Division I Outdoor finals in Eugene.
During his time at Purdue his women throwers outscored the rest of the league’s throwers and accounted for 50 percent of the team’s total points. His freshman thrower won the Big Ten Athlete of the Year after claiming gold in the weight throw at the 2011 Big Ten Women’s Indoor Championships. He coached All-American Dani Bunch in the weight throw, and recruited top-10 thrower Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.
At the NCAA Division III level, he coached at Buena Vista University and Manchester University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1994. He was voted the 2004 Official of the Year for Indiana for all the improvements he made in coordinating the officials for the NCAA Cross Country Nationals. Six of Rodriguez’s former athletes have been inducted into their respective school’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
April Thomas, Mississippi State
TOPIC: Technical Refinements for the Throws – When and How
April Thomas enters her ninth season as coach of MSU throwers. During her tenure with the Bulldogs, Thomas has coached multiple athletes who garnered national and conference honors
Among those athletes she’s mentored is combined events athlete Erica Bougard. With Thomas’ guidance in the shot put and javelin components, Bougard claimed the 2013 NCAA Indoor pentathlon title and scored numerous other top-four NCAA finishes in the indoor pentathlon or outdoor heptathlon.
In 2012, she guided Favian Cowards to Mississippi State’s first SEC title in the indoor weight throw, and the a ninth-place finish in the hammer throw at the outdoor NCAA Championships that same year.
Competitively, she was the 2006 SEC indoor runner-up in the shot put among four career top-five SEC finishes.
Derek Yush, LSU
TOPIC: Effective Use of Video in the Throws
The LSU throws group has flourished in eight seasons under the direction of assistant coach Derek 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.
Yush was honored following the 2012 season as he had the privilege of serving as the men’s throws coach for Team USA at the North American, Central American & Caribbean Under-23 Championships held in Guanajuato, Mexico.
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.
Dave Cianelli, Virginia Tech
TOPIC: The Anatomy of a Successful Track & Field Program and the Art of Networking
Now in his 14th year as Director of Virginia Tech Track & Field and Cross Country, Dave Cianelli has built the Hokie program into one of the elite programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation.
Since Cianelli’s arrival in the fall of 2001, Virginia Tech track and field athletes have produced 14 NCAA individual national titles, 160 NCAA All-America honors and 139 individual conference champions. Since 2005, Hokie teams have finished in the national top-five three times, the national top-10 eight times and the national top-20 twenty times.
After the completion of the 2013 season, Cianelli added three more Coach of the Year honors. One of these from the ACC for the 2013 men’s indoor season, and two from the USTFCCCA for being selected Southeast Region Men’s Coach of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Francesca Green, Arizona
TOPIC: Women Coaching Men and Advice for Young Female Coaches
Francesca Green enters her eighth season as Arizona’s men’s and women’s sprints and relays assistant coach while still handing meet management and equipment distribution. Previously, Green served as UA’s Director of Operations for cross country and track and field for four seasons. She has also been a member of the Team USA staff for the World Championships. She was the head manager in 2013 and will assume the same position for the 2015 World Championships.
Ethan Ostrom, Idaho State
TOPIC: Shin Splints: Application of Injury Prevention Strategies
Ethan Ostrom is a former collegiate pole vaulter at UC Davis currently pursuing a post-collegiate career under Idaho State coach Dave Nielsen.
In addition to his competitive endeavors, Ostrom is a research assistant for the Pocatello Orthopaedics Sports Medicine Institute. Among his recent research topics include regenerative medicine techniques and diagnostic ultrasound in knee osteoarthritis, sports hernia, teninopathies, and spinal stenosis. Additionally, he is interested in muscle physiology and tendon physiology and their roles in injury performance.