Convention Symposiums

Throws Symposiums

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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, 2014 and 2015 symposiums HERE.

Biographies courtesy of the coaches’ respective schools.

MORE SPEAKERS WILL BE ADDED ONCE THEY ARE CONFIRMED

Symposium Disciplines

Endurance Jumps Sprints/Hurdles/Relays Throws
       
Assistant Coach Seminars Assistant Coach Roundtables High School Directors of Ops

Endurance Symposiums

Houston Franks, Mississippi State

Houston FranksFranks, in his eighth year at the helm of the Mississippi State cross country program, is coming off a 2015 campaign that was the most historic in program history.

For the first time in school history, the Bulldog women competed as a team at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, finishing 17th overall. His women finished second at the South Regional and the SEC Championships.

On the track, he has guided Mississippi State to two consecutive national titles at 1500 meters. Rhianwedd Price scored an upset victory in 2015, and Marta Freitas claimed the crown in 2016. He also coached Price to a 24th-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

He has been at MSU since 2004, serving as an assistant from 2004-2009. Previously, he coached three MVC champion teams at Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State), including three teams tat finished top-four at the NCAA Midwest Regional. He competed at MSU during his undergraduate years.

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Claire Hewitt, Earlham

CLaire HewittHewitt enters her first season as co-head coach of the Earlham cross country and track & field teams. She most recently spent two seasons as the director of operations and assistant distance coachat Penn.

Prior to making the move back to her alma mater, she served six years as a distance assistant coach for St. Joseph’s. She handled the day-to-day coaching responsibility for women’s cross country in 2012 and 2013.

In 2013 she coached four ECAC All-East Team selections and an Atlantic 10 All-Conference runner. She coached a combined 32 All-Conference performers.

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Sean Graham, Kentucky

Sean GrahamSean Graham has proven to be one of the nation’s best men’s distance and cross country coaches since his arrival at UK in 2013.

Under Graham’s direction Keffri Neal claimed the 2014 NCAA 800m Bronze Medal, won three Southeastern Conference titles and the Canadian Silver and Matt Hillenbrand won two SEC titles and was a mile and 1,500m All-American.

Most recently, Jacob Thomson won both the SEC 5k and 10k Championships at the 2016 SEC Outdoor Championships. Thomson was the SEC Silver Medalist in the indoor 5k in 2016. He was a NCAA Championships qualifier in cross country.

He previously served as an assistant at American under Matt Centrowitz and as a volunteer assistant at George Mason. He competed at William and Mary and was an Olympic Trials finalist at 5000 meters in 2004.

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Lee LaBadie, Akron

Lee LaBadieLee LaBadie was the coach behind the rise of Clayton Murphy to Olympic Bronze Medalist and one of the fastest Americans of all time at 800 meters.

Murphy had a phenomenal 2016 season under LaBadie’s tutelage. Murphy won the NCAA Indoor 800 meter national title in March, and followed it up with an NCAA Outdoor 1500-meter title outdoors in June. Murphy kept on winning in June and August, claiming the USATF Outdoor title in July and winning Bronze at the Rio Olympics in August.

Over the span of two years, LaBadie coached Murphy from having never broken 1:50 in 2014 to running 1:42.93 in the Rio Final to become the third-fastest American in history.

While at Ohio State in the early 90s, LaBadie coached a pair of Olympians who went on to become well-respected distance coaches in their own right: Robert Gary and Mark Croghan. The two combined for five Olympic appearances in the steeplechase.

In 1971, he was the first Big Ten undergraduate to run the mile in under four minutes.

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Carrie Lane, Track & Field Academy

Carrie brings 17 years of high level coaching experience to Peak Energy PT. Carrie has been a USA National Team coach for 3 IAAF Track and Field World Championships Teams and from 2006-09, was the personal coach for Olympic gold medalist shot putter, Adam Nelson.  Carrie coached Adam to a silver medal in the 2007 IAAF World Championships, and to the farthest shot put throw in the world in 2008.  

Carrie also coached Chad Wright, the NCAA Champion in the men’s discus in 2012 and the Jamaican national champion in 2013 and 2014.  She coached for 15 years at the NCAA Division I level, with stints at Coastal Carolina University, University of Virginia, and most recently at the University of Nebraska.  

She has coached 23 NCAA First Team All Americans, 4 Big Ten champions, and 9 ACC champions. 

She has a strong background in coaching the mechanics of all athletic movement.  She is a certified strength and conditioning coach with the NSCA and the USTFCCCA (US Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches’ Association).  She is also an instructor for the USTFCCCA Coaches’ Academy, where she teaches other coaches about periodized training program design, weight training, biomechanics, and event-specific technique.

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Doug Watts, Edinboro (Retired)

Doug WattsDoug Watts built up a legendary list of accomplishments during almost a half century of coaching and teaching. 

He arrived at Edinboro in 1969 and in the 44 years of his tenure he produced a total of six national championships, including back-to-back-to-back NCAA Division II titles from 1986 through 1988 and back-to-back NAIA titles in 1975 and 1976. His teams can also boast six Division II runner-up trophies, plus finishes of third (twice), fourth (three times), fifth, sixth (twice), seventh (three times), eighth (three times) and ninth (twice).  In all, he has coached nine national champions in cross country and track & field.

Edinboro cross country long ago set the standard of excellence in the region under Watts.  His men’s teams have won 29 PSAC championships and 22 regional titles, with four cross country national champions.  On the women’s side, his teams have finished in the top five at Nationals on five occasions, including a second place showing in 2004, along with 15 PSAC crowns and 11 regional titles.

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Stacie Wentz, Assumption

Stacie WentzWentz is in her fourth season as the Assumption College cross country and track & field head coach.

Under her guidance, the women’s cross country team earned an all-time women’s program-best sixth-place finish in the 2015 NCAA Division II regionals. In the spring, her Hounds scored a program-best 77 points – more than Assumption had scored in the previous six league meets combined.

Her success at Assumption comes after a run as the assistant coach at Johns Hopkins from 2009 through 2013. During that time, she helped the Blue Jays to the 2013 NCAA Division III Cross Country national team title.

She ran cross country and track & field at Salisbury, where she still remains a member of the school-record 4×800 relay team.

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Jumps Symposiums

Brad Hackett, Muhlenberg

Brad HackettBrad Hackett was hired as Muhlenberg’s coordinator of cross country and track and field and head coach of track and field in September 1999 and has led the Mules to unprecedented heights in his first 17 seasons.
    
The Mules have broken or tied more than 80 school records and sent representatives to the NCAA Division III Championships 16 of the 17 years, with 14 earning All-America status. For the first time in 2013, Muhlenberg had three different athletes earn All-America honors in individual events, and the men’s and women’s teams both produced All-Americans in the same year for the first time.

From 1998 to 2005, Hackett served as chair of the Men’s Development Committee for USA Track and Field, the sport’s governing body in this country. He was responsible for all aspects of men’s development in all events, including talent identification and athlete tracking at the junior elite, emerging elite and elite levels.

Hackett, who also is Muhlenberg’s director of intramurals and recreation, served as head manager of the United States team for the 2002 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Cup, held in Madrid, Spain; assistant manager for the 2001 Outdoor World Championships in Edmonton; and head manager at the 2007 Junior Pan-Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Carl Lewis, Houston

Carl LewisLewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist and 10-time IAAF World Championships medalist, currently serves as an assistant coach in the jumps and sprints at his alma mater, Houston.

His achievements are unprecedented in track and field: He is one of two athletes to win nine Olympic gold medals. Similarly, he is one of two to win four golds in the same event. He also won 10 medals, including eight golds, at the World Outdoor Championships, the most by any athlete in the world.

In Los Angeles, he matched Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat with four gold medals in the same events — the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Lewis’ talent was matched by his longevity. At the 1988 Olympics, he won the 100 meters and long jump. In 1992, he again won the long jump as well as the 4x100m, anchoring the U.S. team to a world record of 37.40.

He jumped a career-best 29-1.25 at the 1991 World Championships, topped only by a world-record from Mike Powell. The loss snapped a streak of 65 consecutive long jump wins.

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Harry Marra

Harry MaraHarry Marra has nearly 50 years of experience in athletics, ranging from youth track & field on through working with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball.

He’s best known, however, as the coach of two of the best multi-event athletes in the world: Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton.

Under his watchful eye, Ashton Eaton has blossommed into the greatest combined event athlete in the history of the world. Eaton has twice won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon, twice broken the world record in the decathlon, twice won IAAF World Championships decathlon titles, three times won IAAF World Indoor Championships heptathlon titles, and three times broken the world record in the heptathlon.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton has won gold medals in the IAAF World Indoor Championships pentathlon and the Commonwealth Games heptathlon, a pair of silver medals in the IAAF World Championships heptathlon and another in the IAAF World Indoor pentathlon, and a heptathlon bronze in Rio this past summer.

Boo Schexnayder

Boo SchexnayderSchexnayder is currently the Director of the Track & Field Academy. In addition to that role, Schexnayder oversees all progression of course curriculum.

In an illustrious career that has spanned three decades, Schexnayder coached 19 NCAA champions in field events, was a part of 12 NCAA championship teams and saw athletes shattered long-standing records. Schexnayder also served as the jumps coach for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

He began his coaching career at St. James (La.) High School in 1984 and over the next 23 years saw success at Blinn (Texas) Junior College, Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU.

He was named the 2015 recipient of the USTFCCCA’s George Dales Award as a distinguished individual who, through their efforts, has enhanced the profession of coaching track and field and cross country.

Alecia Shields-Gadson, Coppin State

Alecia Shields-GadsonWearing multiple hats, Alecia Shields-Gadson is the Deputy Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator as she enters her 10th season as the women’s cross country and track and field coach at Coppin State. 
 
Shields-Gadson has enhanced her reputation as one of the nation’s top track and field coaches as evidenced by having student-athletes compete internationally at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and Pan-Am Games. She also coached Christina Epps to the 2015 USTFA national triple jump championship.
 
In addition, Coppin State has had student-athletes compete at the NCAA Championships in consecutive years under Shields-Gadson’s direction: Deandra Daniel (2015) and Christina Epps (2014). Both student-athletes earned All-America honors and are Coppin State indoor and outdoor record holders in their respective field events. Epps was named the MEAC Woman of the Year in 2014.
 
Under Shields-Gadson’s direction, the Eagles have become one of the best programs in the MEAC most notable in the field events.

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Sprints & Hurdles Symposiums

Desmond Dunham, Spingarn Senior HS

Desmond DunhamIn 2014 Desmond Dunham was presented with the Brooks Inspiring Coaches National Award for his impact on amateur athletes. 

Dunham’s initial coaching years were spent in the youth arena, as he developed a year-round running program, the DC Redwings Youth Program, Inc., that became a national powerhouse in youth cross-country and track & field, garnering over 50 Junior Olympic All-Americans and 5 cross-country national team championships from 1998-2005.  Dunham has coached five athletes that have competed at the Olympic Trials, one of which competed in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Coaching Maryland cross country & distance in 2008-12, he guided the first woman to claim All-ACC honors in 16 years, who also was the first to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Nationals in 26 years.  While at Maryland, Dunham also served as the NCAA Women’s Mid-Atlantic Cross-Country Regional Chair

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Carl Lewis, Houston

Carl LewisLewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist and 10-time IAAF World Championships medalist, currently serves as an assistant coach in the jumps and sprints at his alma mater, Houston.

His achievements are unprecedented in track and field: He is one of two athletes to win nine Olympic gold medals. Similarly, he is one of two to win four golds in the same event. He also won 10 medals, including eight golds, at the World Outdoor Championships, the most by any athlete in the world.

In Los Angeles, he matched Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat with four gold medals in the same events — the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Lewis’ talent was matched by his longevity. At the 1988 Olympics, he won the 100 meters and long jump. In 1992, he again won the long jump as well as the 4x100m, anchoring the U.S. team to a world record of 37.40.

He jumped a career-best 29-1.25 at the 1991 World Championships, topped only by a world-record from Mike Powell. The loss snapped a streak of 65 consecutive long jump wins.

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Loren Seagrave, IMG Academy

Loren SeagraveSeagrave is one of the most renowned speed coaches in the world. In 1998, he began working as a speed and conditioning coach with the Atlanta Falcons during the off-season training program, and helped propel them to the Super Bowl. Some of his NFL pupils include Eddie George, Mo Lewis, Dorsey Levens, Tyrone Poole, Marco Coleman, Willie Clay, Terrell Davis, Tony Romo, Roy Williams, Marc Columbo, and Hershel Walker.

Seagrave has also worked with numerous runners and tri-athletes on increasing running efficiency. Establishing a reputation in track and field as one of the best sprint and hurdle coaches in the world, Seagrave has worked with countless Olympic and World Champions. In 2000, Seagrave co-coached 6 Olympians from 5 different countries, including the Gold Medalist in the 200-meters, Pauline Davis. He also served as Head Olympic Coach for Liberia, recording two national records in the Men’s 4 X 100-meter Relay. In 1998, Seagrave was sought out to direct the training of 100-meter Olympic Champion and World Record Holder Donovan Bailey.

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Althea Thomas, Clemson

Althea ThomasThomas enters her fourth season as an assistant coach at Clemson for the sprints, hurdles and relays.

Thomas had a major impact across the board for Clemson’s improvement on the men’s and women’s side in 2014-15. She was a part of the staff that led the women to an ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships sweep, just one year after the program’s best finish was eighth.

She also coached Cordell Lamb to a USA Junior Championship over 400 meters.

Prior to Clemson, she coached at Purdue, Kentucky and UAB. SHe also served as the head coach of the Alabama Striders Track Club from 2005 through 2010. She was a member of two NCAA Championship teams at LSU during her collegiate career.

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Kebba Tolbert, Harvard

Kebba TolbertKebba Tolbert is in his sixth season as the women’s sprints/hurdles and horizontal jumps coach for Harvard in 2016-17 and fifth as associate head coach of the squad.

Tolbert’s team reached new heights in 2016, with three student-athletes earning both All-America nods and invitations to the USATF Olympic Trials. Gabby Thomas rewrote the sprinting record books, breaking the top marks in the indoor 60 meters and outdoor 100- and 200-meter runs, while Autumne Franklin established a firm grasp on the top 100- and 400-meter hurdle records.

The school and conference records in the sprint relays were also shattered in 2016. Tolbert was named the USATFCCCA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the outdoor campaign, his second in-a-row.

 

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Throws Symposiums

Steve Lemke, Florida

Steve LemkeFlorida associate head coach Steve Lemke, nearly a 30-year veteran of the collegiate and international coaching ranks, has taken the Gators’ throwing program into the upper echelon of NCAA Division I over the last decade.

Since his arrival in 2006, Florida’s women have won seven NCAA Championships in throwing events—the second-most by any Division I program during that span. Moreover, the Gators’ four NCAA Outdoor National Championships in the throws are tied for the second-most in Division I over the last 10 seasons. With his victory in the shot put at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, Stipe Zunic became the first male Gator to win a national title under Lemke.

Gators have earned a total of 45 USTFCCCA All-America honors in throwing events with Lemke’s tutelage. Florida’s decathlon, heptathlon and pentathlon competitors have benefitted as well, amassing 11 All-America laurels in his time with the program.

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Lynden Reder, Minnesota

Steve LemkeSince he joined the staff in 2008, Reder has established Minnesota as a premiere program at the Big Ten and NCAA level. One of the deepest and most accomplished throwing event groups in the county, Gopher throwers ranked first statistically in all NCAA throws programs in 2013.

In six seasons at Minnesota Reder has coached 15 NCAA All-Americans and 10 Big Ten Champions. Since joining the staff for the 2008-2009 season the Gophers have scored more Big Ten points than any other program in the throwing events.

A former All-American Golden Gopher track athlete himself, Reder walked on in 1999 and went on to become a team captain and a four year letter winner. In his senior season he earned All-American honors and provisionally qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials outdoors. His All-American finish at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships marked the first in Minnesota history in that event. He was a three-time NCAA championships qualifier and completed his Minnesota career as the school record holder in the weight throw (67-2 1/4, 20.48m) and the hammer throw (215-9, 65.76m).

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Mohamad Saatara, California

Mohamad SaataraSaatara is in his third season overseeing the throws and pole vault for California program.

Saatara has coached and consulted 7 Olympians during the 2008 and 2012 Olympiads. He has also coached national and international level athletes who have set national and international records. Athletes under his care have also competed in the Indoor and Outdoor World Championships, USATF National Championships and Olympic Trials, Asian Games and Championships, and CAC Games.

He was also retained as a consultant for several national track and field federations and world and Olympic medalists. One of his premier athletes is Golden Bear shot putter Amin Nikfar, whom he has coached since 2006.

At Michigan, his athletes set seven school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, hammer throw and the decathlon.

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Ty Sevin, Texas

Ty SevinOver the years, Ty Sevin has established himself as one of the elite field event coaches in the country with Texas and the U.S. National Team.

He recently guided Ryan Crouser to an Olympic gold medal and Olympic record in the shot put. Earlier in the year, Crouser threw for a share of the indoor collegiate record in the shot put as he won the national title to cap his college career in 2016.

In 2015 he served as a member of Team USA as the assistant coach for men’s throws at the IAAF World Championships. His athletes have won nine U.S. national championships and set a pair of American records as well as a Canadian record. Sixteen of them have qualified for the Olympics, IAAF World Championships and Pan American Games. Sevin also coaches javelin thrower Kara Patterson-Winger, who competed in the London Olympics on a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Sevin has 10 years of additional experience coaching in the college ranks from previous stints. As a competitor, Sevin was a four-time Trials qualifier. He competed in both track & field and football at LSU, and was a member of the 1990 NCAA Outdoor Championship team.

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Throws Symposiums

Nick Davis, MIT

Martha BrennanDavis is in his third year coaching the men’s and women’s jumps at MIT.

He has already twice been named the USTFCCCA New England Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year in his brief stint at MIT.

He has coached four All-Americans and 15 NCAA qualifiers. His athletes have set 16 school records, and won 6 NEWMAC conference titles and six New England DIII titles

Prior to his current tenure at MIT, he spent four years at Marquette, where he coached: 2010 NCAA Indoor National Championships Provisional Qualifier in the High Jump, five preliminary round qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, two U.S. Junior National Qualifiers in the Long and High Jump, 10 school records, three All-Big East performers, and 40 top-ten indoor and 34 top-ten outdoor performances on the Marquette University All-Time List.

As a collegian at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Davis was a 10-time Horizon League Champ in the high jump.

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Brad Hackett, Muhlenberg

Brad HackettBrad Hackett was hired as Muhlenberg’s coordinator of cross country and track and field and head coach of track and field in September 1999 and has led the Mules to unprecedented heights in his first 17 seasons.
    
The Mules have broken or tied more than 80 school records and sent representatives to the NCAA Division III Championships 16 of the 17 years, with 14 earning All-America status. For the first time in 2013, Muhlenberg had three different athletes earn All-America honors in individual events, and the men’s and women’s teams both produced All-Americans in the same year for the first time.

From 1998 to 2005, Hackett served as chair of the Men’s Development Committee for USA Track and Field, the sport’s governing body in this country. He was responsible for all aspects of men’s development in all events, including talent identification and athlete tracking at the junior elite, emerging elite and elite levels.

Hackett, who also is Muhlenberg’s director of intramurals and recreation, served as head manager of the United States team for the 2002 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Cup, held in Madrid, Spain; assistant manager for the 2001 Outdoor World Championships in Edmonton; and head manager at the 2007 Junior Pan-Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Paul Schmaedeke, Hamline

Paul SchmaedekeSchmaedeke enters his 31st year at Hamline, currently serving as the director of track & field for the Pipers. He is also the co-head coach for men’s and women’s cross country.

During that time, the 15-time MIAC Coach of the Year has coached 17 All-Americans.

In 2005, he led his men to their first MIAC Championship since 1977, and his Pipers went on to finish third in the Central Regional and seventh at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Schmaedeke is noted for his persistence, patience, and well organized training that prepares his athletes to be competitive and steadily progress to their potential over the course of four years. Schmaedeke also lectures on training theory as a faculty member of the USA Track and Field Level II Coaches Certification School. He has spoke numerous times at the Minnesota High School Coaches Clinic for track and field.

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Caryl Smith-Gilbert, Southern California

Doug WattsIn her first season at the helm of the Trojan program, she guided the men’s team to a fourth-place tie and the women’s team to a 16th-place tie at the NCAAs, the women’s team won the MPSF Indoor Championship and both men’s and women’s teams placed second at the Pac-12 Championships.

Also, USC garnered 28 first-team All-America honors, posted 22 all-time top 10 school marks and Aleec Harris set the school hurdles record.

It is no surprise then that she was named the NCAA West Region Women’s Head Coach of the Year (Indoor and Outdoor) and the MPSF (Indoor) Women’s Head Coach of the Year.

Smith Gilbert’s student-athletes also excelled in the classroom where they earned 13 Pac-12 All-Academic selections and Alexandra Collatz was honored as a third-team Academic All-American.

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Doug Watts, Edinboro (Retired)

Doug WattsDoug Watts built up a legendary list of accomplishments during almost a half century of coaching and teaching. 

He arrived at Edinboro in 1969 and in the 44 years of his tenure he produced a total of six national championships, including back-to-back-to-back NCAA Division II titles from 1986 through 1988 and back-to-back NAIA titles in 1975 and 1976. His teams can also boast six Division II runner-up trophies, plus finishes of third (twice), fourth (three times), fifth, sixth (twice), seventh (three times), eighth (three times) and ninth (twice).  In all, he has coached nine national champions in cross country and track & field.

Edinboro cross country long ago set the standard of excellence in the region under Watts.  His men’s teams have won 29 PSAC championships and 22 regional titles, with four cross country national champions.  On the women’s side, his teams have finished in the top five at Nationals on five occasions, including a second place showing in 2004, along with 15 PSAC crowns and 11 regional titles.

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