Throws Symposiums


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.

Symposium Disciplines

Endurance Jumps Sprints/Hurdles/Relays Throws

Endurance Symposiums

Bob Braman
Florida State

Bob BramanTOPIC: Planning the Distance Macrocycle

Since succeeding Hall of Famer Terry Long as Florida State’s head men’s and women’s track & field coach prior to the 2004 season, Bob Braman has seen the Seminoles ascend to a position of national prominence, highlighted by a pair of NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2006 and 2008.

Prior to his arrival in Tallahassee, Braman enjoyed 17 years of national success at the University of South Florida, where he began his coaching career as the men’s cross country assistant in 1983. He was promoted to head cross country coach in 1985 and launched the women’s program in 1986.


Nicole Farr

Nicole FarrTOPIC: Perspectives on Team Culture and Defining Success

Nicole Farr became the Head Coach of the Spartan Men’s and Women’s Cross Country program in the summer of 2016. In her first season, Farr led the Spartan men’s and women’s programs to Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championships, where she was named the NACC Coach of the Year for both the men and women. In her first season, Farr led the Spartan men’s and women’s programs to Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championships, where she was named the NACC Coach of the Year for both the men and women.

Farr came to AU from Olivet Nazarene University where she served as a distance coach, recruiting coordinator and home meet director.


Houston Franks
Mississippi State

Houston FranksTOPIC: Individualized Training for 1500 Meter Runners

Houston Franks returned to Mississippi State in 2004 as an assistant track and field coach. An accomplished distance runner for the Maroon and White from 1994-98, Franks coaches and develops men’s distance runners and served his first season as head cross country coach in 2009. Franks has been a fundamental part to the recent success of the MSU cross country and distance track and field programs.

Prior to returning to Starkville, Franks spent five years at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University). While at SMS, Franks served as head cross country coach for the Bears and won three Missouri Valley Conference women’s titles. His women’s teams finished in the top four at the NCAA Midwest Regional’s during his last three years and his men’s squads finished in the top half of the conference during all five seasons.


Sarah Hopkins

Sarah HopkinsTOPIC: Developing Walk-Ons

Sarah Hopkins serves as the head coach of the Gopher women’s cross country program and is an assistant coach for the women’s track & field team. The 2016 cross country season marked her fourth season as the women’s cross country head coach and 12th season with the program overall.

Most recently, Hopkins’ 2016 Gophers earned a fourth-place finish as hosts of the Big Ten Conference Championship, earning top-five team finishes in all four seasons with Hopkins at the helm of the program, and went on to a fourth-place showing at the Midwest Region. In 2015, Minnesota placed 18th in the program’s 11th-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, securing the team’s highest NCAA finish since 2009.

Hopkins owns a Level 1 Track & Field/Cross Country Coaching Certificate and is the 2012-2014 USTFCCCA Midwest Region Representative to the Executive Cross Country Committee.


Dennis Newell
University of Mary

Dennis NewellTOPIC: Low Mileage Training With Big Results

USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year recipient Dennis Newell enters his 12th season at the helm of the University of Mary men’s and women’s cross country programs, and recently has been named the Head Track & Field Coach.

Since joining the nationally-ranked Marauders to guide the U-Mary cross country, middle distance and distance athletes in 2006, Newell has helped lead the Marauders to 15 Northern Sun Conference Track & Field titles. Along the way, Newell has coached six NCAA National Champions, 200 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Conference honors, 58 NSIC champions, nine NSIC records, 84 NCAA individual Academic All-Americans, 30 NCAA team Academic All-Americans, six NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championship Qualifying Teams (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) and 37 NCAA All-Americans in cross country and track events, ranging from the 800 meters to 10,000 meters and cross country.


Louie Quintana
Oregon State

Louie QuintanaTOPIC: Effectively Meeting the Demands of a Distance Race

Louie Quintana was named the head track and field and cross country coach at Oregon State University in mid-July. Quintana arrives at OSU after a highly successful 16-year coaching tenure at Arizona State University, one of the most successful programs in the country. He has served as the Sun Devils’ head men’s and women’s cross country coach, and the program’s distance and middle distance coach since 2004.

Quintana arrived at ASU as a graduate assistant coach in 2001 before being elevated to assistant coach/recruiting coordinator in 2003.

He was a nine-time NCAA All-American as a student-athlete at Villanova University (1991-95). He was the 1993 Penn Relays MVP, qualified for the 1992 Olympic Trials in the 1500 meters and competed in Europe multiple times. Quintana was a two-time All-American distance runner at Arroyo Grande High School in California, capturing the 1990 state cross country title with what remains the fourth fastest time.


Mike Rohl
Mansfield University

Mike RohlTOPIC: Establishing Race Models and Race Selection Sequence

In his 14th year as the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and men’s track programs at Mansfield University, Mike Rohl has elevated the program from pretender to contender in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Upon assuming the post, he pushed to increase the squad size while working to improve individual and team performance. Those early building blocks have paid off handsomely for the Mountaineer program with record finishes at the PSAC and NCAA Championships.

Rohl is USATF Level II certified in jumps and throws and was named coach of the U.S. national team for the US-Canadian Dual Meet in 2005. He serves on the NCAA Coaches Awards Committee as well as being the chair for the US Racewalking National Championship Site Selection Committee.


Jason Vigilante

Jason VigilanteTOPIC: TBA

Jason Vigilante is in his fifth season as the head men’s cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Princeton. The Tigers finished fourth as they hosted the 2015 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. All five Princeton scorers placed in the top 25 to earn USTFCCCA All-Region honors.

Vigilante was the director of cross country and track & field for men and women at the University of Virginia from 2008-11. Prior to Virginia, Vigilante spent nine years at the University of Texas, where he was named USTFCCCA Assistant Coach of the Year and Regional Assistant Coach of the Year two times each.


Jumps Symposiums

Nate Davis

Nate DavisTOPIC: Developing Combined Event Athletes in the Collegiate System

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 from 2005 to 2007.


Quincy Howe

Quincy HoweTOPIC: 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

Iggy IgnaczakTOPIC: The Basics of Progressive High Jump Training

Arthur “Iggy” Ignaczak brings seven years of collegiate coaching experience, including stops at Central Arkansas and Saint Francis University. Ignaczak has been responsible for 29 school-record performances, as well as the university’s first-ever NCAA Division I national championships qualifier. Overall, Ignaczak has coached seven NCAA Divsion I preliminary qualifiers, one NCAA indoor and outdoor national qualifier, two NCAA Second Team All-Americans, and one United States Track and Field (USATF) national and junior national qualifier.

Prior to Central Arkansas, Ignaczak was a sprints, hurdles, and jumps coach for the Jersey Shore Elite Track Club.


Todd Lane

Todd LaneTOPIC: Final Step Mechanics in the Long Jump

Todd Lane is entering his 10th year as a member of LSU’s coaching staff.

The Tigers and Lady Tigers have flourished in nine seasons under Lane’s direction as he has coached 11 NCAA scorers to 35 scoring All-America honors in four different jumping events since joining the LSU coaching staff prior to the 2008 season. His student-athletes have also captured six SEC championships and 36 All-SEC honors over the last eight seasons.

Prior to joining LSU, Lane was the head track & field coach at Georgia Southern for five years.



Derek Miles
South Dakota

TOPIC: Concepts of Efficiency in the Pole Vault

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 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 D-II National Championships in the long jump, triple jump and decathlon during his collegiate career.


Dan Pfaff
World Athletics Center

Dan PfaffTOPIC: KPI Considerations and Utilization for Developing the Jumping Events

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+ 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.


Steve Rainbolt
Wichita State

Steve RainboltTOPIC: High Jump

Steve Rainbolt, Wichita State Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, is in his 18th season mentoring the programs for the Shockers.

Since Rainbolt’s arrival at Wichita State, he has been named the Missouri Valley Conference’s men’s and women’s Indoor and/or Outdoor Coach of the Year 30 times, and his teams have won 31 MVC Championships, most recently the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor titles in 2017. He has also earned nine USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year honors. In addition, he was the Head Coach of the 2014 USA Track & Field Pan American Decathlon Team, and the 2016 Thorpe Cup Head Men’s Coach and 2017 Thorpe Cup Assistant Men’s Coach.

Just this last year, his men’s and women’s teams captured the Indoor and Outdoor Missouri Valley Conference championships.


Danny Wilkerson
Bethel College

TOPIC: Benchmarking Matrix to Determine Height Potential in the Pole Vault

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.

Wilkerson also owns and operates a private athletic consulting company that works with the athletic development of high school, college, and professional athletes in a variety of sporting events.


Sprints & Hurdles Symposiums

Andrea Blackett
Azusa Pacific

Andrea BlackettTOPIC: Training for the Hurdle Events

Andrea Blackett was recently named as an assistant coach at Azusa Pacific after spending a season coaching  the women’s sprints, hurdles and relays at UCLA in 2017. Blackett joined the UCLA staff from her alma mater Rice, where she served as an assistant coach.

Blackett is considered one of the most successful women’s track athletes to compete for Rice. She was an assistant coach for the Owls for five seasons after serving as a volunteer assistant coach for five years.

A veteran international competitor, Blackett represented Barbados in six IAAF World Championships (1997-07). She qualified for the final four times, and in 1999 she placed fourth. She competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, qualifying for the semifinal of the 400m hurdles, and she competed in the 400m hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympics.


Davian Clarke

Davian ClarkeTOPIC: Coaching the 400 Sprints

Davian Clarke joined the UTEP track and field coaching staff on July 19, 2012. He has coached multiple athletes to Conference USA titles and has been a part of five C-USA team titles.

In 2016, Clarke mentored the women’s 4x400m relay team took gold at the C-USA Indoor Championships, which surged the women to earn their second consecutive C-USA Indoor title. Clarke directed junior Yanique Bennett in the 400m hurdles, as she placed second.

Clarke won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in the 4x400m relay. He represented Jamaica in the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000 and 2004. Clarke is a two-time World Champion in the 4x400m relay and a silver medalist in the 400m.



Landon Evans

Landon EvansTOPIC: Mitigating Hamstring Issues in the Sprints

Landon Evans joined the University of Iowa Athletics department in August 2012. His primary duties include directing the sports science department and strength &conditioning duties with the men’s and women’s sprints and jumps.

Prior to July 2016, he oversaw all strength & conditioning duties with track & field, and was the nutrition coordinator for Olympic sports.  Prior to joining the Iowa staff, Evans has been the Director of Sports Nutrition and Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Illinois State from 2010-2012.


Randy Gillon

Randy GillonTOPIC: Technical Considerations for the Women’s 100m Hurdles

Randy Gillon is entering his fifth season as associate head coach of the Illinois women’s track and field team. A former Illini hurdler, Gillon returned to Champaign after an eight-year stint as an assistant for Michigan State. He primarily worked with the Spartans’ sprinters and hurdlers, and assisted with the multi-events and middle-distance.

While at Michigan State, Gillon served as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s track & field teams. Prior to his time at Michigan State, Gillon served as an assistant coach at Illinois State for two years. His coaching resume also includes one year as a volunteer assistant with the Illini women’s track & field team.


Erik Jenkins
Western Kentucky

Erik JenkinsTOPIC: The Disciplined Development of Relays: 4 x 100

Erik Jenkins was named head coach of both the men’s and women’s track and field programs at WKU on January 1, 2008 after spending the previous eight years as an assistant on the Hill.

Jenkins has continued WKU’s storied track and field/cross country success, leading the programs to a combined 30 Championships in the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA since 2008. Jenkins and his staff have developed athletes to a combined 71 All-America selections. Seventeen of those All-American performances came in WKU’s historic 2014 outdoor season in which seven athletes combined for 10 First Team All-American performances.


Duane Ross
North Carolina A&T

Duane RossTOPIC: TBA

Duane Ross is the Director of Track & Field Programs at North Carolina A&T.

Under Ross, N.C. A&T men and women have won a combined 32 (indoor and outdoor) individual Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles and a combined seven relay titles. Twenty-five of those titles have come during the outdoor conference championships and 22 of those titles belong on the men’s side and 17 of them belong to women.

Ross came to N.C. A&T after a stint at Methodist University. He began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Clemson.


Joe Van Gilder
Southern Connecticut State

Joe Van GilderTOPIC: Short Sprints: Speed Development Through the Collegiate Year

Joe Van Gilder, the 2014, 2015 and 2016 USTFCCCA Regional Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year both indoors and outdoors, recently completed his fifth year as an assistant coach with both the Southern Connecticut State University men’s and women’s cross country/track and field programs.

Over the course of the past four years, Van Gilder has helped both programs achieve considerable success. The men’s program has claimed three New England Championships, along with four Northeast-10 Conference titles. The women’s program finished as the 2015 New England and Northeast-10 Conference Outdoor Champions, as well as the runner-up at five Northeast-10 Championships, and also placed as the runner-up at the 2014 New England Outdoor Championships.

Van Gilder has also coached at Hartford, the University of Massachusetts and Valdosta State University at the collegiate level.


Throws Symposiums

Brian Bedard
Colorado State

Brian BedardTOPIC: Discus: Separation For Success

Coach 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

Jerry ClaytonTOPIC: The Throws: An Open Discussion

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 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

TJ CraterTOPIC: 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.


David Dumble
Oregon State

David DumbleTOPIC: The Importance of the Block in Javelin, Discus and Shot

Nationally-acclaimed throwing coach David Dumble joined the Oregon State track & field program on Sept. 9.

Dumble came to OSU from Arizona State, where he compiled an outstanding resume coaching the ASU male and female throwers over the past 16 seasons. He coached his charges to two world championships, 24 NCAA titles, 28 Pacific-10/12 Conference championships and 81 All-American accolades.

Dumble has also coached at Virginia Tech.


Peter Miller

Peter MillerTOPIC: 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.

Miller has gained multiple coaching certifications through USA Track & Field, the USTFCCCA and the IAAF.


Amin Nikfar
Southeastern Louisiana

Amin NikfarTOPIC: Technical Adjustments in the Hammer Using Varied Weighted Implements

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.

Nikfar is 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

Dan PfaffTOPIC: KPI Considerations and Utilization for Developing the Throwing Events

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+ 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

Mike SergentTOPIC: Effects of Over Rotation in Rotational Shot Putting

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 Carolina, Sergent was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, for five years. At 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


Find materials from the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 symposiums HERE.