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
|Assistant Coach Seminars||Assistant Coach Roundtables||High School||Directors of Ops|
Stacie Wentz, Assumption
Wentz 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.
Houston Franks, Mississippi State
Franks, 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.
Claire Hewitt, Earlham
Hewitt 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.
Paul Schmaedeke, Hamline
Schmaedeke 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.
Sean Graham, Kentucky
Sean 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.
Nick Davis, MIT
Davis 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.
Schexnayder 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.
Carl Lewis, Houston
Lewis, 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.
Martin most recently served as the James P. Tuppeny Head Coach of Men’s Track & Field at Penn.
He held that role from 2012 through 2016, after serving as an assistant coach for the prior four years.
Martin was a four-year member of Penn’s program from 1996 through 2000. He was an 11-time Ivy League champion and a two-time All-American, including a third-place finish over 800 meters. He also ran a leg of a world junior champion 4×400 relay team.
Althea Thomas, Clemson
Thomas 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.
Steve Lemke, Florida
Florida 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.
Mohamad Saatara, California
Saatara 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.
Ty Sevin, Texas
Over 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 a share of the indoor collegiate record in the shot put as he won the national title to cap his college career in 2016. He would go on to win the Olympic Trials this past July.
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.