By: Jason Dormeyer, Concordia (Ore.) Sports Information Director
PORTLAND, Ore.—The USATF announced today that Olympic champion Mac Wilkins has agreed to become the throws coach at the USA Track & Field High Performance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Wilkins has spent the last eight years as an assistant coach at Concordia University while also serving as the director of the Concordia University Throw Center, a dedicated practice and training facility for the various disciplines in the throwing events.
Since Wilkins' arrival in the inaugural season of varsity track & field in 2004, Concordia has claimed 24 NAIA individual national championships, including six of the last seven in the women's discus throw.
Over that time, Concordia track teams have captured 13 Cascade Collegiate Conference championships (7 men, 6 women) and have placed inside the top 10 at the NAIA Outdoor or Indoor National Championships on 16 occasions.
Overall with Wilkins 87 student-athletes earned NAIA All-American accolades while a pair of discus throwers, Annie Hess in 2008 and Nate Moses (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) in 2012, went on to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Wilkins, a University of Oregon graduate, won the gold medal in the discus at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and came back to garner a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He set the world record in the discus in 1976 and held the record until 1978.
|Men's NAIA National Champions (11)|
|Shot Put||2013, 2012|
|Discus||2013, 2012, 2009, 2008|
|Shot Put (Indoor)||2013|
|Weight Throw (Indoor)|
|Women's NAIA National Champions (13)|
|Shot||2013, 2012, 2011|
|Discus||2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007|
|Shot Put (Indoor)||2011|
|Weight Throw (Indoor)||2013|
On leaving Concordia…
"Although my time at Concordia is over, I am very excited that Concordia is stepping up, talking with and getting strong interest from some of the top collegiate throws coaches in the country. The 2014 CU throwers could likely be the strongest group yet."
On moving to a USATF Training Center…
"Specifically, I look forward to helping the throwers take the next step in their development. It seems so often coming up short for U.S. throwers is not a matter of physical limitation or lack of effort, but knowing exactly what is required."
Isaac Frederick, Head Track & Field Coach
On the history of the throws program at Concordia…
"The throws program has been a key to the success of Concordia track and field. We have had an unparalleled number of All-Americans and national champions in the NAIA, or even the NCAA, in such a short period of time. I fully intend to keep the momentum going in that event group."
On the Concordia University Throw Center…
"The Throw Center is a one of a kind facility and we're very fortunate to have it. I envision our new Director of the Throw Center will be someone who is enthusiastic, eager to recruit and continue the legacy that Mac has created with that event group. We're also looking for someone who has developed a high-quality group of throwers that will compete well at the national level."
Matt English, Athletic Director
On Mac's contributions to Concordia…
"Mac has helped build Concordia track & field into one of the nation's highest caliber programs at any level. His vision for the Throw Center laid the foundation to build a unique facility that is one of, if not the finest in the country. Additionally, his work with throwers from youth levels all the way up through the masters level, has had a positive impact on the surrounding community. He has helped shine the spotlight on Concordia University in a unique way."
On how Concordia will plan to refill the position…
"Mac has built an incredible legacy with the throws program. Combined with a first-class facility, we fully intend to continue the positive momentum. We will look to identify someone who will continue the tradition of excellence, give back to the community and be a good fit for Concordia University."