June 26, 2002
Indianapolis, Ind. - Stanford Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Vin Lananna has been nominated by USA Track to serve as the men's middle distance coach for the USA's 2004 Olympic Team. Lananna has coached Stanford to a total four national team titles during his 10 years at Stanford, winning a pair of men's cross country NCAA championships, as well as one women's cross country national title and one men's track and field NCAA title. Lananna is also a two-time NCAA Cross Country Coach of the Year.
On the international scene, his experience is highlighted by a role of an assistant coach for the 1999 World Championships staff, as well as head coaching positions for both the 1990 and 1996 World Cross Country Championships.
USA Track & Field also announced other nominations for the coaching staff for the 2004 Olympic Teams, highlighted by the nominations of George Williams and Sue Humphrey to serve as track & field head coaches for the men's and women's 2004 Olympic Teams, respectively.
The nominations for the Olympic staff are being submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Once approved by the USOC, Williams, Humphrey and the Team USA staff will guide the World's No. 1 Track & Field Team at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In Olympic competition, Team USA has won 297 gold medals and 688 medals overall.
"The talent and experience that George, Sue and the entire staff bring to the Olympic stage will be a huge advantage for our athletes," said Craig Masback, USATF CEO. "We are pleased to have such an outstanding group of coaches and managers for the 2004 Olympic Team."
Since becoming head track and field coach at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C., in 1976, the 59-year-old Williams has built a dynasty.
He has won 24 NCAA Division II titles during his tenure and has received 90 Coach of the Year honors. His scholarship athletes at St. Augustine's have achieved a 95 percent graduation rate.
Williams was men's head coach at the 1999 World Outdoor Championships in Seville, the 1993 World Indoor Championships and the 1992 IAAF World Cup. He was an assistant coach for the 1996 Olympic Games, where U.S. athletes won gold medals in all the event groups he was responsible for - 400 meters, hurdles, long jump and the 4x400m relay. World-class athletes currently being trained by Williams include 2002 U.S. women's 400m runner-up Michelle Collins, 2000 and 2001 U.S. women's 400m champion and Olympic 4x400m gold medalist LaTasha Colander-Richardson, and men's 4x400m relay world record holder and relay gold medalist Jerome Young.
"I'm still dizzy," said Williams, a 1965 St. Augustine's graduate and the school's athletic director since 1996. "I think this one of the greatest things that can happen to anyone in this business. I'm so grateful to the athletes and the people who helped nominate me. I'm going to be sure to make sure I'm the coach they know I am and to make sure they get what they have been training for, an Olympic medal."
Humphrey, 51, has achieved international success as a high jump coach as a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic staffs. She headed up Team USA's delegation at the 1985 IAAF World Cup and the 1987 Pan American Games.
An accomplished author of coaching manuals and videos, Humphrey coached 1996 Olympic high jump gold medalist Charles Austin, and she has coached three of the seven American women to have cleared 6 feet, 6 inches or higher in the high jump -- Coleen Sommer, Yolanda Henry and Angie Bradburn.
Humphrey was a women's assistant coach at the University of Texas from 1984-89, during which time she coached NCAA champions in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. She has worked as an assistant at Arizona State and as a volunteer at Cal State-Long Beach and with the University of Texas men's team. Currently she consults with post-collegiate jumpers and is assistant principal at Pearce Middle School in Austin, Texas.
"Obviously, this is a very big honor," Humphrey said of her nomination. "I've been blessed over the years to work with some fantastic athletes. I just want to carry on the tradition of the U.S. at the Olympic Games."
Williams and Humphrey lead an impressive list of nominees for the 2004 staff. They include the following assistant coaches and managers:
Sprints/hurdles: 2001 Team USA World Championships head coach, 1997 World Indoor head coach and former longtime University of Washington head coach Orin Richburg
Jumps/multis: U.S. Air Force Academy head coach, 1999 Pan Am and 2001 World University Games head coach Ralph Lindeman
Throws: Former longtime head coach at Centerville (Ohio) High School and USATF Junior Commission administrator Criss Somerlot
Middle distance: 1999 World Championships staff member, 1990 and 1996 World Cross Country Championships head coach and two-time NCAA Cross Country Coach of the Year as Director of Track/Cross Country at Stanford University, Vin Lananna
Distance: Legendary UCLA coach, four-time NCAA Coach of the Year and Team USA California coach Bob Larsen
Head Manager: California-Bakersfield head coach for 31 years, 2002 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year and 1992 and 1996 Olympic Team staff member Charlie Craig.
Sprints/Hurdles: 2002 NCAA championship-winning University of South Carolina head coach, 2001 USATF Nike Coach of the Year and 2001 Goodwill Games head coach Curtis Frye
Jumps/Multis: BYU women's head coach, 1993 World Indoor Championships head coach, and 2001 World University Games head coach Craig Poole
Throws: 1999 World Championships staff member, 1996 World Junior head coach, former Penn State assistant and USATF women's hammer throw development chair Jeri Daniels-Elder
Middle distance: Penn State women's head coach, 1997 World Junior Cross Country Championships coach and member of the 2001 World Championships staff Beth Alford-Sullivan
Distance: 1996 Olympic men's and women's marathon director, Peachtree Road Race director and 1999 World Championships staff member Julia Emmons
Manager: Four-time U.S. 100m hurdles champion, 1980 Olympic Team member, 1999 World Championships team manager and USATF women's track and field