Nov. 1, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford's Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field Chris Miltenberg has announced the hiring of assistant coaches Mary Jo Pruitt and Michael Eskind on Thursday, completing his coaching staff.
Pruitt, an assistant cross country and track and field coach, will be working with the Cardinal women distance and middle-distance runners and will have a special emphasis in recruiting.
Eskind will coach the jumps, pole vault, and multi-events. He replaces Toby Stevenson, who is moving to Sweden after his wife accepted a job opportunity there.
Miltenberg was hired on August 27, and since then has been working toward building a staff while also coaching the men's and women's cross-country teams, which are ranked No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, going into the NCAA regionals Nov. 10.
The coaching staff is now comprised of Miltenberg, associate head coach and throws coach Michelle Eisenreich, assistant distance coach Garrett Heath, sprints/hurdles coach Jody Stewart, and Pruitt and Eskind. Joseph Wagstaffe is the director of operations.
"We've really made sure we took the time to get the right people in the right positions," Miltenberg said. "We're extremely fired up to have everybody in place now and now we're ready to keep moving forward.
"I believe we have the best coaching staff in the country across all the event areas."
Pruitt, an All-American at UC Davis, joined the Stanford cross country/track and field programs in 2006 as the director of operations. In that role she organized the Stanford Invitational cross country and track meets, as well as the Payton Jordan Invitational and any postseason meets Stanford hosted.
Over the past year, she worked in the compliance office with an emphasis on recruiting, while also working with the Stanford cross country and track and field camps.
Pruitt, formerly Mary Jo Alexander, was an All-American in the 4x100 meter relay and an NCAA qualifier in the 400 hurdles, and was part of the Aggies' 4x400 team. Pruitt graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with bachelor's degrees in exercise science and psychology, and earned her master's in sport management at the University of San Francisco.
"She has a great knowledge of Stanford and our program," Miltenberg said. "But she also brings the excitement, energy and enthusiasm that is going to define our women's distance program going forward. She'll be a huge asset to me both in recruiting and developing our student-athletes."
Eskind comes to Stanford from University of Virginia, where he served in the same role for four seasons. He coached Cavaliers to four Atlantic Coast Conference individual championships, four school records, and five NCAA meet appearances. Among them was Marcus Robinson, who set an ACC indoor triple jump record and became Virginia's first All-American in the men's jumps in 35 years.
Eskind also has worked with two of the top female triple jumpers in the country for the past six years, each winning U.S. Olympic Trials championships: Shani Marks in 2008 and Amanda Smock in 2012.
"I'm extremely excited to bring Michael Eskind on board," Miltenberg said. "Nobody has come more highly recommended from some of the most respected people in our business or in the field. Mike brings incredible energy and excitement and intensity to our school, which I know will bring our jumps and multis to a whole new level."
Eskind was a decathlete at Wake Forest, where he graduated in 2003 with degrees in political science and education. He earned his master's in exercise and sport sciences with a focus in athletic administration in 2005 from University of Florida, where he began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant.
Eskind was an assistant at Boston University for two seasons, designing training plans for athletes in the sprints, vertical jumps, throws, and multi-events.
"I'm incredibly excited to be working at Stanford," Eskind said. "With its tradition of excellence in academics and athletics, it is the ideal location for student-athletes who want to excel in both endeavors.
"I'm also really looking forward to working with Coach Miltenberg and the rest of the amazing staff that he has assembled. Everyone has been really welcoming and helpful during the transition and I can't wait to get things going."
Stanford's first meet of the indoor season is Dec. 1 with the Jackson Open in Boise, Idaho, while the outdoor season begins in earnest on March 29-30 with the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field.