The Arizona State University track and field team has established itself as one of the elite track and field programs in the nation under the guidance of head coach Greg Kraft and his exceptional supporting cast of assistant coaches. With five NCAA Team Championships to the team’s credit (four of those within the past decade), 64 NCAA Individual Championships, five relay championships and over 500 career All-America honors earned, there are few program in the nation that have rivaled Arizona State’s success on the track. The Sun Devils have produced 16 Olympic medalists – 10 of them gold – and 57 individual appearances at the Olympic Games as well as 11 medalists at World Championships events and 64 such individual appearances in those events. As if that weren’t enough, the Sun Devil track and field team is also one of the most academically sound programs in the nation combing for over 700 academic honors throughout its history. No matter how you spin it, Sun Devil Track and Field is synonymous with success and the program has no signs of slowing down in the future.
The ASU track and field program in general has produced several notable post-graduate professionals including Dwight Phillips (Nike), Trevell Quinley (adidas), Ryan Whiting (Nike), Sarah Stevens-Walker (Shore AC), Charonda Williams (adidas), Jasmine Chaney (Nike) and Latosha Wallace (Asics).
The Sun Devil distance program has had a lot of success post-collegiately through the years. Over the years, 13 student-athletes have gone on to professional careers at numerous running outfits. Six Sun Devils have signed contracts with Nike following their collegiate careers in Victoria Jackson, Kyle Alcorn, Aaron Aguayo, Lisa Aguilera, Alvina Begay, and Shelby Houlihan. Other notable companies that have signed Sun Devils include Brooks (Desiree Davila and Amy Hastings), Asics (Kelly McDonald and Brandon Strong) and New Balance (Fasil Bizuneh). Some of the independent runners include Brandon Bethke (Quicksilver), Allie Kieffer (Empire Athletics) and Ryan Warrenburg (Zap Fitness).
Desiree Davila went on to earn a contract at Brooks following her time at Arizona State and has since become one of the elite U.S. marathoners in American history. In 2015 she was the top American finisher at the 2015 Boston Marathon, finishing fourth.
There has been no shortage of Sun Devils track and field alumni that have gone on to compete for Nike, seven having done so in the past 10 years, including standout sprinter Jasmine Chaney.
Nike isn’t the only big time brand to be presented on the chest of an ASU alumnus, as adidas has placed their stamp on several Sun Devils such as long jumper Trevell Quinley.
Amy Hastings became the first Sun Devil to win the American Championship at 10,000-meters doing so at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials on her way to an 11th-place performance at the 2012 Olympics in London. Additionally, Hastings competes professionally for Brooks when she doesn’t have the Red, White and Blue on her uniform.
In addition to professional success, the Sun Devils have made their mark at the Olympic games with 10 gold medals that date back to the 1952 Games and has featured a Sun Devil track and field athlete in every Olympiad since.
The Sun Devils have seen alumni go on to make 57 appearances at the Olympics games, five of those coming at the most recent 2012 London Games. In total, the team has produced 16 Olympic medalists.
The Sun Devils have also seen plenty of athletes succeed at the World Championships level, with 64 individual appearances in all and 11 medals earned. Most recently, Ryan Whiting became the first Sun Devil world champion in a throwing event, winning the shot put title at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
One of the most decorated Americans in history, Dwight Phillips. The Long jumper has six international titles to his name, winning four outdoor World Championships, one indoor world title and one Olympic Gold medal throughout his illustrious career. Phillips trained with Greg Kraft during his time at Arizona State, where he earned several All-America honors.
Nick Hysong became the first Sun Devil to win an Olympic medal in the pole vault, taking gold at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Maicel Malone started a streak of three straight Olympiads with a Sun Devil track and field gold medalist, helping the U.S. to gold in the 4x400-meter relay at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Ria Stalman won a gold medal in discus at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Herman Frazier won a gold medal as part of the U.S. 4x400-meter relay in 1976.
Ron Freeman won a gold medal as part of the U.S. 4x400 meter relay in 1968.
Henry Carr captured Olympic gold in 1964 in the 200m dash and 4x400m relay.
Ulis Williams won a gold medal as part of the U.S. 4x400 meter relay in 1964.
The Arizona State track and field program sets a yearly goal for itself of being a top-three contender at the Pac-12 Conference level and a top-10 performer at the NCAA Championship level. In the past decade, the Sun Devils have met and exceeded those goals on numerous occasions. The Sun Devil women have finished in the top three at the Pac-12 Championships in eight of the last 10 years. They also won three conference championships in three straight years from 2006 to 2008. In the same span, the squad has posted 10 top-10 finishes between the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships along with three National Championships. Of the 20 NCAA Championships (indoors and outdoors) decided in the last decade, only nine teams have reached the top with ASU having done so multiple times, becoming the only program outside Oregon and Texas A&M to win three or more NCAA Championships during that span.
The Sun Devil men have posted four top-three finishes at the conference level in the last decade while posting seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. The Sun Devil men won the NCAA Indoor title in 2008, making it a sweep of the indoor awards alongside the women’s team. ASU became the only program in NCAA history outside of LSU to accomplish the sweep indoors. The men’s throws have seen an absolutely dominating effort in recent years, with Ryan Whiting and Jordan Clarke combing to win nine of 11 NCAA shot put titles contended over the course of seven seasons.
12-time All-American Shelby Houlihan finished her Sun Devil career as one of the most accomplished female athletes in Sun Devil track history. The 2014 NCAA Outdoor 1500m Champion, Pac-12 Cross Country and NCAA West Regional Champion, Houlihan earned the Pac-12’s Tom Hansen Medal to wrap her career.
A three-time Pac-12 Champion in the 1500m, and two-time conference champion in the 5000m, Houlihan set the school record in the outdoor 800m (2:01.12; 2014), the outdoor 1500m (4:09.67; 2015), the indoor 800m (2:04.94; 2013), the indoor mile (2:28.71; 2015), and the indoor 3000m (9:03.71; 2015). She also holds the No. 5 time in the outdoor 3000m (9:28.94; 2015) and the No. 2 time in the 5000m (15:49.72; 2015). In 2015, Houlihan ran the Pac-12 Championships meet record for the 1500m with her finish at 4:11.06.
Eight-time All-American and 2014 high jump NCAA Champion Bryan McBride made his mark in Sun Devil lore in his final two years in the program. Highlighting the 2015 outdoor campaign, McBride broke the 38-year-old school record in the high jump in the final home meet of his career, clearing 2.30m (7-6.50) in front of his teammates and the Pac-12 Networks. Kyle Arney set the original record in 1977 at 2.29m (7-6.00), which McBride matched at the previous meet, the Drake Relays. In 2015, McBride earned first-team All-America recognition in the outdoor high jump and second-team accolades in the long jump. His best in the long jump, 7.80m (25-7.25), was the first entry into the ASU outdoor top-10 in the event since 2008.
The Sun Devil track and field programs have combined to post finish in the top-half of the conference standings in 24 of the last 26 (13 men’s, 13 women’s) Pac-10/12 Championships contested since 2000. That includes three Pac-12 Championships for the women and 15 top-three finishes between the men and women.
Jordan Clarke has won four NCAA titles in the shot put, the second-most individual titles for a Sun Devil male athlete in school history. His four times came consecutively as he helped the men’s throwing program win nine NCAA shot put titles over the course of 11 Championship events.
Ryan Whiting is the most decorated male track and field athlete in school history, having won six NCAA Championships (five shot put and one discus) and 10 All-America honors. Whiting holds the NCAA record in the indoor shot put and is second all-time in the outdoor shot put and went on to compete at the 2012 London Olympics while becoming the 2012 World Indoor Champion in the shot put.
The Sun Devil men’s and women’s track and field teams became just the second group in NCAA history to sweep the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2008
The Sun Devil women’s program has won three NCAA team titles in the past decade, sweeping the 2007 indoor and outdoor titles while also repeating indoors in 2008.
No student-athlete in ASU track and field history is as decorated as Sarah Stevens, who earned 15 All-American honors during her career as part of ASU’s three NCAA Championship winning teams.
Lynda Tolbert became the first Sun Devil in school history to win four NCAA Championships, winning the 100-meter dash in 1988 and 1990 while being a part of the winning 4x100-meter relay team outdoors while also winning the indoor 55-meter hurdle championship in 1990.
ASU’s success on the track extends far beyond the last decade. Henry Carr was one of the pioneers of the program, winning the 1963 National Championship in the 220-yard dash before going on to become ASU’s first-ever track and field gold medalist at the Olympics.
While being one of the elite athletic programs nationally, the Sun Devil track and field program has also established itself as one of the top programs in the country in academics as well. Over the years, the Sun Devils have compiled over 500 Pac-12 All-Academic selections between track and field and cross country, 22 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, 43 CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honors, seven USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes of the Year, four USTCCCA National Academic Team of the Year Awards, 14 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Awards and over 100 USTFCCCA Individual All-Academic selections.
All-American Nick Happe was named the Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2012
On top of being the most decorated individual in ASU history with 15 All-America awards, Sarah Stevens was also named the USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
Perhaps the most dominant thrower of the past decade, Ryan Whiting was a three time USTFCCCA honoree as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
An NCAA national pole vault champion, April Kubishta was named the CoSIDA All-American of the Year for women’s cross country in 2008.
An eight-time All-American, Lisa Aguilera was named a CoSIDA All-American four times, more than any other Sun Devil.
There are few coaching staffs in the nation as decorated as the one you will find at Arizona State University. At the helm is Greg Kraft, who has been the man behind the program that has seen the program earn four team championships, more than 30 NCAA Individual NCAA Champions and over 200 All-America honors since taking over in 1996. ASU’s assistant coaches have combined to produce more than 25 NCAA Individual Champions while sending numerous student-athletes on to successful post-graduate careers on the international level.
Greg Kraft – Director of Track and Field
Greg Kraft is now in his 20th year at the helm of the Sun Devil program. During his tenure, ASU had placed in the top four at the NCAA Championships a total of 12 times since 2005 – earning four NCAA Titles in the process. The men and women have finished in the top 10 at NCAA meets 21 times since his arrival (compared to just 14 total in the program’s history dating back to 1962). He has been selected the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year four times, the West Region Coach of the Year nine times, the Pac-12 Coach of the Year three times and the MPSF Coach of the Year four times. Sixteen of his athletes have competed in various IAAF World Championship events, including 13 that have represented their country in the Olympic Games.
David Dumble - Throws Coach
David Dumble has established himself as the most successful throwing coach of his generation. Now in his 15th year with the program, Dumble has taken his athletes to an astounding 60-plus All-America honors and 17 NCAA Championships. His throws program has produced the likes of Ryan Whiting and Jordan Clarke, who have combined to win nine of the last 11 NCAA shot put championships contested. Dumble Has been named the USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year five (5) times and the USTFCCCA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year seven (7) times, including twice in each category during the 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons.
Louie Quintana – Head Cross Country Coach/Distance Coach
Louie Quintana (right) has coached four individuals to five NCAA titles on the track, including Kyle Alcorn, who won the indoor 3,000m run and outdoor 3,000m steeplechase in 2008. Quintana worked with Aaron Aguayo, the only four-time Pac-10 Champion in the men’s steeplechase while he also coached Amy Hastings to the 2004 Pac-10 Cross Country title, the only cross country win (individual and team) in ASU history (men and women combined). Quintana has worked with 16 different athletes that have collected 38 All-America honors. He was named the 2006 USTFCCCA Women’s Distance National Assistant Coach of the Year and has coached an NCAA champion in five different distance events.
Ronnie Williams – Sprints/Hurdles/Relays Coach
Ronnie Williams helped Donald Sanford to national runner-up honors in the outdoor 400m dash in 2010 before Sanford signed a professional contract and went on to compete at the 2012 Olympics in London. His 4x400m relays earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Championship meets (eighth place in both races) during the 2010 season and he has worked with seven individuals that have won five MPSF Indoor Championships, including the 4x400m relay, Donald Sanford in the 400m dash and Ryan Milus in the 60m dash. Williams guided the ASU men to an incredible 1-2-3-4 sweep at 200 meters at the MPSF Championships in 2012 while also going 1-2 in the 60-meter dash at the event. He coached the ASU men’s outdoor relays to a sweep of the Pac-12 Championship 4x1 and 4x4 relays in 2012, as well.
Jeremy Rasmussen – Assistant Cross Country Coach/Assistant Distance Coach
In his second year of his second coaching stint at his alma mater, Jeremy Rasmussen (left) has transitioned to the role of assistant coach of the distance program at Arizona State University for the 2014-15 season. Rasumssen will still oversee many of the administrative and day-to-day operational responsibilities within the track and field program.
Prior to returning to ASU, Rasmussen spent six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois.
Rasmussen continues to hold his role of home meet director, leading Arizona State as it continues to host the Sun Angel Track Classic into the end of its third decade.
On Oct. 10, 2014, Director of Arizona State Track and Field Greg Kraft announced the hiring of Otis McDaniel as an assistant sprints coach. McDaniel, a dual-sport student-athlete at TCU in football and track, will help assistant coach Ronnie Williams with the sprinters. The San Antonio, Texas native spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant at the University of Alabama. A four-time All-American on the track at TCU from 2006-09, McDaniel is a former PanAm Junior champion in the 200m, was the 2008 Mountain West Conference champion in the 200, and was a contributor on TCU's 4x100-meter relay unit that was regularly ranked among the world's fastest quartets.
Ron Barela – Volunteer Assistant Coach For Pole Vaulting
Rob Barela coached April Kubishta to the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the pole vault, which helped Arizona State to its first women’s outdoor national title. His women have rewritten the record books with all 20 top-10 marks on the lists (indoor and outdoor combined) belonging to his athletes (all since the 2004 seasons). He has worked with six women that have cleared four meters in competition, including student-athlete Shaylah Simpson and Heather Arseneau. Barela helped three men clear 17-feet in their careers, including NCAA indoor and outdoor All-American Derick Hinch, who had cleared 5.50m (18-00.50) indoors and outdoors in his career.