PROVO -- USA Track & Field has announced the coaching staff for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. BYU head women's track & field coach, Dr. Craig Poole, has been selected as one of five assistant coaches who will guide the United State's women's track & field team during the Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
"It was a surprise to say the least," Poole said. "This is by far, the highest honor I have received throughout my career. This is something every track & field coach hopes to have the opportunity to do, but I never expected I would ever have the opportunity. It is truly a great honor, not only for me, but for the University as well."
Poole was selected by the 16-member USA Track & Field International Staff Selection Committee. He will work under the direction of Sue Humphrey, who was appointed by the committee to serve as head coach for the women's 2004 Olympic track & field team.
As an assistant coach, Poole will oversee the jumping and multi events for Team USA, including the long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vaulters and heptathlon.
For the past six years, Poole has served as the national development coordinator for combined events, assisting U.S.A. Track & Field with helping to identify future multi-event competitors, as well as running elite programs for development. He has also served as the national chairperson for the U.S. Heptathlon Development Committee.
At the international level, Poole has served as the head women's coach for the United States at the World University Games in Beijing, China, as well as the head coach during the 1993 IAAF World Indoor Championships. In 1987, Poole was appointed head coach and advisor for the Taiwan National team at the Asian and World Championships. He also served on the coaching staff for the West Team at the 1989 Olympic Festival and head coach for the U.S. National Team vs. Great Britain in 1990.
Poole is currently a member of the USATF Coaching Education Committee and former director of the National Level II Coaching College.
In his 23 seasons at BYU, Poole has built a program that is consistently ranked among the best programs in the nation. Most recently, Poole guided the Cougars to a 10th-place team finish at the 2002 NCAA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Under his direction, the Cougars have logged an almost perfect record on both the conference and regional levels. Since 1983, his teams have won all eight HCAC crowns, eight of nine WAC indoor and all nine WAC outdoor titles, as well as three straight MWC indoor and outdoor league titles.
Poole's teams have earned 10 top-10 finishes at the national championships, including a third-place finish at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Poole has been named the league coach of the year 15 times during his tenure at BYU. The Cougars have produced over 45 All-Americans since Poole took over as head coach at BYU.
Poole received an Ed.D. in physical education and educational administration from the University of Utah in 1970. He is a full-time professor at BYU in sports psychology. he is married to Sharon Woodland. They have four children.