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Vanitta Kinard
Vanitta  Kinard

Assistant Coach - Sprints/Jumps



MSU Track & Field Wins 10 Medals at the Big Ten Championships

Spartans add six medals to close out the final day of competition at the conference meet.


Franklin Earns Fourth-Place Honors At NCAA Championships

James finishes career-high 10th, Pugh places 17th in the discus.


Spartans Advance 12 To NCAA Track & Field Champs

Franklin, Rhynard and women's 4x400 qualify for nationals on final day.


Women Finish Fifth, Men 10th at Big Ten Championships

O'Connor and Rohl win gold on final day of competition.


Franklin Breaks MSU Triple Jump Record At Drake Relays

Spartans earn six wins and 14 personal records on Saturday.

Vanitta Kinard enters her fourth season at Michigan State, working with the sprinters and horizontal jumpers. Kinard joins the Spartan track and field program after four seasons coaching at the University of Mississippi.
In her third season in East Lansing, Kinard has already made an impact by guiding nine Michigan State entries, six women and three men, to the NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Florida. Twenty-nine of the Spartans’ points came from Kinard’s athletes, leading to the women’s program to its first Big Ten Championship since 1982.
Tori Franklin had a stellar NCAA Outdoor Championship under Kinard’s teaching, finishing fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 13.38m. Franklin repeated as the Big Ten Indoor Champion in 2015 with a leap of 13.31m. Jelisa Westney, who finished second at the Big Ten Championships in the 100-meter dash, represented Canada in the Pan-Am Games, taking bronze in the 4x100-meter relay. Westney was a two-time All-American, including earning second-team honors as part of the Michigan State 4x100 relay team that finished 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Eugene, Oregon.
Kinard’s sprinters teamed up to set two program records at the NCAA East Preliminary a year ago. Westney teamed up with TeJuanna Williams, Alicia Evans and Lauren Rose to set a new Michigan State record in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 44.28. Westney, Evans, Franklin and Aubrey Wilberding then raced to a school-best 3:34.63 in the 4x400-meter relay, breaking a mark set back in 2012.
In 2013-14, Kinnard’s tutelage led Franklin to First-Team USTFCCCA All-American and All-Big Ten honors. The Spartans’ record holder in the triple jump represented the United States at the NACAC U-23 Championships, taking gold with a leap of 13.42m before taking fifth at the Pan-Am Olympic Festival. During the indoor season, Franklin set the Big Ten Indoor Championships record with a mark of 13.54m and was later named the 2014 Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year.
The Michigan State jumpers soared in Kinard’s first year on campus, highlighted by Franklin’s First-Team All-American performance at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a triple jump of 13.56m. Just weeks before the leap in Eugene, Oregon, Franklin took second at the Big Ten Championships in the discipline.
In addition to success off the track, Kinard’s athletes paced the Spartans in the relays. The 4x400-meter relay team set a MSU record at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with a time of 3:36.34 before earning Second-Team All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to contribute key points to the Spartans’ highest-team tally since 1983.
At Ole Miss, Kinard helped coached two triple jumpers to All-American honors and one who earned Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team recognition in 2011. Three Rebel jumpers scored at either the 2010 SEC Indoor or Outdoor Championships in addition to competing at the Junior USA Track and Field Championships the same season.
In her first season at Ole Miss, Kinnard helped coach a triple jumper to a win at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships, the first Rebel since 1992 to accomplish that feat. That same year, she helped an Ole Miss sprinter win the individual title in the 400 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships and become an NCAA All-American.
Kinard was also the recruiting coordinator for the Rebels, helping bring in one of the top recruiting classes in school history. During her tenure, they signed eight of the top high school athletes from around the country.
She began her coaching career prior to the 2002-03 season where she served as an assistant coach at her alma-mater Kansas State before opting to pursue her individual career as a triple jumper.
As a collegiate jumper, Kinard began her career at Santa Monica Junior College where she was the 1995 California Junior College triple jump and long jump champion under legendary track and field coach Tommie Smith.
Kinard went on to transfer to Kansas State where she stared for the Wildcats from 1996-98. She was a six-time All-American with five distinctions in the triple jump and one in the long jump. In her first year with the Wildcats, Kinard finished second at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the triple jump, turned in a fourth place showing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished 10th at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
As a senior, she won a Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the triple jump, finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, placed fourth at the USA Outdoor Championships and took 14th at the qualifying World University Games.
Kinard continued her career by winning her first national title in the triple jump at the 2002 USA Indoor Championships, knocking off the defending champion. She then finished second in the triple jump at the 2002 USA Outdoor Championships, before repeating as national champion at the 2003 USA Indoor Championships.
Kinard has a seven year old daughter, Adyn, who has been with her since arriving at Ole Miss.

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