April 25, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State head men's track and field coach Darroll Gatson has announced that Randy Huntington, a native of Walled Lake, Mich., has been added to the Spartan staff as an assistant coach. Huntington, who has almost three decades of experience coaching professional and amateur athletes, assumed his duties April 4 and will coach MSU's throwers, jumpers and multi-event competitors.
Huntington is rated as a USATF Master Coach in the jumps - one of only five in the U.S. He has been the coach for many world-class athletes over the years, including eight Olympians and seven World Championship Team members. Mike Powell and Willie Banks set world records in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, while under his tutelage. Six of his athletes have been in the U.S. all-time top ten in their respective events.
"It's exciting to come back home," said Huntington. "I'm happy to be coming home and bringing years of world-level competition back to Michigan. It's also exciting to be at Michigan State, which is having a tremendous level of success in many sports.
"Randy has a lot of knowledge about the sport of track and field and is very well respected," said Gatson. "Bringing Randy in gives us a better understanding of the scientific part of coaching. The places he's been will help teach us new ways of doing things and it will make us a better staff. We can pass that information down to the team and make everyone better. He will have an immediate impact on the team and help build a foundation for the future. It is a win-win situation, and an outstanding hire to bring Randy back to Michigan."
Huntington coached Powell to the Olympic Games in 1988, 1992 and 1996, where Powell won a pair of silver medals in the long jump. On Aug. 30, 1991 in Tokyo, Powell broke Bob Beamon's 23-year-old long jump record that was expected to never be broken, leaping 29-4 1/2 (8.95m) - a record that still stands. Willie Banks, who Huntington coached to the 1988 Olympics, broke the world triple jump record with a mark of 58-11 1/2 (17.97m), June 16, 1985 in Indianapolis, and under Huntington's coaching twice jumped over 18 meters, which is the longest in American history.
Huntington has also coached Olympians Joe Greene (long jump bronze medal in 1992), Sheila Hudson (American indoor and outdoor record-holder in the triple jump), Al Joyner, Darren Plab, Tony Nai and Sharon Couch. At least one of his athletes has competed in every summer Olympic Games since 1984. Powell, Greene, Hudson, Couch and Nai were all World Championship team members that he coached, along with Kathy Rounds and Kenta Bell.
Huntington has also worked with professional athletes in other sports, notably football. He has worked as a conditioning and/or speed consultant for several teams including Indianapolis, St. Louis, Miami, Denver, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, and has worked with numerous individual players including Trace Armstrong, Terry Kirby, Henry Ellard and Ed McCaffrey. He has also worked with college football programs at Florida, Oklahoma and Notre Dame including training for the NFL combine, working with athletes such as Kyle Turley and Grant Wistrom.
Huntington has also worked with athletes in other sports, including such notable performers as hockey's Wayne Gretzky, baseball's Gary Carter and Rex Hudler and tennis' Michael Chang.
From April of 2002 to November of 2003, Huntington was USA Track & Field's first ever Sport Science Technical Coordinator - Master Coach for Horizontal Jumps for the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. He also served recently as Director of Sports Performance for Bellingham Athletic Club and for Gold Medal Management. He has also served as a research coordinator and training specialist for Keiser Sports Health Equipment, responsible for emphasis in strength training for the aging and use of Keiser in training of elite athletes, and still assists Keiser to this day.
His previous collegiate experience includes a stint as assistant women's track and field coach at Cal-Berkeley from 1984-86, where he went to a program that had no NCAA qualifiers, and promptly had one qualifier his first year and five his second. He graduated from Oregon, where he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men's track and field team for five seasons.
He was a 1972 graduate of Walled Lake Western, and his parents, Bob and Shirley Huntington, reside in Croswell, Mich.
Huntington is currently the owner of Kaizen Sports Performance (KSP), a sports performance and consulting business that he established in 1987. KSP was created to meet the specific training needs of the elite post-collegiate club and professional athlete. KSP supports athletes in the areas of track and field, hockey, football, baseball, auto racing and tennis.
"I'm excited to have Randy join our staff," added MSU men's cross country coach/assistant track and field coach Walt Drenth. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and wants to be here. This puts us in a situation that is going to help us win, and that's what we want is the opportunity to be competitive."