Sheffield selected as women's assistant coach for sprints/hurdles
LaTanya Sheffield, a former Olympian and American record holder, enters her second year as an assistant coach at Long Beach State. She works primarily with the sprinters, hurdlers and relays.
In her first season at LBSU, Sheffield had 12 individuals combine for 16 all-conference honors, including Davon Wilson-Angel, who claimed the Big West title in the 110-meter hurdles. Sheffield led three of the 49ers' four relay teams to top-three finishes at the conference championships (men's 4x100, men's 4x400 and women's 4x400). The women's 4x400 squad clocked in with a school-record 3:41.24. Sheffield also saw five of her athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries.
Sheffield has been very involved with USA Track & Field during her coaching career. This past summer, she served as an assistant coach for the U.S. women's team at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. In addition, Sheffield was in charge of the sprints/hurdles/relays at the World Indoor Championships in 2008 (Valencia, Spain) and 2006 (Moscow, Russia), as well as the Pan American Games in 2011 (Guadalajara, Mexico) and 2007 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Sheffield has also served on the USA Track & Field Development Committee as the event chair for women's hurdles since 2007.
As an athlete, Sheffield was an Olympic finalist in the 400m hurdles at the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea, and represented the United States at the 1987 World Championships. She was also a two-time gold medalist at the Olympic Sports Festival (1987, 1993) and won a bronze medal at the 1987 Pan American Games.
Sheffield, who established an American record in the 400m hurdles in 1985, also excelled at San Diego State where she was a two-time All-American and 1985 NCAA Champion (400H). She was inducted into the SDSU Athletics' Hall of Fame in 1993.
In addition, Sheffield was an assistant coach at Canyon del Oro High School and the head coach of the POPS Track Club in Tucson, Ariz. She helped lead Canyon del Oro's girls' team to two state championships, while the boys' squad had a pair of state runner-up finishes during her tenure. Sheffield also coached the 2012 ESPN High School Gatorade Player of the Year.
Under her tutelage, Sheffield saw a number of her POPS Track Club team members qualify for the Junior Olympic National Championships, including a 2011 champion in the 400 hurdles, a 2011 junior national record holder in the long jump and a 2010 finalist in the steeplechase.
Sheffield is also a professional motivational speaker and is the founder and president of Sports Extravaganza, Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on fighting childhood obesity. She was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Tucson in 2012. Sheffield has also been honored with the USATF Youth Division President's Award (2010), Sam Lacy Sports Pioneer Award (2010) and NAACP Community Service Recognition Award (2008).
Sheffield earned her bachelor's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy in 2011.