Long Beach State has one former athlete and two coaches participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sheffield selected as women's assistant coach for sprints/hurdles
LaTanya Sheffield, a former Olympian and American record holder, enters her fourth year as an assistant coach at Long Beach State. She works with the sprints, hurdles and relays.
Sheffield has made an immediate impact at the Beach as the men’s team has won a Big West championship in each of her first four seasons. During that stretch, she has mentored eight All-Americans, 37 NCAA West Preliminary qualifiers, 66 all-conference performers and one Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Year.
Last year, Sheffield was an integral part in sprinters’ and hurdlers’ successes. Courtne’ Davis’ excelled under Sheffield’s guidances as she won a pair of conference crowns in the 100m and 200m, while Riley Cooks set the indoor school record in the 60m hurdles.
In 2015, Sheffield’s sprinters broke onto the national stage, earning multiple All-America honors. Cameron Glasgow, who was the 2015 Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Year, advanced to the NCAA Championships in the 400m and the 4x400 relay. He was joined by Michael Perez-Rogers, Dylan McCloskey and Jahmani Lockett in the relay event. The quartet also defended their Big West title and ran a school-record 3:06.2 to finish third in their heat (11th overall) at the NCAA West Preliminaries. In addition, Glasgow and Perez-Rogers took first and second in the 400m, while running on the third-place 4x100 relay team at the Big West Championships. Both of the women’s relay teams earned all-conference honors as well.
In 2014, Sheffield’s sprints and hurdles squad played a key role in the men’s second-straight Big West championship. She helped Davon Wilson-Angel defend his 110-meter hurdle title, while Perez-Rogers took top honors in the 400m. The quartet of Perez-Rogers, McCloskey, Glasgow and Lockett also finished ahead of the pack in the 4x400 relay. On the women’s side, the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams both placed among the top-three at the conference meet. The 4x400 squad also established a school record for the second time under Sheffield’s tutelage, clocking in at 3:39.65 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. Overall, Sheffield saw 11 of her athletes earn 19 All-Big West honors, while 10 went on to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
In her first season at LBSU, Sheffield had 12 individuals combine for 16 all-conference honors, including Wilson-Angel, who claimed the Big West title in the 110 hurdles. Sheffield led three of the 49ers’ four relay teams to top-three finishes at the conference championship with the women’s 4x400 squad registering a then school-record 3:41.24.
Outside of Long Beach State, Sheffield has been very involved with USA Track & Field. She was recently selected to Team USA’s coaching staff for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she will work with the women’s sprinters and hurdlers. Sheffield previously 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 and relays at the World Indoor Championships in 2008 (Valencia, Spain) and 2006 (Moscow, Russia), as well as at 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.
Prior to her arrival at the Beach, 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 guidance, 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.
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