TRACK & FIELD: Four Olympians Join UGA As Volunteer Coaches

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TRACK & FIELD: Four Olympians Join UGA As Volunteer Coaches

Reese Hoffa of the United States celebrates his bronze medal in the Men’s Shot Put Final on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
[su_spacer size=”20″] As they surge into the 2015-16 school year, Georgia’s track and field teams will do so with four former Olympians added as volunteer coaches.


Former Bulldog champions Reese Hoffa and Levern Spencer join world record holder and 2007 Georgia signee Jarryd Wallace and former Florida State All-American Gonzalo Barroilhet as volunteer coaches working with the six full-time coaches.


“I’m excited these four outstanding athletes and people have accepted the opportunity to volunteer coach for us,” Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou said.  “Each one of them brings something different and overall they bring a great wind of positivity and excitement.  The fact that we will have Olympians, Paralympic and World champions, and a world record holder will help our teams set their standards high and have a vision of what we want this program to become.


“They are all four role models and leaders in the community.  We are thrilled to have them and to have their experiences rub off on our student-athletes on a daily basis.  I am very proud of this staff and what they have all showed so far.”


The foursome has seven Olympic Games between them, including Hoffa’s bronze-medal performance in the shot put at the 2012 Games, an appearance at the 2012 Paralympics and a lengthy international competition history.


Here is a breakdown on the Bulldogs’ four new volunteer coaches:


Gonzalo Barroilhet (multis)

l  Two-time Olympian, representing Chile in Beijing and London

l  13th in decathlon at Olympic Games in London, winning the dec pole vault

l  2008 NCAA heptathlon champion indoors for FSU

l  Four-time All-American

l  Chilean national and FSU decathlon/heptathlon record holder

l  Heptathlon South American record holder

l  One of only four Seminoles all-time to be a three-time Academic All-American

l  Two-time ACC indoor heptathlon champion and indoor pole vault champion

l  ACC outdoor decathlon champion

l  Earned a degree from FSU in Business Management and Economics and graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

l  Currently trains under Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou


Reese Hoffa (throws)

l  Bronze medalist in the shot put at the 2012 Olympics in London

l  Three-time Olympian, representing the U.S. in Athens, Beijing and London

l  Developed into the world’s most consistent performer in the throws over the last 15 years

l  2012 Diamond League champion

l  2007 World Outdoor champion, 2006 World Indoor champion

l  Two-time World Indoor silver medalist (2004, 2008)

l  Three-time USA Outdoor champion, two-time USA Indoor champion

l  Finished in the top five at the USA Outdoor Championships for the last nine years

l  Pan American shot put record holder

l  Launched 10 70-foot throws (or longer) during the 2007 season

l  Five-time All-American for the Bulldogs

l  2001 SEC outdoor shot put champion

l  Earned a degree in Health and Physical Education from UGA

l  Currently trains under Bulldog throws coach Don Babbitt


Levern Spencer (jumps)

l  Two-time Olympian, representing St. Lucia in Beijing and London

l  Carried St. Lucia national flag at 2008 and 2012 Olympics

l  Swept the 2015 Pan Am Games and NACAC Championships high jump titles

l  Four-time All-American for the Bulldogs

l  2006 SEC indoor high jump champion, 2006, 2007 SEC outdoor champion

l  St. Lucian national and UGA outdoor high jump record holder

l  Holds UGA record after clearing 6 feet, 4 1Ž4 inches at the 2007 World Championships

l  Six-time qualifier for the World Athletics Championships, making the finals three times

l  Three-time qualifier for the World Indoor Championships, advancing to the finals in 2014 and placing seventh

l  Twelve-time St. Lucia Sportswoman of the Year

l  2001 World Youth Championships bronze medalist; two-time Commonwealth Games bronze medalist (2010,2014)

l  Seniors NACAC record holder and NACAC under-23 record holder

l  Currently trains under Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou

l  Earned a degree in Health Promotion from UGA


Jarryd Wallace (sprints)

l  World record holder in the men’s 100-meter dash (T44 division) with a 10.71 to win the 2015 Parapan American Games

l  Finished first at the 2011 Parapan American Games with the world’s fastest time in 2011 (11.31)

l  Part of gold-medal winning 4x100m relay team at 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships with a world record time of 40.73

l  Won a gold medal in the 200m at the World Championships as well

l  Set a pair of world records in the 200m at those World Championships

l  Ran for the U.S. at the 2012 London Paralympics, finishing fourth in the 400m

l  Currently trains under Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou

l  Signed a track scholarship with Georgia in 2007 before having his right leg amputated due to compartment syndrome and subsequent complications

l  Son of Bulldog women’s tennis head coach Jeff Wallace and former All-SEC distance runner Sabina (Horne) Wallace

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