TXF: UGA Adds Ryan Grinnell and Melissa Beasley to Staff

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TXF: UGA Adds Ryan Grinnell and Melissa Beasley to Staff

Petros Kyprianou
Petros Kyprianou

The Georgia track and field program has added Ryan Grinnell as an assistant coach and Melissa Beasley as the director of operations, according to an announcement from Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou on Wednesday.

Grinnell, who competed under Kyprianou at Boise State University from 2007-08 and trained at UGA from 2010-12, comes to Athens after serving as an assistant coach at Washington State since 2016. 

“I am ecstatic to welcome Ryan to our family,” Kyprianou said.  “He has been a big part of my professional life as I coached him both in college and professionally.  Ryan is an extension of my coaching philosophy with strong values, character, loyalty, work ethic and knowledge of our coaching system here at Georgia.  It is always easier when you have someone who has been through your system, can handle high-pressure situations and knows how to deal with elite NCAA and post-collegiate level athletes.  They say when you recommend someone for a job you should ask yourself if you would hire that person.  Well, now it is time to do so as I have mentored him during his coaching career with valuable stops at Campbell, Utah State and Washington State!”

 Ryan Grinnell 
(Photo: Washington State)
Ryan Grinnell
(Photo: Washington State)

Beasley joins the Bulldogs following three years as the University of Alabama track and field’s director of operations.  The Xavier University graduate also spent 12 years with USA Track & Field (USATF), providing support for Team USA at three Olympic Games and multiple World Championships.

“We are thrilled to welcome Melissa to the UGA track and field family,” said Kyprianou.  “Melissa brings a plethora of experience, knowledge and expertise from two track powerhouses in Alabama and our governing body of USATF.  To be able to understand and deliver in our sport between the collegiate level all the way to dealing with Olympic medalists on a daily basis is something our program is looking for.  I strongly believe that her personality and expertise in all worlds of track and field, and like Ryan, her work ethic and character, will come in very handy at UGA as she will be dealing with high-level student-athletes and coaches who demand excellence.  She is a part of our family now and we can’t wait to watch her build her own legacy at UGA as well!”

Grinnell, a native of Idaho Falls, Idaho, finished his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boise State in 2009 and quickly re-joined Kyprianou, who had been hired as a Georgia assistant before the 2009 season, to train professionally in the jumps.  Sporting a personal record of 56 feet, 6 inches in the triple jump, which ranked in the world’s top 10 in 2013, the six-time NCAA First Team All-American in the triple, long and high jump was the bronze medalist in the triple jump at the 2013 USATF Championships.  Grinnell earned spots as a finalist at both the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.  During his undergraduate career at the University of Montana first and then Boise State, he won 15 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) titles, was a six-time WAC high-point scorer and became the Broncos most decorated student-athlete in history.

Melissa Beasley
Melissa Beasley

Professionally, Grinnell got his coaching start at Campbell University in 2012 and was an assistant working with the jumps, throws and combined events for two years.  From there, he guided the sprinters, jumpers, vaulters and combined event student-athletes at Utah State University from 2014-16.  Grinnell helped lead the Aggies to a team runner-up conference finish, an individual Mountain West Conference (MWC) title and seven NCAA Second Team All-America certificates. 

Grinnell spent the last three seasons coaching Washington State’s horizontal jumpers, hurdlers and combined event competitors.  While in Pullman, Grinnell helped land arguably the Cougars’ top women’s recruiting class in 2019, instructed three Pac-12 champions and coached a number of team members to the NCAA West Prelims as well as the NCAA Championships.

Beasley, a native of Dayton, Ohio, graduated from Xavier in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications before joining ESPN in Bristol, Conn., as a production assistant for nearly three years.  She then spent 12 years working for USATF, starting as the Communications Coordinator and finishing as the Associate Director of Elite Athlete Programs.  Beasley was the day-to-day liaison with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and wrote the USATF’s quarterly magazine, Elite Beat, and the annual elite athlete handbook.

Beasley most recently served as the Tide’s director of operations from 2017-19.  Alabama was named the 2017-18 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) John McDonnell Program of the Year thanks to having the nation’s best combined finish in men’s cross country (14th) and indoor (ninth) and outdoor (fifth) track and field.  The Tide also won the Southeastern Conference men’s indoor title in 2018 during Beasley’s time in Tuscaloosa.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.