INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry has been named head men’s coach of Team USA when they compete at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in track and field this summer in Osaka, Japan.
The announcement made by USA Track & Field, the governing body of the sport, adds to the international coaching resume of Henry. Last September Henry was the men’s head coach during the World Cup in Athens, Greece. Previous experiences included the 2000 World Junior Championships in Chile as well as the NACAC Under-23 Championships held in Monterrey, Mexico.
“It’s an honor to represent the United States of America as the men’s head coach for our World Championship team,” Henry said. “When you’re in the profession as long as I’ve been in it this is a very nice honor as it comes from voting by your peers and former athletes, so that means an awful lot.
“This is a great honor and it’s one of the greatest track meets in the world just short of the Olympic Games. Many times, though, the World Championship performances are equal to, or sometimes better, than the Olympic Games.”
University of Miami head coach Amy Deem was selected as the women’s coach for Team USA. This past weekend the Aggies competed in the Miami Elite Invitational hosted by the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.
“Amy Deem is a good friend and we’ve always worked close together on a lot of aspects of our sport,” Henry noted. “She is also a former president of our association, which is a role I’m in now. So, we have a lot in common and have shared a lot in track and field.”
During the December convention of the United State Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association, the coaching body voted Henry in as the next president of the USTFCCCA.
The IAAF World Championships in Osaka will be the 11th edition of the global event, which began in 1983. After a four-year cycle through 1991, the World Championships have been held every two years. The 2007 version will take place from Aug. 25 to Sept. 2 in Nagai Stadium.
“I did go to Japan earlier this year,” Henry added. “They’re very gracious people and they’re very intent on having a tremendous championship. I think it will be a great experience for the athletes and this country.”
Qualification for Team USA will be determined during the U.S. Championships, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from June 20-24.
“This is the off year from an Olympic year, but it’s the time when the cream starts rising to the top. Every great athlete tries to make this team. So, we start formulating our Olympic teams by having a great World Championship team. This is one of those last steps prior to the Olympic Games in which you really see the best of our country come together.”
Joining Henry on the men’s staff are Ralph Lindeman (Air Force Academy, team manager), Mike Holloway (Florida, sprints/hurdles), Ron Warhurst (Michigan, distances), Cliff Rovelto (Kansas State, jumps/combined events), Robert Weir (Stanford, throws) along with relay coaches Brooks Johnson and Orin Richburg.
In addition to Deem as head coach, the women’s staff will include Diane Wholey (Texas Tech, team manager), Rita Somerlot (jumps/combined events), Juli Henner (George Mason, distances), Danny Williams (Cal Poly, sprints/hurdles), and John Frazier (Tennessee, throws).
“The staff is a great staff and I look forward to us getting together,” Henry said.