LSU track team welcomes former Olympian to coaching staff
POSTED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 8:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The LSU Track & Field program is excited to welcome one of the nation’s rising stars in the coaching ranks as head coach Dennis Shaver announced Tuesday that two-time Olympian Khadevis Robinson has been appointed an assistant coach to lead the men’s and women’s middle distance and distance groups and cross country teams.
Robinson joins Shaver’s staff following an impressive 2013 season at The Ohio State University where he also served as head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach.
Robinson boasts a distinguished pedigree as one of the all-time great middle distance runners in the history of USA Track & Field as a two-time U.S. Olympian and eight-time U.S. champion in the 800-meter run before joining the coaching ranks with stints as a head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at UNLV in 2012 and Ohio State in 2013.
“LSU has always been one of the premier programs in the nation, both on the men’s and women’s sides. Having the opportunity to work with Coach Shaver and his staff is exciting for me because I know it will help me develop into a better coach and learn what it takes to be a part of a championship program,” Robinson said. “We all strive to reach our full potential, no matter your profession. Becoming a part of the LSU tradition will give me the opportunity to work harder and pursue my full potential while working with coaches and athletes who have been at this level for a very long time.
“It’s hard for a program to do what LSU has done on both the men’s and women’s sides for so long. To learn from Coach Shaver is a great opportunity for me and something I’m looking forward to.”
Shaver believes Robinson has the talent and experience to lead one of the nation’s premier middle distance groups following the departure of Mark Elliott as Clemson’s newly-appointed director of track and field.
“Khadevis Robinson is the perfect fit for our program here at LSU. We’re very excited that he will be leading an event area that’s really been instrumental in our pursuit of SEC and NCAA championships over the years,” Shaver said. “Khadevis is a rising star in our (coaching) ranks. It’s special any time you can welcome someone with his experience and pedigree into your program.
“He’s a world-class athlete in his own right, which gives him immediate credibility to the athletes already in the program and the future stars we will recruit well into the future across all event areas.”
In his one season at Ohio State, Robinson coached sophomore Katie Borchers to All-America honors in the 800 meters while setting school records with personal records of 2:06.95 indoors and 2:05.56 outdoors to claim a spot in the national semifinals at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
He also coached a young Buckeye squad to great success during the 2012 cross country season as Ohio State claimed a pair of sixth-place team finishes at the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. That includes junior Meredith Wagner and sophomore Michelle Thomas earning all-region honors and Wagner adding a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection for her performance.
Prior to joining the Buckeye staff, Robinson guided the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels to a successful 2012 campaign in which Kelsey Williams swept Mountain West Conference championships in the women’s 800 meters during the indoor and outdoor seasons. Brett Zorich, the 2012 Mountain West Indoor bronze medalist, also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor semifinals while earning a 13th-place finish nationally in the event.
“One of the things I’ve enjoyed most in watching Khadevis mature as a coach is how he motivates his athletes and gets the most out of their talent. He is also a great recruiter who has shown the ability to connect with young men and women across all event areas,” Shaver said. “It’s easy to say given his athletic background, but he has a bright future as a coach in our sport.”
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, and 1998 graduate of TCU, Robinson was crowned the NCAA Outdoor champion in the men’s 800 meters during his senior season with the Horned Frogs in 1998.
He would go on to a distinguished professional career as one of the world’s premier 800-meter runners in which he represented the United States at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and London in 2012. Robinson also earned his spot on Team USA at the IAAF World Championships a total of seven times while setting a lifetime personal best of 1:43.68 in his specialty event.
Robinson is one of the most accomplished middle distance runners in USA Track & Field history while winning four U.S. Indoor titles in 1999, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and four U.S. Outdoor titles in 1999, 2006, 2008 and 2009. He is also a six-time silver medalist in the 800 meters at the USA Outdoor Championships, including a pair of runner-up finishes at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in 2004 and 2012.