Head coach Rick Sloan has shared a lifetime of passion for track and field with the student-athletes on the men’s and women’s teams at Washington State University, and they have found success athletically and academically under his tutelage.
A dynamic coach and skilled technician, Sloan and his Cougar coaching staff have searched far and wide to bring the best student-athletes to Pullman, Washington, and then have worked tirelessly to have each one reach their greatest potential.
The programs’ continued success is evident in the consistent accomplishments achieved at the Pac-12, (formerly the Pacific-10) Conference, the NCAA Preliminary and Championships meets, the USA Track and Field competitions, and World Championship levels.
WSU brought home 108 All-America certificates during Sloan’s head coaching tenure for the indoor and outdoor seasons. During that time 10 NCAA individual event champions proudly wore the crimson and gray. Sloan’s student-athletes also tallied 54 Pac-10/12 event titles with the men accumulating 32 and the women 22.
Kristine Felix is the latest Cougar to win a Pac-12 Championships claiming the 2013 women’s pole vault title and being the first WSU woman to win that event at the conference championships. Stephen Scott-Ellis won the Pac-12 men’s long jump title in 2012, one year after claiming the triple jump gold, in addition to his NCAA finishes of fifth in outdoor long jump, seventh in indoor long jump and 11th and 13th in the indoor triple jump. Intermediate hurdler Jeshua Anderson won four consecutive Pac-10 titles, three NCAA Outdoor championships and one runner-up finish and was the 2011 USA Outdoor champion. Anderson broke his own school record several times before running his final time of 47.93 seconds to qualify for the World Championships. Marissa Tschida was a two-time Pac-10 women’s javelin champion and earned three All-America certificates in addition to being the school record-holder with a throw of 186-1. Anna Layman won the Pac-10 women’s 800m conference title in 2011. Other Cougs earning All-America honors in 2011 included Courtney Kirkwood with her second certificate in the javelin, Joe Abbott (800m) and the men’s 4x100m relay team (Brett Blanshan, Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Marlon Murray).
Also climbing to the victors’ stand as conference champions wearing Crimson and Gray included Trent Arrivey (2009 high jump) and Lorraine King (400m hurdles in 2009 ). The 2008 season was highlighted by two Cougar freshmen earning national titles: Ebba Jungmark won the women’s high jump gold medal at the NCAA Indoor Championships, clearing 6-2 1/2 which is the second-best height in WSU history, and Anderson won his first NCAA Outdoor title and went on to win the US Junior and the World Junior crowns, setting a school record with a time of 48.68 seconds.
Jungmark joined another national high jump champion who thrived under Sloan’s mentoring, Whitney Evans. Evans won the 2003 outdoor title and earned eight All-America honors making her the most-decorated woman athlete in Washington State University history.
Recognized internationally as a highly successful multi-event coach, Sloan has directed five Cougars to NCAA top finishes in the past seven years including Julie Pickler’s second-place finish in the 2007 heptatathlon, Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler with third and fifth-place heptathlon finishes in 2006, and Rickey Moody’s eighth place finish in the 2008 decathlon.
As a Head Coach, Sloan has directed 43 WSU athletes to NCAA Outdoor All-American status 73 times, and directed 33 athletes to NCAA Indoor All-American status 38 times.
In his 18 years as the WSU Track& Field Program’s men’s and women’s mentor, Sloan has seen Cougar men break 22 school records and Cougar women rewrite 84 school records.
When Sloan was named the head track and field coach at Washington State in June of 1994, he had already invested 21 years of service to the program and the university as an assistant coach. From 1973 until the summer of 1994, he had been an assistant coach, directing WSU athletes in field events, hurdles, sprints, and decathlon.
Sloan came to coach at Washington State after a highly successful competitive career. An outstanding athlete while at UCLA, Sloan became the first Bruin to clear 7-0 in the high jump and was an All-American in the pole vault as an undergraduate.
He captained the Bruin track team as a senior and became the fourth American to surpass 8,000 points in the decathlon. As a 21-year-old, Sloan finished seventh in the decathlon at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. A year later he toured Europe with the U.S. National team.
While competing, Sloan held world decathlon records in the pole vault with a height of 16-7, and the high jump with a leap of 6-11 3/4. As a decathlete, he was ranked second in the United States in 1968 and 1969, and ranked 10th in the world in 1969. Sloan’s 8,051 points was the fourth best mark in the world in 1969.
This Cougar mentor began his coaching career at California Institute of Technology and at Pasadena City College in 1972. Sloan also coached at Mt. San Antonio Junior College, home of the respected Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., before coming to WSU in 1973.
In September of 1994, USA Track and Field accorded Sloan the title of Master Coach, the highest recognition in coaching education.
Sloan is well-known internationally in the multi-events circuits because of his 14 years as coach for four-time world decathlon champion, Olympic champion and former World record-holder Dan O’Brien and his mentoring of Olympic heptathlete Diana Pickler.
Sloan is a much sought-after clinician who is the author of Track and Field Techniques and Training, and has produced nine instructional video tapes. He served as the head coach of the U.S.A. decathlon team which competed in the USSR in 1983. In 1988, he conducted clinics for the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in Georgetown, Guyana.
In the fall of 2002, Sloan served as an assistant men’s coach for the United States team competing at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Cup in Madrid, Spain.
Cougar Highlights under Head Coach Rick Sloan
1994 - Named Head Coach for the Washington State men’s Track & Field Team.
1995 - Named Head Coach for the combined Washington State men’s and women’s Track & Field Program.
1996 - Dominque Arnold won the men’s 110m high hurdles title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
1998 - Men’s team won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championship…Men’s team earned third place at NCAA Indoor Championships with the distance medley relay team winning in a world record time…Sloan named MPSF Coach of the Year (men and women) and selected District 8 Men’s Coach of the Year.
1999 - Women’s team won MPSF Indoor Championship…Sloan named MPSF Women’s Coach of the Year…Men’s team finished 10th at the NCAA Indoor Championships as Bernard Lagat won both the mile and 3000m…Lagat named Male Athlete of the Year…Women’s team finished third at Pac-10 Championships and went on to place 20th at NCAA Outdoor Championships while men’s team finished 11th at the NCAAs…Lagat won NCAA men’s 5000m title…Sloan selected United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) Region VIII Women’s Coach of the Year.
2000 - Women’s team repeats as MPSF Indoor Champions…Sloan selected USTCA Region VIII Women’s Coach of the Year.
2001 - Men’s team won MPSF Indoor Championship…Sloan named MPSF Men’s Coach of the Year…Women’s team finished fourth at Pac-10 Championships and went on to an 18th place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships…Sloan named USTCA Men’s West Region Coach of the Year.
2002 - Women’s team finished tied for 15th at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships…Ellannee Richardson and Anson Henry named Mondo West Region Outdoor Track Athletes of the Year…Pac-10 champions include Whitney Evans (high jump), Richardson (heptathlon) and Henry (100m, 200m)…Sloan named USTCA Men’s West Region Coach of the Year.
2003 - Women’s team takes 12th place at NCAA Outdoor Championships...Whitney Evans wins high jump, Ellannee Richardson heptathlon runner-up after winning Pac-10 title…Darion Powell (decathlon) and Eric Dudley (400m hurdles) earn All-America…Anthony Buchanan (100m) and 4x100m relay (Lamarr Kirk, Bennie Chatman, James McSwain, Buchanan) also win Pac-10 title.
2004 - For the third consecutive year a WSU sprinter won the Pac-10 men’s 100m dash…Anthony Buchanan won his second conseutive 100m dash title and placed seventh in the 100m at the NCAA Championships.
2005 - Diana Pickler NCAA indoor All-America (pentathlon)…Pac-10 champions Julie Pickler (heptathlon), Darion Powell (decathlon) and Robin Mikesh (high jump)…All-America honors to Julie Pickler and Diana Pickler (heptathlon), Tamara Diles (pole vault) and Tyson Byers (pole vault).
2006 - Julie Pickler NCAA indoor All-America as runner-up in pentathlon…NCAA outdoor All-America honors to John Cassleman (400m hurdles), Matt Lamb (discus), Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler (heptathlon)…Diana Pickler fifth in heptathlon at USA Track & Field Championships with school record 5,855 points.
2007 - At NCAA Indoor Championships Diana Pickler second and Julie Pickler ninth in pentathlon, Tyson Byers third in pole vault…Diana Pickler won Pac-10 heptathlon and sets school records in pentathlon, heptathlon, and 100m hurdles, and placed second in the heptathlon at the USA Track & Field Championships…Julie Pickler runner-up in NCAA heptathlon, placed sixth at USATF Championships…Sara Trané won Pac-10 steeplechase…discus throwers McKenzie Garberg and Matt Lamb reach All-America.
2008 - Ebba Jungmark won NCAA Indoor high jump title…Jeshua Anderson won Pac-10, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Outdoor intermediate hurdles…went on to win US and World Junior gold medals…Sara Trané successfully defended Pac-10 steeplechase title…Trent Arrivey won NCAA West Regional high jump title..All-America certificates also go to McKenzie Garberg (5th discus, 6th hammer), Anna Layman (8th 800m), Rickey Moody (8th decathlon) and Arrivey (9th high jump).
2009 - Men’s 4x400m relay team of Barry Leavitt, Reny Follett, Justin Woods, and Jeshua Anderson eighth, and high jumper Trent Arrivey eighth at NCAA Indoor Championships…Anderson, Arrivey and Lorraine King (400m hurdles) win Pac-10 titles…Anderson and Justin Woods (200m) win at NCAA West Regional where men’s team was third…Anderson repeats as NCAA men’s intermediate hurdles champion…All-America status accorded to Marissa Tschida (6th javelin), Matt Lamb (5th discus) and Arrivey (9th high jump).
2010 - Jeshua Anderson captured his third consecutive Pac-10 intermediate hurdles title and was the NCAA runner-up…he also captured the NACAC title…Marissa Tschida won the Pac-10 women’s javelin title and placed fourth at the NCAAs…Tschida broke her own school record with a javelin throw of 186-1…other WSU All-Americans were Courtney Kirkwood (11th javelin) and Anna Layman (14th 800m).
2011 - Intermediate hurdler Jeshua Anderson closes Cougar career with fourth consecutive Pac-10 title, third NCAA title and wins USA Outdoor Championship with school record time of 47.93…Marissa Tschida repeats as Pac-10 javelin champion and third place at NCAAs…men’s 4x400m relay team of Brett Blanshan, Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington and Marlon Murray won the Pac-10 title and finished 15th at NCAAs…Courtney Kirkwood (9th javelin) and Joe Abbott (13th 800m) received All-America honors…Anna Layman (800m) and Stephan Scott-Ellis (triple jump) also won Pac-10 titles.
2012 - Stephan Scott-Ellis won the Pac-12 long jump title one year after winning the triple jump title…Scott-Ellis also competed in three NCAA Championships events taking seventh in the triple jump and 13th in the long jump at the Indoor Championships, and fifth in the long jump at the Outdoor Championships…also at NCAA Outdoor meet women’s javelin throwers Anna Adamko finished 19th and Courtney Kirkwood Simmons took 22nd…Shawna Fermin placed 18th in the women’s 400m dash…in women’s 4x100m relay team of Shaquana Logan, Cindy Robinson, Candii McFarland and Chanel James were 21st at NCAAs.
2013 - Kristine Felix won the Pac-12 women’s pole vault title becoming the first Cougar woman to win that event…Stephen Scott-Ellis earned second team All-America honors with an 11th place long jump finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships…Shawna Fermin earned second team All-America honors with at 13th place finish in the 400m dash at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.