PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University’s Wayne Phipps, the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field, announced Tuesday that Julie Taylor, Allix Potratz-Lee, and Matthew McGee have joined the Cougars’ coaching staff. Taylor will coach the throws, Potratz-Lee will assist Phipps with the distance corps, and McGee will coach the vertical jumps and the combined-events competitors.
Taylor, head track and field coach at Idaho from 2011-14, comes to WSU after leading Vandals throwers to unprecedented levels of success in her 20 years with the program. During Taylor’s time at Idaho, Vandal throwers qualified for the NCAA Championships 47 times and won two NCAA titles, 22 Western Athletic Conference titles, eight Big West Conference titles, nine Big Sky Conference titles and have claimed 28 All-America honors.
A very accomplished collegiate thrower herself, Taylor held Idaho outdoor school records in both the shot put and discus when she graduated in 1986. Since that time, her student-athletes have broken and re-broken every Idaho throws record and Taylor saw her own name bumped out of the Idaho record book in 2011. She holds an incredible distinction in Idaho’s history in that she coached every single competitor who has made an entry in Idaho’s all-time top-10 in the women’s shot put, discus, hammer throw and javelin throw.
Taylor is married to another all-time great Vandal thrower, Tim Taylor, who was a volunteer coach at Idaho. They have one son, Alex, who is a thrower at the University of Idaho, and one daughter, Kelsey, who was an all-WAC performer for the Idaho volleyball team from 2007-10, and is pursuing a career in physical therapy.
Potratz-Lee comes to WSU after three years as a member of the Idaho cross country/track and field coaching staff. She began coaching in 2010 as an assistant to Wayne Phipps working primarily with the distance corps. The Vandals’ women’s cross country team won Western Athletic Conference team titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Formerly Allix Lee-Painter, she converted a successful prep running career at Moscow High School to an outstanding collegiate career at the University of Idaho. Potratz-Lee was a five-time WAC champion, a 10-time first-team all-WAC honoree. She led the 2005 and 2007 Idaho cross country teams to WAC titles, and claimed the 2008 individual WAC cross country crown.
Potratz-Lee put together a legendary performance at the 2010 WAC Outdoor Championships, as she scored 30 points by winning the 3000m steeplechase, 5000m and 10,000m at the meet. It was just the third such triple-crown in NCAA history and the first in WAC history.
She is the only woman in WAC history to be named WAC Athlete of the Year in three different sports. She was the 2008 WAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year, 2009 WAC Women’s Indoor Track Performer of the Year, the 2010 WAC Outdoor Women’s Track Performer of the Year, as well as the 2010 WAC Women’s High Point Award honoree. She was accorded the Stan Bates Award as the WAC’s top female student-athlete in 2010.
Potratz-Lee graduated from Idaho in 2010 with a degree in secondary education and English and went on to earn her master’s degree in English in 2013. She is married to former Idaho track and field athlete Steve Potratz-Lee.
McGee has already served nine years as WSU’s jumping event’s coach. His student-athletes have earned nine All-American awards, won seven conference championships, and earned 48 NCAA Regional and Preliminary round qualifications. McGee is one of a select group of jumps coaches to have helped athletes earn All-America status in all four of the jumping events. He has mentored Cougars competitors to conference championships in the men’s high jump, long jump and triple jump and in the women’s high jump and pole vault. His student-athletes have achieved marks that rank in the WSU top-10 lists in all four jumps in both the men’s and women’s all-time records.
Under McGee’s guidance in 2014, another Pac-12 Conference championship title came to WSU as Charlotte Muschamp captured the women’s high jump crown with a PR leap of 5-11 1/2 (1.82m). Muschamp, who overcame a series of injuries and illnesses during the year, also was the runner-up in the triple jump, bringing 18 points to the Cougar women’s total. McGee’s jumps corps scored nearly half of the WSU women’s 2014 Pac-12 team points.
McGee’s other conference champions include: Kristine Felix, 2013 Pac-12 pole vault, the first Cougar woman to win that event; Stephan Scott-Ellis, 2012 Pac-12 long jump, 2011 Pac-10 triple jump, 2012 MPSF long jump, 2013 MPSF long jump; and Trent Arrivey, 2009 Pac-10 high jump.
McGee graduated from WSU in 2003 with a B.A. in philosophy. He is married to Karla McGee, a former Cougar teammate, who still ranks among WSU’s all-time top-10 pole vault rankings. They have a son, Liam, and a daughter, Kaiya.
Phipps expects to announce more additions to the Cougars coaching staff during the month of July.