- BORN: June 2, 1961
- HOMETOWN: Renton, Washington
- COLLEGE: Washington State University (B.A., 1983)
- HUSBAND: George
- COACHING EXPERIENCE: Washington State University, 1983-86, graduate assistant coach; University of Iowa, 1987-91, assistant coach; Penn State, 1994-95, assistant coach.
- WSU APPOINTMENT: 1995 - Assistant track and field coach; 1998 - Associate head coach
Debra Lombardi Farwell, a 1983 Washington State University graduate, joined the WSU coaching staff in the fall of 1995 and the Cougars throwers have stretched the measuring tape ever since. In the 2012 season a pair of freshmen women climbed into the javelin all-time records as Christine Kirkwood tossed a distance of 164-2 for fifth-best and Anna Adamko threw the spear 159-7, seventh-best in all-time records. During Farwell's coaching stint 14 school throwing records have been set including Marissa Tschida tossing the school javelin record of 186-1 in 2010, and Courtney Kirkwood throwing the second-best mark in WSU history of 173-8 in 2011 after eclipsing Tschida's freshman record in 2009.
Farwell's corps have reached national acclaim throughout her career. Tschida won two Pac-10 javelin titles, joining previous Cougar conference champions Ian Waltz (discus, 1999) and Molly Monroe (javelin, 2000). Tschida placed third at the 2011 NCAA Championships, earning her third All-America certificate while Kirkwood took ninth at the national meet and reached All-America for the second time.
A cadre of throwers have become All-Americans under Farwell's mentoring. Matt Lamb and McKenzie Garberg tallied three All-America certificates each: Lamb's were all in the discus and Garberg had two in the discus and one in the hammer. Lamb finished 10th at the 2008 Olympic Trials, won the NACAC U-23 title in 2009, and his discus toss of 204-7 is the third-best in school records. Garberg shattered the hammer school record by tossing 210-3 in 2008.
Farwell coached eight-time All-American thrower Ian Waltz throughout his collegiate career as Waltz rewrote Cougar history in the shot put and discus events. Waltz was a member of the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic Teams, and won the discus at the 2008 Trials. Other Farwell-coached All-American throwers include: Andrea Thornton (2001 discus and hammer), Tim Gehring (2004 shot put) and Curt Borland (2004 javelin). Gehring finished 15th in shot at the 2004 US Olympic Trials.
Originally from Renton, Wash., Farwell held the WSU women's outdoor shot put record of 14.70m/48-2 3/4 from 1981-86. She was an AIAW national qualifier in the shot put in 1982. Farwell was also a pioneer in the woman's hammer thrower as one of four Cougars competing against two women from the University of Montana in the first collegiate women's dual meet hammer throw event in Pullman March 27, 1982. She threw a 35.74m/117-3 on that day and the following week set an unofficial collegiate women's world record of 38.34m/125-9 in Eugene, Ore. In 1994, the NCAA added the women's hammer throw as an official event for the 1995 season.
A graduate assistant coach for the WSU track and field program from 1983-86, Farwell contributed to the program under head coaches Jessica and Rob Cassleman. She also was a teaching assistant in the WSU physical education department in 1985, instructing beginning weight training and conditioning, and field event classes.
From 1987-91, Farwell served as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Iowa where she was responsible for coaching the throwers along with the multi-event athletes and developing a strength and conditioning program for all track athletes. She received her USATF certification for levels I and II in 1990 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Farwell was the assistant track and field coach and exercise science and sport activity instructor at Penn State University in 1994-95.
Farwell is a 2007 graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy.
Also committed to community involvement, the Cougar throwers have washed cars and raised over $15,000 to donate to local community members in need in the past 11 years.
Farwell and her husband George enjoy the company of their two dogs, Wolfie and Fergie, and traveling.