Oct. 19, 2004
SEATTLE - Former Kentucky Wildcat LaMonte Vaughn, Jr. has been hired as an assistant coach on the UW track and field staff, third-year head coach Greg Metcalf announced Tuesday. The 30-year-old Vaughn, who was employed previously at Eastern Kentucky and Marshall Universities, will mentor Washington's sprinters and hurdlers, and will coordinate the team's relay programs.
"LaMonte is an outstanding young coach who is deserving of this kind of an opportunity," Metcalf said. "We're excited to have him on our staff, and expect that he'll do great things with our sprint program, as he's done everywhere he's been."
Vaughn, a two-time NCAA qualifier at 800 meters during his collegiate career at Kentucky, spent the 2004 season working as a volunteer assistant to sprints coach Tim Moore at Eastern Kentucky. Vaughn's athletes in 2004 combined for eight Ohio Valley Conference championships, with three earning bids to the NCAA Regional meet.
The Chattanooga, Tenn., native came to Eastern Kentucky from Marshall University, where he worked for four years as the Thundering Herd's sprints/hurdles coach, before Marshall cut its track program following the 2003 season. During his four years at Marshall, Vaughn coached his athletes to 13 school records and one conference title, and guided the team's 4x400-meter relay squad to its best-ever finish at the MAC Indoor Championships.
"This is an outstanding program, and I'm excited to be a part of it," Vaughn said. "We have the resources in place at Washington to compete with the best sprint programs in the Pac-10 -- Arizona State, UCLA -- and if we can compete with them, then we can compete with anyone in the country. I didn't come here to lose. We're going to graduate, and we're going to win."
At Washington, Vaughn inherits perhaps the deepest group of sprinters and hurdlers in UW history. School-record holders Lauran Dignam and NCAA indoor participant Ashley Lodree return in 2005, as do three of the four members of the Huskies' NCAA-qualifying men's 4x400-meter relay squad. That strong corps is joined by prep All-American Jennifer Nash, the nation's eighth-fastest prep at 100 meters last season, and junior-college transfer Shane Charles, a national-champion hurdler in his native Grenada.
Vaughn brings an SEC background to Washington, having earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from the University of Kentucky in 1996. A two-time NCAA qualifier and the third-place finisher in the 800 meters at the 1996 SEC Indoor Championships, Vaughn boasts a best of 1 minute, 48.23 seconds in the event that was the second-fastest in Wildcats history.
After graduating from UK, Vaughn spent two years coaching high-school athletes in Kentucky and Florida. Included among those athletes is three-time ACC champion and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials participant Mario Lowe, whom Vaughn coached in the triple jump at Titusville (Fla.) High School in 1998.
Vaughn, who replaces departed sprints coach Dion Miller, resides in Seattle with his wife, Devonia, and their three-year old daughter, Brianna.