Oct. 28, 2008
SEATTLE - Washington track and field head coach Greg Metcalf today announced the hiring of Raul Sheen as Assistant Coach in charge of sprints, hurdles, and relays. Sheen joins the Husky staff following a one-year stint at Long Beach State where he was named the 2008 West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
"It became increasingly clear to me every time I spoke with Raul that he was a great fit for Washington," said Metcalf. "I had the opportunity to watch the Long Beach State Sprinters last year and was impressed without knowing who Raul was. I made an inquiry to the head coach at Long Beach State, Andy Sythe, and he had only great things to say about the work Raul had done there."
Sheen's sprinters had a remarkable amount of success during his one year with the program. Brent Gray earned All-America honors in the 200-meter dash with a 5th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the West Regional meet. Gray was named the 2008 Big West Track Athlete of the Year, and also won the MPSF 200m Championship at Washington's own Dempsey Indoor in a facility record time of 20.93 seconds.
All told, four of Sheen's sprinters qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past spring, competing in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. Sheen's athletes won 10 Big West Conference titles to lead Long Beach State to the team championship. He also guided LBSU's sprint medley relay to a victory at the prestigious Drake Relays.
A native of Rupert, Idaho, Sheen was a four-year member of the Idaho State University track and field team, then served as assistant coach in charge of sprints and relays from 2005-07. During that time he led the Bengal women's team to its first ever Big Sky Conference Championship in 2007, as well as the 2006 Indoor Big Sky title for the men. His athletes won six conference titles, and garnered 25 All-Big Sky Conference honors.
"I am extremely excited to be in Seattle joining the Husky family," said Sheen. "Being originally from the Pacific Northwest, it is a bit of a homecoming for me, and I am very excited to join a program that is truly on the rise. Coach Metcalf and his excellent staff have done a great job with the track and field teams, and I am confident this is a team that will be a national power for years to come."
Sheen will take over a sprints program that includes All-American and Olympic Trials participant Jordan Boase and 2008 Pac-10 4x100m Relay Champions Joseph Turner and Ryan Hamilton, as well as NCAA Regional competitor Jeff Gudaitis. The women's sprints unit is much younger and less experienced however NCAA Championships participant Falesha Ankton returns to anchor the group.
"Raul will continue to build on the momentum our men's sprint/hurdle crew has right now, while at the same time rebuilding our women's group," says Metcalf. "I know that we have a very talented collection of sprinters, both upperclassmen and freshmen, that are hungry to get to work with Coach Sheen and we are excited about what he will add to our program."
Sheen received his bachelor's degree from in physical education from Idaho State in 2002, and followed that up at ISU with a master's in athletic administration in 2003. While completing his studies, Sheen was a graduate assistant at Idaho State. That was followed by one year as a volunteer assistant at the University of New Mexico, before Sheen returned to ISU on a full-time basis in 2005.