Track & Field

@ndxctf
Sparks Adds Three To Coaching Staff

Aug. 9, 2018

By Katherine Harvath

Notre Dame, Ind. -- Matt Sparks, the Cross Country and Hatherly-Piane Track & Field Head Coach announced the addition of three assistant coaches Thursday afternoon. Wayne Pate, Rodney Zuyderwyk and Kendra Foley will join the Irish for the upcoming season.

“We are excited to welcome our new assistant coaches to the program,” said Sparks. “Wayne, Rodney and Kendra bring a wealth of experience. They have each been a part of programs that have won National Championships and they have all either coached NCAA Champions or been an NCAA Champion themselves."

Pate, who most recently assisted at the University of Kansas, will work with the sprints, long jump and triple jump. Zuyderwyk, who comes to South Bend after nine years at the University of New Mexico, will oversee hurdles, pole vault, high jump and the combined events. Foley, a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, spent the past year assisting at her alma mater. She will work primarily in the development of the women’s distance team.

Pate comes to Notre Dame after 11 seasons at Kansas, coaching horizontal jumps and combined events. While there, he coached multiple Olympic athletes, 79 All-Americans and 11 National Champions. Pate was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year four times during his tenure with the Jayhawks and he helped lead the team to its first NCAA Outdoor Championship team title in 2013. Pate coached  the school’s first women’s individual NCAA Outdoor Champion when Lindsay Vollmer took home the 2013 title in the heptathlon.

Prior to his time with the Jayhawks, he spent nine years at his alma mater, Indiana University, serving as assistant and associate head coach before being named interim head coach in 2006-07. While in Bloomington, he was named National Assistant Coach of the Year twice, coached 22 Big Ten champions, an NCAA champion and an indoor and outdoor USA Champion. He saw three individuals receive All-American honors under his training and led two to the Olympic Games (2004 and 2008).

Before heading to Bloomington, Pate was an assistant coach at Purdue and oversaw the sprints, hurdles, long jump and triple jump. He coached a talented group of sprinters who were also members of the football team. Brian Alford was the Big-10 200 meter champion, while Vinnie Sutherland and Chris Clopton were conference finalists in the 60 meter dash.

Pate also spent time at Texas, Tennessee and Murray State, where he served as the head coach. Accolades of his early coaching career include being named the Ohio Valley Women’s Coach of the year and coaching individuals to five national titles in the long jump and high jump. At Murray State, he worked with three-time Olympian Heather Samuels (4x100 relay, 100m, 200m).

While a student at Indiana University, he was crowned the Big Ten Champion twice in the long jump and was a member of the 400-meter relay Big Ten Championship team.

A native of Australia, Zuyderwyk previously served as Associate Head Coach at New Mexico where he supervised the vertical jumps, combined events and javelin. In nine years with the team, he coached 19 individuals to Mountain-West Conference titles, six outright conference team titles, 30 NCAA Championship appearances, three All-American honors, one Mountain-West Athlete of the Year and 10 All-Conference honors. Two Mountain-West records and 11 school records broken by student-athletes he coached.

Prior to his time in New Mexico, he spent eight years as the Assistant Coach at Purdue University where he was named Regional Assistant Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA in 2008 and 2009. While in West Lafayette, he coached two NCAA National Champions, seven NCAA Regional Champions, 19 Big Ten title winners and saw 17 school records shattered. Two student-athletes won three USA Championship titles under his tutelage during this time. He coached two student-athletes to Collegiate Records, one of whom also broke the American Record. Zuyderwyk also coached Purdue’s first female Olympian and World Championship qualifier, Kara Patterson (javelin), during her career with the Boilermakers.

Before embarking on his coaching career, Zuyderwyk competed in the hurdles and combined events for Washington State University where he helped his team win a PAC-12 Championship. In international competition, he finished sixth in the 110 meter hurdles at the Athletics World Cup and placed sixth in the decathlon at the World Student Games for the Netherlands. He also represented Australia at the 1998 Commonwealth Games where he competed in the 110 meter hurdles and 4x100 meter relay.

Foley, a 2016 graduate of Grand Valley State University, spent the previous season as a volunteer assistant coach for her alma mater. As a student, she was a member of the three-time Division II Cross Country NCAA Championship team, winning the team title in 2013, 2014 and 2016. She was the Division II NCAA Cross Country Champion in 2014 and 2016, placing second in 2015. A 14-time All-American, Foley was named the Division II Scholar Athlete of the Year during her junior and senior seasons, receiving All-GLIAC and All-Region Academic Excellence honors across all four years of her career.


 

 

-- ND --


Katherine Harvath is currently an athletics communication assistant with Fighting Irish Media. She oversees Notre Dame cross country/track & field, swimming and diving and men’s tennis. She is a 2018 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she studied sport management.

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