Aug. 17, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee Women's Head Track & Field Coach J.J. Clark announced Thursday that John Frazier of the University of Arizona has joined the Lady Vol staff as an assistant coach. Frazier replaces former throws coach Cathrine Erickson, who tendered her resignation on June 22 to pursue other job opportunities.
With his addition, UT now has the services of three coaches who were named national and regional coaches of the year in 2005. Clark was USTCA National Indoor and South Region Head Coach of the Year, Caryl Smith Gilbert was USTCA National and Mideast Region Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year for Sprints/Hurdles and Frazier was USTCA National and West Region Assistant Coach of the Year for Throws.
Frazier comes to Knoxville after spending the past six seasons in Tucson, where he coached the women's and men's throwers for the Wildcats. Before joining the Arizona staff, he spent two seasons at the University of Florida, where he worked alongside Clark, and he previously coached at Cal State Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA with a bachelor's in political science in 1986, Frazier started his career at UC Irvine in 1988 and followed that up with stints at Humboldt (Calif.) State and Cal State Northridge before stepping up to the Pac-10 and SEC level. He earned a master's in kinesiology during his time at Northridge.
"I am ecstatic to announce that John Frazier will join our track & field program," Clark said. "He has established himself as one of the premier throws coaches in the country. I had the opportunity to work with him in the past at Florida, and I am well aware of the great skills and character he possesses."
Frazier joins the Big Orange from a program where he had produced 11 All-Americans and two U.S. Junior champions entering last season. He succeeded in adding to those numbers in 2006, when he had seven athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships and they collectively accumulated five All-America certificates in the discus and shot put. Among them were Rachel Varner, Pac-10 champ and NCAA Outdoor eighth-place finisher in the discus; Adam Kuehl, Pac-10 and NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the discus; and Sean Shields, NCAA Indoor third-place finisher in the shot, Pac-10 runner-up in the shot, NCAA Regional champ in the shot and discus, and NCAA Outdoor third-place finisher in the shot and sixth-place point-getter in the discus.
Frazier also coached Sara Vigil, a former Lady Vol who transferred to UA after spending the 2004 season in Knoxville. Vigil qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2006 under Frazier's guidance and set the Wildcats' school record in the indoor weight throw.
"I worked with J.J. Clark at Florida and never thought I'd get the opportunity to work with him again," Frazier said. "I am really excited about the success he's had at Tennessee, and I look forward to making a contribution to the program.
"It's also exciting to come back to the SEC, because I really enjoyed competing amongst the teams in the league when I was in Gainesville. The Pac-10 is a great conference, but there is something special about the SEC. Even though I am a Southern California (born in Lancaster, Calif.) guy, I look forward to being back in the Southeast again."
During his tenure at Florida, Frazier helped Emily Carlsten earn a runner-up finish in the javelin at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a third-place outcome at the U.S. Olympic Trials that season. His athletes at UF also set school records in the javelin, hammer throw and 20-pound weight throw under his tutelage.
Other athletes who trained with Frazier include Dawn Dumble (59-2 in the shot and 201-6 in the discus); Shaun Pickering, a 1996 British Olympian who owns the No. 3 shot put mark in his country's history; Matt Pentecost, the 1995 U.S Junior National shot put champion; and Steve Albert, who finished seventh in the shot put at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.
During his entire coaching career, 32 of Frazier's athletes have attained All-America status, including 13 at the NCAA Division II level during his early years in the profession. He coached four NCAA Division II national champions and has tutored several athletes in the professional ranks.
As a collegiate performer from 1982-86, Frazier was a three-time All-American at UCLA in the shot put and also competed in the hammer throw. He becomes the second Bruin track & field standout to grace the UT staff, as sprint/jumps coach Caryl Smith Gilbert graduated from UCLA in 1991 after a successful career on the oval.
Frazier, a product of Lancaster, Calif., is married to the former Julia Barnes. They have two daughters, Lana (9) and Courtney (6), and one son, John Jr. (4).