Indiana State University Newsroom

McNichols named men's head coach for Pan Am Junior Championships

June 6, 2011

Indiana State University track and field and cross country coordinator John McNichols has been selected by USA Track & Field to be the head coach of Team USA men's team that will compete at the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships July 22-24 in Miramar, Fla.

"These are events that I really look forward to," said McNichols, who also serves as the men's track & field head coach at Indiana State. "It is quite an honor to be selected by the national organization."

This is McNichols' second time as the head coach of Team USA men's team, previously serving in that capacity in 1999. He was also the distance coach for the 2005 Pan Am Junior Championships.

He was also selected for national staffs on several other occasions. McNichols was an assistant coach for the North Team at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., and served as an assistant coach for sprints and hurdles for Team USA at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

McNichols has also served as a meet official at the 1984 Olympics Games (Los Angeles), the 1987 Pan American Games (Indianapolis), and the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials (Indianapolis). He was the head marshal at the 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta) and served as the men's commissioner at five U.S. Olympic Festivals.

His staff includes Maurice Pierce of Hampton University (sprints and hurdles), and Iowa's Scott Cappos (throws). Cliff McKenzie (Scottsdale Unified School District and the Arizona Elite Track Club) will serve as head manager. Penn State's Beth Alford-Sullivan will serve as the women's head coach and coach of the distance runners. Her assistants include Easter Gabriel of Dallas ISD (sprints and hurdles) and Dana Boone of Oklahoma (jumps/combined). Monica Gary of Purdue will serve as the head manager.

McNichols may have the opportunity to have an athlete from Indiana State on the team as four men and one woman have qualified to compete in the USA National Junior Championships June 23-26 in Eugene, Ore. Current Sycamores Ray Skamay (400 meter hurdles), Nigel Jolly (long jump), Shayne Cureton (long jump), and Marcel Hamilton (triple jump) have qualified for the men's competition while Kelly Steffen (heptathlon) has qualified for the women's competition. The top two in each event will be invited to participate on the team at the Pan American Junior Championships.

The Pan American Junior Championships feature teams from North American, Central American, South American, and from Caribbean nations. An athlete must be 19-years-old or younger to be eligible for the junior championships.

Media contact and writer: Kevin Jenison, media relations coordinator - athletics, Indiana State University, 812-237-4073 or