Deal Appointed Throws Coach for Ducks' Combined Track Program
May 8, 2003
EUGENE - Lance Deal, who has served as a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Oregon's men's track & field program this season, has been elevated to a full-time position overseeing the Ducks' men's and women's throws specialists, according to the school's track and field head coach Martin Smith.
The move is the first since the university's January announcement that it would merge both the men's and women's track programs under Smith's direction upon the retirement of Oregon's 27-year women's head coach Tom Heinonen at the conclusion of this season. Deal's appointment will become effective July 1, 2003.
Deal, a four-time Olympic hammer thrower and 1996 silver medalist, is completing his first season overseeing the men's shot put, discus and hammer. Among his current athletes, former walk-on and redshirt senior Adam Kriz is atop the Pacific-10 Conference's list of hammer throwers and ranks sixth nationally in the event (219-9) with a mark that puts him fifth all-time in school history. Another senior thrower and former walk-on, James March, is a Pac-10 qualifier in the shot put (55-7) and discus (171-10).
'Obviously, we are extremely pleased and very excited with the addition of someone of Lance's profile and the expertise he brings in the throws area to our coaching staff,' Smith said.
Prior to his stint as a Duck coach, the 41-year-old Deal was known among the track community for his athletic exploits in the hammer ring. The 1996 Olympic hammer throw silver medalist (266-2) also competed in Olympiads in 1988 (17th qual.), 1992 (seventh) and 2000 (16th qual.), and in World Championships in 1991 (13th qual.), 1993 (ninth), 1995 (fifth) and 1999 (13th qual.). In the world rankings, he stood first in 1996 and was ranked among the top-10 five other seasons (1992-93-94-95-98). At the national level, the U.S. record holder (270-9) owns 16 of the top 20 throws all-time by Americans (all 262-11 or better). His resume boasts nine U.S. outdoor hammer titles and12 indoor titles in the 35-lb. weight throw, including a record nine straight year-end No. 1 hammer rankings.
A resident of the Eugene-Springfield area since 1986, Deal first announced his retirement from active competition following the 2000 season before making a brief comeback a year ago. The Hayward Field record-holder culminated the season with his ninth national hammer title (244-5) in the 2002 USA Outdoor Championships.
As a collegian, Deal was better known for his exploits in the shot put and discus rings. At Montana State, he won the discus in the U.S. junior championships as a collegiate freshman, and topped 190 feet as a sophomore (1981, 192-5), junior (1982, 199-7) and senior (1984, 202-2). As a senior, he was a NCAA discus All-American (eighth, personal-best 202-2) at Hayward Field and an Olympic Trials participant (14th qual.). As a shot putter, he led the U.S. junior ranks as a collegiate freshman (57-8), threw his personal best of 60-2 as a sophomore, and also made two NCAA indoor appearances. He didn't compete in the hammer until his senior season, recording a collegiate-best 205-1, and finished 22nd in the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
Born in Riverton, Wyo., the Montana State physical education honors graduate (B.S degree, 1984) attended Natrona County High School (Casper, Wyo.) through the spring of 1979. He and his wife Nancy have one daughter, Sarah.