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Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:56 pm
by dwcforever
Just wondering?

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:39 pm
by VTechVaulter
In no particular order

Arkansas (women)
Virginia Tech
Oregon has had some really good ones, last few years have been a bit down (excluding skipper obviously)
Texas has had a bunch

these are the ones that come to my mind for consistently putting people in the national championship meet, and consistently taking their high school prospects and making them better! im sure i missed some.

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:53 pm
by tsorenson
Strangely, different colleges excel in men's PV vs. women's PV. I'm sure someone else has a better explanation for why that is than I do...suffice to say that female pole vaulters will probably have an easier time finding scholarships than males.

Some of the good ones for men's:

-Virginia Tech
-Oral Roberts
-Eastern Illinois
-Oregon (coming back around for the PV? Either way they have an awesome track team)

ok, so that's more than 10.

BYU has been rising lately, but deserves an asterisk, because their post-mission athletes are years older than any other college athletes (unfair advantage in my opinion). However, they obviously have good coaching and dedication to the PV.

Some good ones for women:

-North Carolina
There are lots of smaller schools that have good programs.


Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:21 pm
by achtungpv
Cal Poly. Everybody talks about ACU being the DII powerhouse but back before CP moved up to DI, they had more DII national PV titles than ACU. They continued to have success at DI also.

1. Sean Brown, 1997 18-6 3/4
2. Jon Takahashi, 2006 18-4 3/4
3. Brad Pickett, 1998/1999 18-0 1/2
3. Steve Horvath, 1989 18-0 1/2
5. Logan Nichols, 1998 17-9 3/4
6. Tom Chastiglioni, 1991 17-9
7. Brian Adamick, 1993 17-9
8. Kevin Rankin, 1990 17-8 1/2
9. Frank Burke, 1990 17-7 1/4
10. Tim McDonald, 1979 17-6

Also, the women have had the 1st NCAA champ (Bianca Maran) and a few years later another NCAA Champ, Paula Serrano (14'1 1/2")

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:30 pm
by vcpvcoach
I agree with the list posted but I'd add San Diego State to the list on the women's side. Rich Fox has had a number of All American's in the past few years.

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:41 pm
I have to put in my opinion, and promote my schools from personal experience.

Tennessee- overall powerhouse, top coaching, facilities (track and gymnastics), training partners

However... If you are looking for a small school but still D1.... Samford University in Birmingham Alabama.
This year Samford qualified 3 vaulters to regionals, and on the mens side has close to 3 full scholarships invested in the vault. You can get a great scholarship (we have 2 vaulters on full rides), coaching, facilities (brand new outdoor track)... but it is a small school which turns a lot of athletes off.

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:52 am
by Bubba PV
Please exclude all listed universities here from my comments below, because we are preaching to the choir. They deserve the recognition for the programs they have built and their ability to work with a wide range of talents. CONGRATS!!

BUT - on the other end of this spectrum I would like to warn athletes to check on the incoming and outgoing PRs of vaulters who go to your university of choice. You would be shocked at the number of "major universities" who either do not have a good vault coach, or don’t feel the need to vault year round, or both. Many are of the belief that once the athlete becomes stronger and faster they will jump higher. I went to college to pole vault so I asked this question and chose the school where all athletes made the most improvement from high school to college graduation. I could have stayed home and gone to the gym and run.

One MAJOR school doesn’t think it is important to vault at all in the fall so their first meet is a week after they have first touched a pole. Another coach told me that “we don’t want any of those kids that think they need to vault all of the time or do gymnastics. We just need to get them stronger and faster”. Another is so obsessed with drills, yet his/her vaulters say they can’t vault AND they can’t do the drills. When they only do the drills then they can’t vault correctly. Obviously those drills have no place in the vault.

NOTHING is more discouraging than going to a university with good vaulters only to not improve. One school got three 16’ – 17’ vaulters in three different years. One was so discouraged that he quit after his sophomore year, a full foot below his high school PR. Another capped off his career with a 2” improvement over his high school PR of nearly 17’. The 3rd just completed his junior year and has tied his high school PR once. Finally, one elite high school vaulter went on to be an elite vaulter at a major university and gives all credit to IGNORING his coach. “I saw how he coached the others down and I didn’t want to be a part of that”

I’m retired from elite coaching but I once had a coach ask me why no one respected him since he had all of this knowledge and had studied so much. My response, “First you come off as an a** that knows it all, and I’m your friend telling you this. I know you’re not an a** but you’re keeping that secret from others”. I told him the problem is that he has not developed anyone. He recruited kids who were already good and hoped them getting strong and fast would make them better. I told him how we had gotten two kids, two years apart with PRs of 12’ and 13’ respectively after their sophomore years in high school. Six years later they were 18’ 4 ½” and 18’ 10 ½” respectively. We got a masters guy from 12’ to 15’ in one year and a girl from 12’ 6” to 14’ 4” in six months. That is development - nobody to somebody.

Our answer was the TALENT potential and kids who loved to vault and were committed to their training. ALL of these kids had good to great skills but were misusing them; working against physics instead of with them. That takes TONS of vaulting and the right drills to correct. The reality is that there is no one program as a good coach will have 6-10 individual programs in progress to accommodate the BEST way for EACH kid within the general system of beliefs.

So congrats to these coaches and schools that you are recognizing, as I am in total agreement with you. But my note is intended for the kids who will be going to other schools. Simple questions for those coaches, "what are the top high school and college marks of your best vaulters? How important do you believe it is to vault in the fall?"

You get ahead of people when they aren’t training. If you’re vaulting and they aren’t you can progress past a lot of them. The great Bob Fraley once said, “After you know how to vault, 70% of your improvement comes from how fast and strong you can get". His son Doug told me that “only 30% of meet vaults will turn out as you expect, so you had better have a lot of vaults under your belt so you can adapt”. AMEN to both comments! Bubba

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:02 pm
by VaultPurple
I think one of the biggest factors is not the top ten colleges, but the top ten pole vault coaches. A lot of people look at a school and are like ''Wow they have had awesome pole vaulters over the years, they must be where you go to be a good pole vaulter!'". But at the college level coaches bounce around a lot, and one thing I have noticed is that the programs with the best vault programs, have had the same coach a long time. Take VT for instance, they have had the same coach for almost 20 years, and they always come up in the discussion of one of the best pole vault programs. But if you were a high school kid looking for the best place to pole vault I would pay attention that I did not choose University A because they have had 5 guys go from 15' to 18' in the past three years, only to find out that their coach was about to take a job somewhere else right when they got to college.

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:26 pm
by aztecvaulter
Ranking Top 20 Men’s Pole Vault Programs in the NCAA History

Ranked by number of 18’ vaulters based on University website's Top 10 list

1. Baylor – 8
2. Tennessee – 7
3. UCLA – 7
4. Texas – 7
5. Abilene Christian – 7
6. Arkansas State - 6
7. Kansas – 6
8. Oregon – 6
9. USC – 6
10. Long Beach State – 5
11. Oklahoma – 5
12. Illinois – 5
13. Washington – 4
14. LSU – 4
15. San Jose St. – 4
16. Cal Poly SLO - 4
17. Nebraska – 3
18. Washington St – 3
19. BYU – 3
20. Virginia Tech – 3
21. New Mexico – 3
22. Arizona – 3
23. Texas A&M – 3

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 pm
by dj


how far back does that list go?

and was Arkansas State in the schools checked?

Bubba knows where, how and why....


Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:00 pm
by hallvaulter
I am certainly biased, but a list of 18' pole vaulters isnt really a good indicator unless it only includes vaulters under the current coach. Yes there are elements of tradition. But I would be interested in which collegiate coaches have produced the most 18 footers.

Re: Top ten College Pole Vault Programs in the country

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:01 am
by achtungpv
I wouldn't even say 18-footers or 14-footers. Which coach has produced the most All Americans? Off the top of my head, I'd guess Compton & Curran.