The End of My Pole Vault Career

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The End of My Pole Vault Career

Unread postby zipsDIGSpv » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:33 pm

This is something I wrote up to share with my vaulters and teammates over the past 17 years and I thought I would share it with the whole vault community on here as well. So many of our stories are the same...we couldn't imagine where we would be without pole vault in our lives and the role it has played in bringing us to where we are and shaping us into who we have become. I am sad to step down at Southern Illinois, but I know the program is in great hands with Brian Porter. Thank you to all who have impacted me over the years and thank you to my pole vault family which is everyone who has been an athlete or a coach. It is rare to see a sport where there is so much respect and closeness between all who have participated.

It has been an incredible 17 years of pole vault being a huge part of my life and I owe it so much and I am sad to see this era of my life come to an end! Pole vaulting has taught me so much about faith, hard work, leadership, friendship, coaching, family...really every aspect of my life I feel pole vaulting has had an impact on. It is what lead me to the University of Akron where I figured out what real faith in Jesus was and where He saved me then on to Carbondale, IL where I met my beautiful wife Claire and where I found Vine Church where I would later become a pastor (and ultimately what called me away from pole vaulting).

To the athletes that I have coached at Southern Illinois University over the past six years...I hope that you got out of me half of what I got out of coaching you guys. I couldn't have asked for a better crew of men and women over the last six years! You guys really did make my job easy and I am proud of each of you for way more than just what you achieved on the track and I have prayed that when vaulting came to an end for each one of you, that vaulting did what it did for me for you and prepare you for every aspect of life.

I did crunch some numbers to get an idea of what improvements were made over the past six years at SIU. When I got to SIU, the vault program was almost non-existent. There wasn't a single male on the roster and only a few women who had never scored a point in the Missouri Valley Conference. since then we have had many all-conference performers, conference champions, 2 national qualifiers, a school record and on the women's side nine of the top ten performances in Saluki history. On average every vaulter that has gone through the program in the past six years has increased their high school personal best by 1' 1.5" with the best being Tim Robberstad (sorry Dean decathletes don't count) who improved 2' 3.50" from high school. Here is a link to the numbers that I came up with (also includes javelin personal best but has no high school PR's because they all started from scratch in college).

Again, I am proud of all of the athletes that I have had the privilege of coaching and am so grateful for the friendships that I have made through competing and coaching one of the best sports out there. I thank God and will continue to do so for blessing me the way that he has through this sport and thank you to all of you that have been such a big part of it! I may not be involved anymore in any official capacity, but I could never walk away from the sport completely.

Coach Digman
Wadsworth High School 2001
University of Akron 2006
Southern Illinois University coach 2006-2012
I beat my body and make it my slave
-I Corinthians 9:26-27

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Re: The End of My Pole Vault Career

Unread postby coachjvinson » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:38 pm

Thank you for your post, may we all be as blessed.

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