POCATELLO, Idaho– The Idaho State Athletic Department is mourning the loss of assistant track and field coach Jackie Poulson who was tragically killed Thursday night. Poulson has been a member of the Idaho State family for over 12 years where she attended school and competed as a track and field student-athlete before becoming a coach.
“She was the pride of our program,” Idaho State track and field coach Dave Nielsen said. “She was like daughter to me. This is so untimely and tragic that I just don’t know what else to say.”
Poulson was going into her ninth year as an assistant coach where she assisted coach Dave Nielsen in training multi-event athletes. Poulson was a two-time All-American and Big Sky champion in the heptathlon. She also served as the recruiting coordinator for the track and field team. She holds the Idaho State University records in the 400-meter hurdles and coached All-American Cassie Merkley who broke Poulson’s heptathlon record during the 2008 season.
She was a participant in the Olympic Trials in 2004 and has competed in the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and Italy. She also competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials taking eighth in the heptathlon with 5,741 points. Poulson scored a career-high 5,538 points in the heptathlon while at ISU and has scored a personal best of 5,804 points in post-collegiate competition.
Poulson is from American Falls, where she attended American Falls High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Idaho State University in 2003. She was working on her master’s in health education and getting her teacher’s certificate.
“Jackie Poulson influenced the lives of so many of our student-athletes in such a positive manner,” Idaho State Director of Athletics Jeff Tingey said. “She was a true Bengal and an example to us all.”