Dan Pfaff has been named to the dual roles of Head Coach of the World Jumps Center and Human Performance Director of the World Athletics Center, based in Phoenix, Ariz.
Pfaff, who has coached nine Olympic medalists and five world record-holders during his famed 39-year career, was appointed by World Athletics center founder John Godina.
“Coach Pfaff represents the highest level of coaching in our sport,” said Godina, a four-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist in the shot put. “Over the course of his long career, he has demonstrated an innate ability to develop champion athletes, and his record stands with the giants in athletics history. The World Athletics Center feels strongly that coaches with experience, success, and continued interest in evolving deserve a place to free their minds and do what they do best—coach and teach. Coach Pfaff will be doing just that.”
‘Coach Pfaff represents the highest level of coaching in our sport.’ John Godina
In his roles at the World Athletics Center, Pfaff will have responsibilities for elite athlete development, coach’s mentorship and education curriculum development, and human performance research and development.
Most recently, Pfaff served from 2009 to 2012 as director of the UKA High Performance Centre in London, and coached Greg Rutherford of Great Britain to a gold medal in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games in that city. Rutherford is training at the Phoenix, Ariz., facility. Athletes re-locating to Phoenix to work with Pfaff include 2008 Olympic gold medalist Steve Hooker; 2007 World Champion and American Record-holder Brad Walker; 2007 World Champion high jumper Donald Thomas of the Bahamas; and UK pole vault national record-holders Holly Bleasdale and Steve Lewis.
“After having so much success with Coach Pfaff I knew I would follow him to prepare for the Rio Olympics 2016,” said Lewis. “When I found out he was going to be working at the World Athletics Center in Phoenix, it was an instant relief. John Godina has really made a huge step forward for the development of track and field and the environment it’s creating is awesome. Here I can work with the best coaches in the world, train with international training partners, and enjoy an amazing climate all year round.”
Earlier in his career, Pfaff served NCAA coaching stints at the University of Texas-El Paso, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, and University of Florida. While at the college level, he coached 29 individual national champions. Among his other positions, he has served as a coach in the Nike Oregon Project; special projects director of Sparq, Inc.; COO for Tiger Bar Sports; and director of track and field for the USOC Olympic Training Center at Chula Vista, Calif.
Pfaff has served on the coaching staffs of five countries for five Olympic Games and six countries for nine World Championships teams. He has lectured in 27 countries and consulted with players or teams in the NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, Canadian Winter Olympics programs, WTA, and European Soccer leagues. The most-decorated superstar of the sport coached by Pfaff is Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist and former world-record-holder at 100 meters.
‘The World Athletics Center aspires to be the most stable training and coaching environment in the world.’ Dan Pfaff
“The World Athletics Center aspires to be the most stable training and coaching environment in the world, while also being one of the most creative and free-thinking,” said Pfaff, citing the vision he shares with Godina for developing athletes, coaches, and support staff. “It is the ideal place for me to combine and convey everything I’ve learned in my career. I’m blessed to coach some of the best athletes in the world, proud that many of them have chosen to join me in Phoenix, and pleased that in my new role at the World Athletics Center I will be able to help develop some of the best coaches in the world, as well.”