NORMAN – Jim VanHootegem, University of Oklahoma track and field head coach, announced the hiring of three assistant coaches, a director of operations and a graduate assistant coach Wednesday.
Joining the Sooner staff are Colin Boevers, throws coach, Jerel Langley, vertical jumps and combined events coach, Kevin Ondrasek, associate cross country/distance coach, Stacy Stanush, director of operations, and Racquel Farquharson, graduate assistant.
“I am fired up to work with these talented individuals,” VanHootegem said. “The theme here Is energy and enthusiasm. We have a group of people who are very excited to be working and at the University of Oklahoma and to help raise the profile of our track and field program.”
For Boevers, the hire gives him the option to return to Norman after serving as the volunteer throws coach in 2013-14. He comes to Norman from the University of Miami-Ohio where he served as the women’s assistant coach for throws for one year and assistant for men’s and women’s throws for a year.
Colin Boevers | Throws
While at Miami, Boevers coached 10 student-athletes to 15 top-10 marks in program history and worked as a member of a coaching staff that helped the teams improve their annual performance in the MAC Conference Championships. In 2015, he coached Amelia Strickler to All-America honors in the indoor and outdoor shot put, the first woman in RedHawk history to earn All-America honors. She also set school records in both under his watch.
During the 2015-16 season, he took on additional duties as the program hired a new head coach. Those duties included planning travel for cross country, managing the recruiting for the throws area and assisting with recruiting for all areas of the team.
While at OU as a volunteer throws coach in 2013-14, he worked on daily basis with OU’s throwers as he enhanced his knowledge of the technical aspects related to throwing the shot, hammer, discus and javelin. He helped with one-on-one event coaching. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Boevers worked as a marketing analyst/media coordinator for Chatham Communications.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in community communications and leadership development in 2011 from the University of Kentucky. In his senior season at Kentucky, Boevers moved onto the all-time in the discus, ranking sixth with a 196-0.
“Colin was coached and mentored by a coach, Doug Reynolds, who I really admire. He sent Colin to us to be a volunteer assistant a few years ago. What we both noted was that Colin has two very special talents. One is a keen technical eye that is at a level which is very rare for a young coach. The other is an uncommonly strong ability to communicate with athletes,” VanHootegem continued.
“In addition, Coach Boevers and I are very much aligned philosophically so I know he is someone who will help drive the mission of our program. After seeing his work at Miami of Ohio, it was quickly apparent that he was able to apply his gifts to help student-athletes achieve and get the most out of themselves. Due to some unique circumstances, Colin was also given the opportunity to show his leadership abilities at Miami and those really shone brightly as well. We are thrilled to have Colin and Allison back in Norman.”
Jerel Langley | Vertical Jumps/Combined Events
Langley comes to OU from the University of Miami where he served as an assistant coach for the Hurricanes for three years. His student-athletes earned seven All-America honors, including four first-team honors in the pole vault. He was part of a coaching staff that led Miami to the 2016 ACC Indoor Conference title.
Langley coached three ACC champions and 17 All-ACC honorees. He also saw his athletes set seven school records and earn All-ACC academic honors three times. He had 11 NCAA East prelim qualifiers. His athletes set the Canadian national record in the women’s pole vault. He had athletes participate in the Olympic Trials in the U.S. and Canada.
Additionally, Langley managed equipment orders for the program as well as academic tracking, admissions and eligibility center for all prospective student-athletes and incoming freshmen.
His first coaching job came at Eastern Michigan where he worked with the throws and pole vault, combined events and vertical jumpers his first two years on the staff. He took on the oversight of all field events in 2013. He was on a staff that produced the 2011 MAC Indoor team champions and the MAC runners-up in the outdoor championship in 2011 and the indoor meet in 2013.
He coached two All-Americans, four MAC champions, five MAC runners-up, five school record holders and six NCAA East prelim qualifiers in his three years. He coached the 2013 Pan-Am Junior champion in the pole vault. That vaulter set the Pan-Am meet record as well as the Canadian Indoor and Outdoor Junior National record. His student-athletes earned 16 Academic All-MAC honors in addition to earning United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association academic honors.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2008 and added a master’s degree in applied exercise and health science in 2012 from Kennesaw State University. As a student-athlete, Langley was part of a team that won the 2006 Atlantic Sun outdoor men’s title. Langley earned All-East region honors in the javelin in 2008 and was named to the 2008 USTFCCCA All-Academic team. He was a two-time NCAA East region finalist, a two-time East regional qualifier and earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors four times. He held the conference record in the javelin and was a three-time Atlantic Sun All-Academic honoree.
Following graduation, Langley served as a graduate assistant coach at Kennesaw State, working with pole vault, javelin and combined event entries. As the recruiting coordinator, he was the initial contact for recruits and helped add a national champion from the Bahamas, five Nike Outdoor national participants and one Nike Outdoor All-American. He helped the team win the 2010 indoor and outdoor Atlantic Sun men’s team titles. He coached five conference champions, 15 all-conference honorees and 12 school record holders.
He served as an intern in the strength and conditioning area for Clemson during thesummer before his senior year. He is a United States Track and Field level 1 certified coach and is working toward level 2 certification.
“Coach Langley has done a great job at every stop of his coaching career. He has a great ability to find recruits and has a coaching style which allows for the individual’s particular talents to blossom. I was looking for someone who could coach the high jump, pole vault and combined events and contribute to team success. Last season, he had an Atlantic Coast Conference champion in each of those events and his team won an ACC title so his fit for the position is obvious,” VanHootegem added.
“Jerel was coached in college by one of my former athletes, Daniel Hunter, so he has some early familiarity to my coaching style through that and that’s a bonus. Plus, we both were assistant coaches at Miami (Fla.) under Amy Deem so he has worked for someone I not only highly respect, but who has a philosophy and working-style which has highly influenced me. We are excited to welcome Jerel, Ashley and Jaxon to Sooner Nation.”
Kevin Ondrasek | Associate Cross Country Coach/Distances
The third new assistant will have a dual title, serving as the associate coach in cross country and an assistant coach for distance events. And this is not the first time for VanHootegem and Ondrasek to work together as both were at Texas A&M during one of the Aggies’ most successful periods.
A former TAMU student-athlete, Ondrasek also served as a volunteer assistant and was part of three national championship teams. Texas A&M won the men’s and women’s NCAA Outdoor championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. VanHootegem and Ondrasek were part of the A&M program for each of those titles.
While at A&M, Ondrasek helped three athletes advance to the NCAA Championship and two others qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship. The Aggies also added the 2011 Big 12 men’s and women’s outdoor championships.
Ondrasek joined the Sooner staff after one year as the head cross country and assistant track and field coach at Samford University. His one year continued a pattern of success for the Texas native. He coached student-athletes who set 15 school records, won eight conference titles and celebrated the 2016 Southern Conference women’s outdoor championship. In the process, two qualified for nationals. It was at Samford that Ondrasek developed a unique training log for date collection from student-athletes.
Ondrasek left A&M for Southern Mississippi where served as head cross country/assistant track and field coach for three years. In that time, his athletes set 36 school records and registered the best NCAA Regional Cross Country team finish in school history. The quality of performances produced 75 percent of the top five all-time times in Golden Eagle history. His cross country teams finished in the top half of the regional field in two of his three years. He also coached Zuna Portillo to the national record of El Salvador in the 3,000-meter steeple.
He spent the summer of 2014 working at The World Athletics Center, known now as ALTIS, in Phoenix. After that experience at one of the top training facilities in the country, Ondrasek joined the staff at Florida State as the volunteer assistant/assistant operations director. During his time with the Seminoles, Ondrasek helped four student-athletes qualify for the NCAA East Regional, assisted with an ACC champion in the 800 and helped with the preparation that led to FSU to qualify for NCAA Cross Country Championships.
He also used his knowledge of biomechanics to study the Seminole athletes to identify potential weaknesses and produced a plan to address them.
He has been actively involved in recruiting at each of his collegiate stops and has received a wide variety of experience in meet organization including the Big 12 and NCAA indoor track and field championships, the Conference USA Cross Country Championship and NCAA Regional Cross Country championships. He has designed and built a cross country course and did the design, construction and organization of an equipment room.
He earned a B.S. in kinesiology from Texas A&M in 2010. While at A&M, he competed in middle distances and has the fifth-ranked time in the indoor 1,000 and the 15-best time in the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500. After his collegiate career ended, he trained and ran professionally, representing Top Tier Training in Texas. It was during this time that he ran a 3:41.18 in the 1,500-meter, a time that is equivalent to a sub-4:00 minute mile.
“Kevin is a former athlete who has demonstrated to me tremendous talent and work ethic as a coach. I believe that his unique ability to understand how to utilize sport sciences, balanced with his knowing the human ‘grit’ element, is what sets Coach Ondrasek apart in what I think will be his ability to help athletes achieve elite performances,” VanHootegem said.
“He has experience working at Texas A&M and Florida State which are both programs that have won multiple NCAA Championships. Plus, he was a member of championship teams at the highest level in both high school and college so he also understands team dynamics at the levels we are striving for as a program. He also grew up in the sport as his dad, Robert Ondrasek, was a truly legendary high school coach. I have had my eye on Kevin for a while and he confirmed my belief in him when his men’s teams swept all five distance titles at the Southern Conference meet last season.”
Stacy Stanush | Director of Operations
A winner in the classroom and on the track, Stanush competed for University of the Incarnate Word for four years, then joined the staff as the director of operations for the men’s and women’s track and field teams. A sprinter for the Cardinals, she ran the 200, 400 and 800 and was a member of several successful relays. She earned All-Lone Star Conference honors in 2011 and was part of the school record 1,600-meter relay team in 2013. She was a three-year team captain for UIW.
She was named to the Lone Star All-Academic team in 2011 and was honored for her academic achievement by the Division II Athletic Director’s Association. She received the UIW Presidential Academic Scholarship and the UIW Graduate Assistant scholarship among others. She earned the outstanding kinesiology undergraduate award and the UIW Dean’s Award.
She graduated magna cum laude from UIW in May 2013 with a B.S. in kinesiology and a minor in education. She completed her master’s degree in administration with an emphasis in sports management.
She has earned certification from the Track and Field Academy in meet management and program management.
“Stacy possesses a high understanding of the value she can play in her critical role. She is a track and field person who realized that her traits and interests coincided with the abilities needed for this position which is really what I was looking for in hiring this position. In short, she has the understanding of what the coaching staff needs to drive the program and has the skill sets to support that mission. In the end, our student-athletes will be the ones who benefit from all of the behind-the-scenes work that Stacy performs,” VanHootegem explained. “She served in this position in the highly competitive Southland Conference for three years and the coaching staff at Incarnate Word could not have been more wholehearted in their praise. We want to have an exemplary program at Oklahoma and Stacy will be a catalyst for making that happen. Stacy will allow everyone in the program to do their job better so her effect will be immense.”
Racquel Farquharson | Graduate Assistant
Farquharson comes from an assistant coach position at Moravian College to become the Sooners’ GA. While at Moravian, she worked with vertical and horizontal jumps. She coached five indoor and four outdoor Landmark Conference champions in her nine months at Moravian. She had one student-athlete qualify for the NCAA in the long jump. In addition to conducting multiple practice sessions, she developed training plans, including weight lifting, for her jumpers and assisted with recruiting.
An accomplished student-athlete at Mississippi State, Farquharson concentrated on the pentathlon and heptathlon before shifting her focus to the hurdles and relays. An NCAA qualifier in the 4×400-meter relay, she was a three-time NCAA regional qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles and earned All-SEC honors in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays. She ranks in the top 10 for the Bulldogs in the 100-meter hurdles.
Following her competitive career, Farquharson stayed on at MSU, for just over a year, working part-time with the event operations group while serving as a volunteer assistant for the track and field team. In the volunteer role, she worked with meet management, strength and conditioning training and helping with all areas of practice. She focused much of those efforts on the hurdles, sprints, long jump and javelin.
She graduated from Mississippi State in May 2015 with a BA in criminology. She has earned USTFCCCA Technical certification and has her USATF Level 1 certification.
“First, I really like it that Racquel came up in track and field in the highly competitive environments of the high school system in Jamaica and the Southeastern Conference. We want to be a ‘line it up’ program so we need that mentality throughout,” VanHootegem said. “Second, she came highly recommended by the coaches at Mississippi State who are a group of people I really admire and trust. Their endorsements of her were beyond enthusiastic. Finally, she exhibited an exuberance on the phone which I just loved. She will be a great fit and a tremendous addition to our program.”
The Sooner cross country team reports Aug. 18 to continue preparations for the 2016 while the rest of the roster will report prior to the first day of class on the Norman campus.