Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brad Walker and Aretha Thurmond honored at halftime of Notre Dame/Washington football game...

While working for ESPN on Saturday night’s Notre Dame/Washington football game and watching yet another brutal performance by the Montlake 11, the University of Washington honored the school’s Summer Olympians, including pole vaulter Brad Walker and discus thrower Aretha Thurmond at halftime.

The Husky Band played several Olympic-themed songs, including “Bugler’s Dream”, and “Olympic Fanfare”, the theme songs used by NBC on its Olympic television coverage, as they introduced Thurmond, Walker, soccer gold medal winning goalie Hope Solo, and several rowers, including Anna Mickelson.

Quite honestly, seeing the Husky Olympians honored during halftime of yet another Husky loss was my highlight. It’s great that Brad and Aretha were honored by the school which helped develop them.

SHEEN TO BE NAMED SPRINT COACH AT WASHINGTON... has learned that Raul Sheen, the sprint coach at Long Beach State, is expected to be named the new sprint and hurdles coach at the University of Washington, replacing LaMonte Vaughn, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

It is anticipated that the University will make the official announcement sometime in the next few days.

Sheen was the sprint coach for the 49ers during the 2007-08 season.

Sheen was honored by the United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association, as the sprint coach was named the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Sheen had four athletes run at the NCAA National Championships.

Capped by Brent Gray's wins in the 100m and 200m, the Long Beach State sprinters' success at the Big West Championship played a big part in the men winning the Big West Title. Under Sheen's tutelage, Gray earned a second Big West Track Athlete of the Year honor, and the 49ers won both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays at the Big West Championships.

Additionally, the 49ers grabbed a sprint medley win earlier in the year, winning the race at the prestigious Drake Relays. Gray qualified for both the 100m and 200m dashes at the National Championships, as did the men's 4x100 relay team.

Gray finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines in the 200m, running 20.88.

"I'm excited for Raul, and happy to see the coaches recognize our staff for the tremendous job they've done," said LBSU head coach Andy Sythe in June after Sheen was honored by USTFCCCA

Previously, he was at Idaho State University after coaching at the University of New Mexico for a year. Sheen was a member of the ISU track squad for four years and also a coach for one year before his tenure at UNM.

At UNM, he worked as an assistant coach in charge of sprints and in the marketing department for athletics.

During Sheen’s time at ISU, the sprinters accomplished 23 All-Conference performances. They had 8 Conference Champions, broke 7 school records, and qualified 3 individuals and 2 relays to the NCAA West Regional Championships.

Sheen is a native of Rupert, Idaho, where he attended Minico High School. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education at ISU in 2002, and his Master's Degree in Athletic Administration from Idaho State University.

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