Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Eric Metcalf formally hired as sprints coach at the University of Washington...

The University of Washington confirmed what had been known in the local community for weeks by formally announcing the hiring of former NFL running back and kick return specialist Eric Metcalf (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) as the school’s sprint coach.

Metcalf, who was a two-time NCAA champion in the long jump and the winner of the 1988 TAC/USA outdoor long jump title (that year, the Olympic Trials and the US championships were two separate meets), began his NFL career in 1989 with the Cleveland Browns, playing six seasons for the Browns.

After playing for the Browns, he played for the Falcons, Chargers, Cardinals, Panthers, Redskins, and Packers.  He was selected to three Pro Bowls—twice with Cleveland (1994-95), and once with San Diego (1997).  

He is a footnote in perhaps one of the worst trades in Chargers franchise history, as he, along with two first round and one second round picks, were traded to the Arizona Cardinals, in order to move one spot in the NFL draft, where San Diego drafted Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf.

Here is a highlight clip from his NFL career, courtesy of NFL Films:

After his career concluded, he began coaching track at Rainier Beach HS, where he led Michael Berry to a state title before he competed for the University of Oregon.  Berry was also one of the most prominent athletes on Metcalf’s Seatown Express club team, comprised of some of the top sprinters and jumpers in the Puget Sound area.

Metcalf was a volunteer assistant coach at the UW starting with the 2013 season, working with the horizontal jumpers, and also with Kennadi Bouyer, who was a former Seatown Express member, in the sprints.

Bouyer broke the UW school record for 60-meters indoors and became the first Husky ever to make the NCAA Indoor Championship 60m final in 2016, running a PR of 7.27 in the semis. Bouyer also made it to the NCAA Outdoor Championship final site at 100-meters, placing 20th overall.

Mark Macdonald & Jeshua Anderson were announced
by the UW as volunteer coaches for the 2016-17 season
(Paul Merca photo)
“Eric has a wealth of experience both on the football field and on the track. He has just been around great athletes his entire life, and he understands what greatness is," said UW head coach Greg Metcalf. 

"This is his first collegiate coaching job but he's had great successes with his club and at Rainier Beach he coached some of the best sprinters in the history of the state of Washington, and he's done great work with Kennadi Bouyer here. I think he deserves a shot and he wanted it. The initial response from our team is excitement to be working with Coach Metcalf."

In addition to his work at Rainier Beach and at Seatown Express, Eric Metcalf was doing consulting work for Nike in track & field, and attended the 2015 IAAF world championships in Beijing and the Rio Olympics with Nike.  He was also an ambassador for the Cleveland Browns, helping the Browns with public speaking appearances, both in the off-season, and in-season.

In addition to his Seattle ties, Metcalf's uncle, Dennis Cook, competed for the Huskies in the long and triple jumps in the late 1970s.

In a related move, the UW also announced that long-time Washington State hurdles coach Mark Macdonald will be a volunteer coach at the UW, along with Jeshua Anderson, the 2011 USA 400 hurdles champ and 3-time NCAA champ at Washington State. 

NOTE:  The University of Washington contributed to this report.

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