He is the first Redbird to earn this honor.
Redbirds finish championships with one national title and two runner-up performances.
This is both their first region awards of their careers at ISU.
Brittany Smith - 2012 NCAA Hammer Runner-Up
Tim Glover - 2012 NCAA Javelin Champion
Brittany Smith Earns Second-Team All-America Honors
Leigh Petranoff Earns All-American Honors
Erik Whitsitt enters his third season as part of the Illinois State track & field coaching staff as the Redbirds' throws coach.
During the 2010-11 campaign, Whitsitt helped develop two All-America performers in the likes of Tim Glover and Leigh Petranoff. Both athletes continued their Missouri Valley Conference dominance, repeating as conference champions and breaking both school and conference records. Glover and Petranoff continued their seasons at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Glover competed in the javelin, where he won the 2011 NCAA Division I National title as a true sophomore with a throw of 80.33m (263'6). Petranoff's sixth-place finish (162'1) earned her All-America honors.
In addition to the NCAA Championships, Glover went on to compete in the USA Championships where he finished as the top collegiate athlete, placing sixth.
Whitsitt also managed Brittany Smith, who continued her pursuit of the Illinois State record books, setting new ones in the 20lb weight (65'1), indoor shot (56'2) and the hammer (205'9). Smith set a new personal-record (56'2) on her first throw at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, earning her the bronze and All-America status. She also added a second-team All-America certificate at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships with her ninth-place finish.
Coach Whitsitt had a memorable first season, directing the men's and women's throws squad. Petranoff and Glover each set new school records in the javelin, and earned All-Valley honors after sweeping the event at the conference championships; both Petranoff and Glover went on to the NCAA West Regional Championships, with Glover advancing on to the NCAA Championships where he placed 12th as a freshman. Whitsitt guided freshman Brittany Smith to a school record in women's hammer with a throw of 193'9. Smith qualified for the NCAA regional championships in shot put, discus, and hammer, and advanced to the NCAA championships in disc. Smith continued her breakout year, winning the USA Junior National shot put championship with a throw of 50'6, earning her junior All-American honors and a spot on USA's junior World team. She placed seventh at the 2010 IAAF Junior National Championships in Moncton, Canada.
Whitsitt also guided stand-out throwers Tori Ziegler and Curtis Jensen to the NCAA West Regional's in shot put. Ziegler finished her season throwing 50'11.5 and Jensen finished 55'7, both personal bests. In all, Whitsitt led his squad to 21 personal-bests, two conference championships, three school records, seven NCAA West qualifiers, two NCAA Championships qualifiers, four USA Championships qualifiers and one USA Junior National Champion.
Prior to Illinois State, Whitsitt gathered an impressive resume of national coaching and competitive experience. Whitsitt was the throws coach at McNeese State University from 2008-09, and also served as the team academic liaison and recruiting coordinator. During the 2009 season, Whitsitt coached three student-athletes to the NCAA East Regional Championships-one each in javelin, shot put and discus-while he coached five student-athletes to NCAA East Regional's during the 2008 season three in javelin, one shot put, and one in hammer. At McNeese State, Whitsitt guided his athletes to three school records including Freddie Hannie's school record in the hammer (193-4); more than 20ft over the previous record. Whitsitt, a native of Pueblo, Colorado, also had four student-athletes qualify for the USA Junior Championships during the 2008 season.
Whitsitt gained experience in the coaching ranks as a volunteer assistant coach, and with throwing camps and summer league teams. Whitsitt was a volunteer coach for the USA Track and Field Summer League team Lake Area Express in Lake Charles, La., for two years in which he coached two AAU All-Americans in the javelin as well as coaching Jon Poshe to Numerous Masters National championships and state records. Before Lake Area Express, Whitsitt was a volunteer coach for the Iron Wood throwing camp in 2004. He earned his first coaching experience during 2000-02, while serving as a volunteer coach for the USA Track and Field Summer League team Mercury (Pueblo, Co.).
During his collegiate years at Idaho State (2002-05) and Boise State (2005-07), Whitsitt won two individual conference championships in the shot put and was a member of four team conference championships. He was a four-time regional outdoor qualifier in the shot put and qualified for the 2007 NCAA Division I National Championships and the 2007 US Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Whitsitt holds a USATF Level I certification and is a USATF Certified Official. He and his wife, Kacie, reside in Normal, Ill.