Erik Kynard, Jr. Named Assistant Track and Field Coach

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former Kansas State track and field national champion and two-time Olympian Erik Kynard, Jr., has been named an assistant track and field coach, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto announced on Monday.

Kynard will assist Rovelto with the high jumpers and combined eventers, while also helping in recruiting efforts. 

“We are really excited to have Erik back as part of the team,” Rovelto said about Kynard. “He has been training here in Manhattan for a couple of years so the athletes have really gotten to know him. He will play a big role both in training and recruiting.”

During his career at K-State, Kynard won the Outdoor NCAA Championship in the high jump in 2011 and 2012 with marks of 2.28m/7-06 and 2.34m/7-08, respectively. On the national stage, he would go on to earn All-American honors eight times, both indoors and outdoors, seven of which were first team honors. 

Kynard also boasts a strong Big 12 resume, winning three-straight conference titles, both indoors and outdoors, in the high jump from 2011-13. As a result of his success in the conference, he was a multiple time Big 12 Athlete of the Week, a two-time USTFCCCA Field Athlete of the Year and a Bowerman Award semifinalist.

The Toledo, Ohio, native still holds the indoor and outdoor high jump school records, which he set during his senior season in 2013, as well as the Indoor Big 12 Championship record, which he also set during his senior season. 

Kynard was the Wildcat men’s high point scorer seven times in his career, including four times during the indoor season and three times in outdoor play. He was also named Most Outstanding Freshman for the team, both indoor and outdoor, and was a four-time Most Valuable Performer for the team while earning four letters. 

On the international stage, Kynard’s career has been highlighted by his performance in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, where he took home the Silver Medal with a mark of 2.33m/7-08 in first-ever Games.

Most recently, Kynard competed in the 2016 Olympic Games, where he came in sixth place with a final mark of 2.33m/7-08. He also won his first-ever Diamond League title, sealing the victory in Brussels, Belgium with a final jump of 2.32m/7-07.25. Over the course of the Diamond League series, Kynard earned two first-place finishes, two-second place finishes and one third-place finish. He concluded the competition with 46 points. 

The track and field team opens the 2016-17 season on December 9 as the Wildcats host the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon, followed by the K-State Winter Invitational on December 10. Both meets will be held in Ahearn Field House. 

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter or Kansas State Track & Field/Cross Country on Facebook.