Rovelto Announces Hiring of Johnson

Aug. 23, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto has announced the hiring of Vincent Johnson as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. Johnson will work with the sprinters and jumpers alongside Rovelto and assist in recruiting and day to day operations of program.

Johnson comes to K-State with extensive experience coaching elite high school and club track and field athletes in Texas. He recently ended four years at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Texas, where he served as an assistant coach and jumps coordinator and helped lead the team to four straight Texas Class 4A State Championships. While coaching in Lancaster, Johnson also founded and organized a jump specific club the Texas ‘FACES’ Track Club.

“I am very pleased that Coach Johnson is joining us at K-State. Over the past three years I have gotten to know Vincent, talked track and field and observed his work. He is a very fine coach but more importantly a very fine person who works tirelessly with his athletes and very concerned with their all-around development,” Rovelto said. “Vincent has had significant success as a coach but is eager to continue to learn and expand his experience working with additional event areas. In observing Vincent closely over the past year what impressed me the most was his selfless and tireless efforts to organize and carry out the fund-raising efforts of his club in order to provide his athletes the competitive opportunities they enjoyed.”

Prior to his time in Lancaster, Johnson spent one year at North Panola High School in Mississippi as the head coach to lay the foundation for a new track and field program at the school. Johnson also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Nacogdoches High School in Texas where he worked specifically with the sprinters and jumpers.

Johnson’s athletes have seen tremendous individual success in addition to the state titles his teams have won. Most recently he coached the girls 100 meters champion at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships. This season he also coached both the male and female Dallas Morning News Track and Field Athlete of the Year. This season he also saw his athletes named male and female Texas Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year. At the USA Junior Championships he coached Devin Field to the long jump title with his leap of 7.53m (24-8.50).

“I am extremely grateful to be part of the Kansas State Family. The opportunity to work with a group that believes in the overall development of student-athletes is something that I enjoy and look forward to doing. I think we have an opportunity to be pretty successful in the near future and years to come,” Johnson said. “The staff is very knowledgeable and we share similar training theories and principles. Furthermore, I really appreciate the opportunity K-State has given me to join the staff. I am going to find my niche and help in any capacity that yields a great outcome for the Wildcats.”

Johnson also has collegiate coaching experience working as a graduate assistant and then a full-time assistant coach for his alma mater Alcorn State. After earning his degree from Alcorn State, Johnson then served as a graduate assistant while earning his masters in health and physical education. While coaching at Alcorn State, he was charged with overseeing the jumpers and supervising the freshman athletes and helped coach athletes to eight Southwestern Athletic Conference titles.

While competing for Alcorn State, Johnson had much success as well. He won three SWAC titles, two in the triple jump and one long jump and was also named SWAC Most Outstanding Performer. Johnson also was a three-time qualifier for NCAA Regionals.

Rovelto also announced that Director of Operations Karol Rovelto will assume an assistant coaching position while continuing her role as director of operations. She will serve as an assistant coach for the program until the final assistant coach opening on staff is filled.

“Our program would not be what it is without Karol's efforts. Karol has enabled me to take most of the administrative duties off the plate of our assistant coaches enabling them to focus almost entirely on coaching and recruiting. Karol will continue in this role,” Cliff Rovelto said. “It is her organizational abilities and work ethic which enables us to expand her role until we complete the process of restructuring our staff. Karol's experiences as a coach and elite athlete will be helpful to our student-athletes. As an Olympic high jumper and member of numerous national teams Karol will assist us with our high jumpers and large group of combined event athletes many of whom have limited background in the high jump."