K-State T&F Welcomes Phelps and Davies to Staff

Aug. 27, 2014

K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Track and Field added two new faces to its staff today in Dason Phelps and Boglarka Davies. Phelps will join the staff as the new assistant pole vault coach, while Davies, a volunteer assistant coach for the Wildcats this past season, will take on a staff assistant/operations role with the team. Rounding out the changes to the staff, Karol Rovelto, Director of Track and Field Operations, will take on assistant coaching duties along with her current role as director of operations.

The newest member of the Wildcat staff, Phelps joins K-State after spending the past two years as a graduate assistant coach with the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. He possesses well over a decade of coaching experience, including serving as the pole vault coach at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix from 2005-09, where he coached his squad to the 2007 4A-I the boys pole vault state title.

“Kansas State is one of the premier Track and Field programs in the country. I can’t think of another program I’d rather be coaching for,” Phelps said. “I feel very privileged and honored to become part of the Wildcat family.  I’m appreciative of coach [Cliff] Rovelto’s confidence in me to lead the pole vault group here at K- State.  I have very high standards and expectations, so there’s no question it’s a great fit for what I want to accomplish as a coach.  I’m excited to meet with the athletes, get to know them on many levels, and continue to pursue a level of excellence within the program that will be competitive in the Big 12 Conference.”

Along with experience coaching at the collegiate and high school level, Phelps has also been affiliated with SkyAthletics, a pole vault club in Phoenix, since 1999, as well as the Altius Track Club summer camps run by Olympic gold medalist vaulter Stacy Dragila since 2010. Competitively, Phelps was a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Champion while attending Paradise Valley Community College. He is the only pole vaulter in junior college history to have ever cleared 18 feet and is the NJCAA outdoor record holder in the event at 5.49m/18-00.00.

Head coach Cliff Rovelto said Phelps’ experience will help in creating more flexibility for the staff in the speed and power events. He added with how scheduling works at the national meets currently, Phelps will help in coaching the field events that overlap.

“Primarily, he’ll have responsibility for working with pole vaulters, but also will help with the other speed and power events,” Rovelto said. “He was an 18-foot pole vaulter when competed and he has significant background in teaching the event, which is important. With the change in the NCAA, particularly outdoors, where you have 48 long jumpers, 48 pole vaulters, you almost need separate people for each event. The way it is set up, inevitably there are two jumping events going on at the same time, two throwing events and it’s very difficult to be present as each of those events run.

“And for us, in particular, but I think just in general as well, it helps to have coaches that are versatile, that can help out in different areas and do different things. It’s just the nature of sport and just the way the schedule is now, you almost have to have that.”

For Davies, she will add a new element to the operations department for the Wildcats. Rovelto said the former Wildcat All-American will allow K-State to research different areas that will be beneficial come competition time.

“She’ll be very much involved in helping us on the administrative/operations end,” Rovelto said. “Especially with Karol taking on a larger role helping out on the track. I also think it will enable us to expand from a historical perspective in testing results from over the past 20 years or so. We have a lot of stuff year-to-year, but we haven’t got it compiled so there’s a lot of tasks like that we haven’t been able to do because we didn’t have the manpower or time to do it.”

With the addition of Davies to the staff, Karol Rovelto will expand her role as an assistant coach, primarily assisting Cliff Rovelto with the high jump. A former Olympian in the event, Karol Rovelto is entering her 13th season as a member of the K-State Track and Field staff. During that time, she has worked as an assistant coach on and off for three years at K-State with her last stint coming in the 2012-13 season.

“Because we have added [Boglarka], she will be able to take on a somewhat expanded role,” Cliff Rovelto said. “We can afford to have her help out with our large group of high jumpers. Along with the [heptathletes and decathletes], it’s a huge group. Having her here when I may be on the road or cannot be around makes it a lot easier on them and us, as a whole.”

For more information on the new additions to the K-State Track and Field staff, visit www.k-statesports.com.