Kyle Hierholzer is entering his eighth year at Kansas State. Since joining the staff in the summer of 2006, Hierholzer has primarily assisted head coach Cliff Rovelto in sprints, jumps and combined events. He has also served stints as the primary trainer for K-State pole vaulters, first from 2007-09 and most recently in 2012-13. Hierholzer will continue to focus on pole vaulters specifically for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
As the pole vaulting coach, Hierholzer experienced considerable success in the past two years. Most notably, senior pole vaulter Kyle Wait has had back-to-back terrific seasons under Hierholzer's tutelage. In 2011-12, Wait won the first outdoor pole vault conference championship in men's history for K-State and the first men's pole vault title overall since 1981. This past year he followed up that performance with another outdoor conference championship title as well as First Team All-American honors in outdoor and Second Team All-American honors in indoor pole vault. Wait is the first Wildcat outdoor pole vaulter since Doug Lytle in 1981-82 to be a back-to-back All American in the event and only the second K-State pole vaulter to earn indoor All-American honors for the men's team since 1966.
Along with Wait, K-State pole vaulters this past season had success both on and off the track. Senior Cameron Savage tied with Wait for third all-time in K-State history in the indoor pole vault with a jump of 5.20 meters (17-00.75). All four pole vaulters, Wait, Savage, Tommy Brady and David Taylor, earned Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors at the conclusion of this past season as well. In total for the pole vault, Hierholzer has coached two NCAA All-Americans, three NCAA finalists, five NCAA Regional qualifiers and four Big 12 scorers.
As an assistant under Rovelto, Hierholzer has helped the program garner numerous accolades in sprints, jumps and combined events. He has assisted in the coaching and the recruiting of three athletes to six NCAA titles, six athletes to eight indoor conference championships and six athletes to nine outdoor conference championships. K-State athletes have earned 23 indoor All-American nominations and 24 outdoor All-American nominations during this time.
Prior to coming to Manhattan, Hierholzer spent one season at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, as the assistant track and field/cross country coach. While at South Plains, he coached all jumps and combined events. Hierholzer had three NJCAA Champions in the men's long jump and pole vault as well as the women's triple jump. At the conclusion of Hierholzer's lone season, the South Plains track and field squad had nine athletes with NJCAA All-American honors.
Long jumper Aaron Smith, in particular, excelled during Hierholzer's stay as a Texan. During the 2006 season, Smith set the school long jump record with a mark of 8.04 meters (26-04.50). Smith also had great success outside NJCAA play where he was the 2006 U.S. Junior champion in the men's long jump. The former All-American ended up finishing fifth at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships in the long jump.
Prior to his stint at South Plains College, Hierholzer was a Graduate Assistant at Texas State University from 2003-05 and earned a master's degree in political science with a minor in international business. While earning his advanced degree, he assisted the Bobcats to four Southland Conference titles and supervised the vertical jumps and combined events. He coached four Southland Conference champions in the high jump and a school record holder in the men's indoor heptathlon. Hierholzer also coached Caroline Wolf to NCAA All-American status with a high jump of 1.83 meters (6-00.25) finishing fifth at the NCAA Championship and setting a Texas State school record.
During his time as a student-athlete for the Bobcats from 1998-2003, he earned a B.A. in Finance and Marketing. On the track, Hierholzer, who was selected as a team captain three times, competed in the decathlon, hurdles and helped the Bobcats to four Southland Conference titles.
A native of Boerne, Texas, Hierholzer holds a Level II certification in the jumps and the throws from the USATF Coaching Education Program. In 2004, he attended the Junior Elite Decathlon Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Hierholzer also attended the 2006 Podium Education Project in the pole vault held in Las Vegas, Nev.