John Kenneson
John Kenneson

Associate Head Coach | 11th Season

Alma Mater:
Missouri State | 1982


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Senior Whitney Gipson becomes the first female student-athlete to win two-straight crowns.

Phone: 817-257-7318

Associate head coach John Kenneson enters his 31st season of Division I coaching and his 10th at TCU entering the 2014 season. In the last three decades, he has built a legacy as one of the top throws coaches in the country, guiding 41 All-Americans, an Olympian and countless Olympic Trial qualifiers and conference champions. Kenneson oversees all throwing events for the Horned Frogs and also supervises the strength training for the throwing athletes.

The Big 12 is one of the top throwing conferences in the nation, and in TCU's first campaign in the league Kenneson's throwers showed that TCU will be a strong participant in events. The Frogs saw Megan Smith make tremendous strides in her second season at TCU. Smith finished in the top-five of both the indoor and outdoor shot put at the conference championships in addition to adding a fifth place in the discus. In the eight shot put competition Smith took part in during the 2013 outdoor season, seven of them ended with her best throw being better than her best mark from her first season as a Frog. Smith took down the outdoor discus record three times during the season and is second in TCU history in the shot put.

Kenneson and fhe Frogs got many consistent performances from a variety of throwers in 2013. On the women's side, Kelsey Samuels (fifth in the shot put) and Makena Schroder (seventh in the javelin) scored at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. Samuels finished her TCU career with school records in the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw. Schroder broke the school record in the outdoor javelin. On the men's side, Adam Damadzic (discus) and Paul Osunwa (shot put) both qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries during the outdoor campaign along with moving into TCU's all-time top-five in their respective events.

During TCU's stint in the Mountain West Conference, stretching the 2006-12 track and field seasons, Kenneson guided the Frogs to nine women's shot put titles, including a streak of eight-straight championships from 2006-09. Candis Kelly took four indoor titles and two outdoor titles while Stormy Harrison won other last two of the outdoor crowns. TCU is the only school in league history to accomplish that feat.

Kelly was one of Kenneson's most decorated products, along with her six MWC Championships, she also brought home the Frogs' first Penn Relay women's shot put crown in 16 years with her 2008 victory. Harrison was a force in the shot put and discus, being the previous school record holder in the disc as the first Frog over 160 feet before Smith took down her records.

2012 saw many TCU throwers have success. During the indoor campaign, Kenneson guided Cameron Tabor to a conference title in the men's shot put and helped TCU's throwers earn four All-Conference honors. In Outdoor competition, Tabor completed the season sweep of the shot put conference titles and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the shot put and discus. Samuels picked up her first career MWC gold medal at the 2011 indoor championships and followed-up for silver medal standards at the outdoor championships.

During the 2010 season, Kenneson helped lead TCU's throws to six school records. Senior Tommy Killen went on to compete at the NCAA Championships in the discus, going on to finish 18th. Killen, the 2009 MWC Outdoor Champion in the discus, is TCU's school record holder in the event with a throw of 192-10 in 2008 at the John Jacobs Invite in Norman, Okla. In 2006, Kenneson led Killen to the NCAA Championships in the throwers debut campaign as a Frog.

One of Kenneson's first stars at TCU was javelin thrower Joe Brown. An Overland Park, Kan. native, he closed out his TCU career by becoming the first TCU student-athlete to ever earn All-America honors in the javelin with his 10th place effort at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Brown made the national championships by upping his own school record to the current mark of 224-0 at the regional meet. He also claimed the Mountain West title that year. Brown was also a star in the classroom, being named TCU's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earning the prestigious Chancellor's Award.

Kenneson has spent the bulk of his career in the SEC. He came to Fort Worth from Lexington, Kentucky, where he served as an assistant track & field coach at the University of Kentucky for 11 of the past 12 years. While at UK, Kenneson coached his athletes to 23 All-America certificates, 28 school records and logged eight national top 20 finishes. Overall, his athletes have garnered 41 All-America certificates.

His only previous stint outside the SEC came when he led the field and multi-events program for both men and women at North Carolina State University as an assistant coach from 1985-86. Kenneson compiled an impressive portfolio with two ACC men's team championships, 11 All- ACC women athletes and 13 All-ACC men's performances, while establishing 10 school records during his two-year tenure in Raleigh.

Kenneson joined the staff at the University of Florida in 1986, holding the position of head field and multi-events coach. While at Florida he assembled one of the most competitive and productive field events programs in the history of the SEC and NCAA track & field. With shot putters Dwight Johnson and Matt Simson owning personal bests of 66-0 and 63-3, Russ Willett claiming a best discus throw of 197-11, Mike Holloway vaulting 18-8 3/4 and Dion Bentley long jumping 26-9, Kenneson's corps of field event athletes led the Gators to seven "Top Five" finishes in the NCAA Championships.

With Kenneson on board, the Gators won the SEC Triple Crown (cross country, indoor and outdoor track) in both 1987 and 1988. During the 1991-92 seasons, three Kenneson-coached athletes teamed up to form the top three shot putters in the NCAA. Simson went on to win a silver medal at the World University Games in 1992. Another world-class athlete, Tom Pukstys, to whom Kenneson served as a personal coach, is a former American and current collegiate record holder in the javelin (273-3) and was a finalist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Pukstys held the American record from 1994-2004 before Breaux Greer set the new mark with a throw of 287-8 in 2004.

Kenneson joined the Kentucky staff in 1992 and began to build a nationally-regarded field events program from scratch. Two of Kentucky's All-Americans were U.S. Junior National Team members and another, Matt Kavanagh, was the gold medalist in the hammer throw at the 1997 Junior Pan America Games. He spent one year at Auburn University (1997-98) before returning to Kentucky the following year.

While at Auburn in 1998, Kenneson helped Nakeitra Jones set the SEC women's high jump record with a leap of 6'-05".

Under Kenneson's tutelage at Kentucky, Jeff Chakouian was the only collegian shot putter to reach the finals of the 2004 United States Olympic Trials. Chakouian was the UK record holder in the shot with a mark of 66-3, was the Southeast Regional champion and finished third at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Chakouian is also one of only three SEC athletes to ever win four consecutive SEC indoor titles. Chakouian was only beaten outdoors by current Olympians Reese Hoffa (Georgia) and Edis Elkavis (Auburn). Kenneson also coached Ildiko Varga, who placed seventh in the women's discus throw at the 2004 NCAA Championships.

Kenneson is a member of the National Throws Coaches Association, and the NCAA Track Coaches Association. He is also a certified personal trainer.

C.S.C.S. Strength Certification
NESTA Personal Trainer
National Throw Coaches Association

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