June 26, 2003
Tony Veney has been hired as the UCLA men's sprints and hurdles coach, announced Bruin head coach Art Venegas on Thursday. Veney comes to UCLA from Portland State, where he was the Director of Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country.
Veney, the former UCLA 800m school record holder (1:47.8, now No. 6 in school history), will succeed Derek Loudenback as the UCLA men's sprints and hurdles coach. He was an integral member of two Bruin Pac-8 and NCAA Championship teams, as well as the four-time Track & Field News National Dual Meet Champion teams (1972-75).
"We are very pleased to welcome Tony Veney aboard," said Venegas. "Not only does he understand Bruin athletes and their demands, but he has a tremendous background both in practical coaching and scientific research on the sprints and hurdles. We think that, in this highly competitive Pac-10 Conference, having Coach Veney in our program will allow us to be successful both at the conference and the national levels."
While at Portland State (2001-2003), Veney led the Viking women to its highest ever finish (sixth place) at the Big Sky Indoor Championships after five consecutive ninth-place finishes. He also coached the first ever women's indoor individual champions (two), women's indoor all-conference selections (three) and men's individual champion and all-conference selection. Veney also coached the Vikings' first Division-I indoor provisional qualifiers (women's triple jump/high jump). During his tenure at Portland State, the Vikings had 28 All-Big Sky Academic award winners.
Prior to coaching at Portland State, Veney was an assistant men's track coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Oregon from 1998-2001. While with the Ducks, he worked with 2001 NCAA decathlon champion Lorenzo Santiago and 10 All-Pac-10 performers. With Veney's assistance, the Ducks also improved from a 65th place finish at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championships to ninth in 2001. The Oregon recruiting classes also steadily improved under Veney's guidance from 20th in 1999 and 10th in 2000 to No. 1 in 2001.
In 1996, Veney assumed his first head coaching position as the head women's track and field coach and men's and women's cross country coach at Cal State Los Angeles. While there, Veney coached the CSLA women to a 2nd place finish at the 1998 CCAA track championships and a fifth-place finish at the 1998 NCAA Div. II Indoor Championships.
Veney began his coaching career in 1977. From 1977-79, he was the head women's and men's assistant coach at Occidental College in Los Angeles. In1983, he became an assistant track and field and cross country coach at Cal State Northridge. During his 11 years at Northridge, Veney coached the sprints, hurdles, jumps and relays, as well as programmed fall conditioning for 37 men and women. In addition to coaching over 25 NCAA Division I and II All-Americans, he served as the Assistant Athletic Director in charge of athletic admissions.
Veney has been involved with USA Track and Field since 1987. He has been the Elite Junior Film Coordinator since 1987 and Elite Senior Film Coordinator and Junior Elite Sprint/Hurdle Camp Clinician since 1988. From 1987-1999, he was the Regional Sprint Coordinator. In 1999, he assumed the position of Women's Sprint Development Chair. A USATF Level III Clinician and certified USATF Master of Coaching, Veney has produced two sprint and hurdles training videos, as well as written two sprint and hurdles training manuals.
In 2001, Veney was the head women's coach for the Team USA at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. In 1990, he was the Olympic Festival Sprint Coach. Veney was the sprints coach at two Pan-American Games, the 1991 Junior Pan-Am Games in Kingston, Jamaica, and the 1995 Senior Pan-Am Games in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.
Veney graduated from UCLA in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. While at UCLA, he was a Chancellors Marshall and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Secondary Administration from Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Born and raised in Southern California, Veney is married to Cloetta Gail Veney. The couple has two sons, Ara and Ahjon.
"I am extremely excited about returning to my old stomping grounds," said Veney. "Not many people get a chance to go home again. I've been given a very unique opportunity to return and contribute to a program that was very, very good to me as a student and an athlete.
"I am very excited and full of a lot of energy to get at it. I'm ready to help get the program where it wants to be. National respectability is what I always experienced at UCLA, National Championships and Pac-8 Championships. I want to contribute and be a part of the mission statement that Art Venegas has for the future success of the program."
Derek Loudenback, who had been the Bruin men's sprints, hurdles and relays coach since 2001, will be leaving UCLA in pursuit of career opportunities outside of coaching.
"As a member of the Bruin family for the past eight years as an athlete, manager and coach, I have had innumerable experiences that have enriched my life," said Loudenback. "Having watched and been a part of the development of our athletes and track programs has been rewarding and meant a great deal to me. As rewarding has coaching has been, I am leaving UCLA to pursue career opportunities outside of coaching."
"We are thankful for all the hard work and dedication Derek Loudenback has put forth to our program since the departure of John Smith," said Venegas. "We wish Derek the best in all of his future endeavors."