Aug. 27, 2009
Head coaches Jeanette Bolden and Mike Maynard have announced the hiring of LaMonte Vaughn, Johnny Gray and Forest Braden to assist the Bruin track and field teams for 2010 and beyond. With the hiring of this trio, the Bruin track and field coaching staff is now complete. Returning for his 26th year is Anthony Curran, who will continue to oversee the jumps and pole vault squads. Last year's volunteer coaches, Steve Baylor (jumps) and Chris Riggs (decathlon), will also return for the upcoming season. Bobby Kersee will also return to help coach sprinters, hurdlers and multi-event athletes.
Vaughn joins the Bruin staff after having previously coached at the University of Washington from October 2004 to September 2008 where he assisted with the sprints and hurdles events. While at Washington, Vaughn had much success, highlighted by six-time NCAA All-American Ashlee Lodree (hurdles) and four-time All-American Jordan Boase (400m). He also helped coach Husky athletes to four NCAA finals in the relays, nine school records, had 19 NCAA Championship participants, 25 West Region qualifiers, two USATF Championship qualifiers and 65 all-time UW top-10 marks. One of his athletes, Shane Charles, also set a national record for Grenadine in the 400m hurdles. Vaughn also coached at Eastern Kentucky University and Marshall University.
"It is an honor to be a part of such a prestigious program," said Vaughn. "I look forward to helping the Bruins add to the strong tradition of UCLA track and field, as well as working with the talented group of young athletes that we have and recruiting new talent to our program. I am excited to meet the proud UCLA alums that have made this such a historic program."
Gray and Braden will work together during the cross country season, while Gray will work closely with middle-distance runners during the track season, while Braden will work with the longer distance runners.
Gray comes to UCLA after having coached at Harvard-Westlake High School for the last few years where he coached the cross country team to the State meet for the first time in the program's history. Gray also coached one of America's elite half-milers, Khadevis Robinson, to five USATF Championship titles.
No stranger to success as an athlete, Gray is a four-time Olympian having competed in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. At the Barcelona Games, he earned a bronze medal in the 800m and won gold at the 1987 and 1999 PanAm Games. He received the U.S. Olympic Committee's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and was a USATF Hall of Fame inductee in 2008. He also still holds the American Record in the 800m (1:42.60)
"I have always taught my athletes to take advantage of an advantage," said Gray. "I always wanted to be a part of the UCLA program as an athlete, and unfortunately it didn't happen. I have a lot to offer the UCLA program and I am excited and can't wait to put this program back to where it belongs with the help of a wonderful coaching team.....GO BRUINS!"
Braden comes to UCLA after having served as a volunteer distance coach at Gonzaga University last season where he worked closely with standout distance coach Pat Tyson. Braden was an All-American run for Coach Mike Maynard at Boise State from 2002-2007, earning accolades in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track. He also won seven WAC titles at Boise State.
"I am thrilled to be on board with the premier athletic university in the country," said Braden. "I am ready to help bring the UCLA distance squads back to conference and national prominence and will dedicate myself to building a program based on hardwork, integrity, and trust. I look forward to coaching some amazing student-athletes and working with one of the best coaching staffs in the country to help bring more conference championships and NCAA titles to UCLA."