Derek Loudenback is in his third year on the UCLA track and field staff and his second season as the Bruin men's sprint, hurdle and relay coach. In 2001, Loudenback was a volunteer assistant coach for the UCLA men's and women's cross country teams. In track, he assisted with the men's steeplechasers and middle distance runners, coaching hurdling technique and sprint mechanics.
In 2002, UCLA's sprinters were led by senior Michael Lipscomb. A 200m qualifier at the USA, NCAA Outdoor and the NCAA Indoor meets. Lipscomb scored in two events at the Pac-10 meet, placing second in the 200m (20.70, 20.64 qualifying, personal-best) and sixth in the 100m (10.58).
Last season, junior Kyle Erickson paced the Bruin hurdlers. Although a left hamstring injury kept him from scoring at the Pac-10 and NCAA Outdoor, Erickson's 49.62 (No. 4 in school history) was the top mark in the conference and No. 5 on the collegiate chart.
Also in the hurdles in 2002, freshman Jonathan Williams' times improved greatly under Loudenback's direction. Williams placed fifth in the 110m hurdles (14.47) at the 2002 U.S. Junior meet. At the Pac-10 Championships, he was seventh in the 110m hurdles (14.76) and third (51.46, personal-best; entering the race, his best was 53.62) in the 400m hurdles.
Loudenback, 25, began his new position following the departure of long-time Bruin men's sprint coach John Smith in November 2001. Smith, who had been on the UCLA staff for 17+ seasons, coached numerous Olympic and NCAA Champions and was himself a standout Bruin sprinter in the 1970s, resigned to work fulltime with his world-class running club, HSI. Since Loudenback had worked closely with Smith for several seasons, he was the logical choice to take over Smith's coaching responsibilities. Loudenback had assisted Smith at HSI during the Summer European circuits and in 2000, at the U. S. Trials and the Summer Olympic Games.
A former 800m runner, 400m hurdler and track and field student manager while at UCLA, Loudenback graduated from UCLA in March 2000 with a degree in psychology. As a Bruin redshirt freshman in 1997, Loudenback qualified for the Pac-10 meet in the 400m hurdles. His best marks at UCLA were 1:52.7 in the 800m and 52.42 in the 400m hurdles.
Loudenback, from Manhattan Beach, was a versatile prep athlete, competing in track and field, cross country and basketball, at Westchester (1991-93) and Mira Costa (1993-95) high schools. In track, as a senior in 1995, he won the Southern Section CIF Div. III 800m title and set the school record in the 400m (48.9). In basketball, as a 6-5 forward, he earned All-South Bay honors.