Art Venegas enters his 10th year at the helm of the UCLA men's track and field team, and his 28th as a member of the Bruin staff. Venegas has been regarded as one of the premier collegiate throwing coaches in the nation (his throwers have won a combined 33 NCAA titles), and is world-renowned for his coaching expertise with elite world championship athletes. Last season
The Bruin men placed third at both the West Region and Pac-10 Championships with strong team competitions. Kevin Craddock broke the 110mH regional record en route to his individual crown, and also defended his 2007 high hurdles conference crown with a win in 2008. Greg Garza won his third straight Pac-10 discus crown, while Boldizsar Kocsor won his second hammer title. Bobby Talley, a walk-on vaulter, captured the Pac-10 pole vault crown. The men finished 34th at the NCAA outdoor meet.
In Indoor track, the men placed 14th as all but one competitor earned All-American honors. Kocsor (WT, 7th), John Caulfield (SP, 4th), Darius Savage (SP, 6th), Dustin DeLeo (PV, 7th) and the DMR team of Marlon Patterson, Elijah Wells, Cory Primm and Laef Barnes (7th) were All-American performers. As Head Coach
Under Venegas, UCLA athletes have earned 52 All-American honors (30 outdoor, 20 indoor), captured 24 individual Pac-10 titles and one team Pac-10 title (2003), two West Region Championship team titles (2003, 2004), 15 individual West Region titles and four consecutive MPSF Indoor team crowns (2002-05).
All-Americans during Venegas tenure include - Dan Ames, Ben Aragon, Juaune Armon, Laef Barnes, John Caulfield, Kevin Craddock, Dustin DeLeo, Erik Emilsson, Kyle Erickson, Craig Everhart, Brian Fell, Greg Garza, Michael Granville, Boldizsar Kocsor, Henry Hagenbuch, Mark Hauser, Brandon Johnson, Yoo Kim, Mike Landers, Pat Luke, Brian McLaughlin, Scott Moser, Martell Munguia, Marlon Patterson, Cory Primm, Johnny Quinn, Austin Ramos, Jon Rankin, James Rhoades, Darius Savage, Jess Strutzel, Scott Wiegand, Elijah Wells, and Jonathan Williams.
West Region Individual Champions:
Dan Ames (5), Juaune Armon (1), Kevin Craddock (1), Kyle Erickson (1), Craig Everhart (1), Brandon Johnson (3), Jon Rankin (1) and Joel Tuosto (1).
Pac-10 Individual Champions:
Kevin Craddock (2), Greg Garza (3), Boldizsar Kocsor (2), Dan Ames (5), Ben Aragon (1), Juaune Armon (2), Michael Granville (1), Brandon Johnson (3), Michael Johnson, Jr. (1), Yoo Kim (1), Scott Moser (2), Jon Rankin (1), Bobby Talley (1) and Scott Wiegand (1).
Bruin Male Throwers
Since Venegas' inception as the men's throws coach at UCLA, the Bruins have thrived in winning 11 individual National Championships, 78 All-American honors and 32 Pac-10 throwing titles. Venegas has coached some of the greatest throwers in American collegiate history including Bruin greats John Godina, Scott Moser, Dan Ames, John Brenner and Jonathan Ogden.
NCAA Individual Champions include - Eric Bergreen (1), John Brenner (2), John Godina (5), Greg Johnson (1), Jonathan Ogden (1), and Erik Smith (1). All-American throwers under Venegas include - Greg Garza (3), Boldizsar Kocsor (3), Dan Ames (10), Joe Bailey (3), Jim Banich (2), Eric Bergreen (3), Brian Bluetreich (5), John Brenner (2), John Caulfield (1), Dave Dumble (1), John Frazier (2), Greg Garza (1), John Godina (6), Travis Haynes (2), Josh Johnson (2), Scott Moser (4), Greg Hodel (1), John Knight (3), Jonathan Ogden (4), Mark Parlin (6), Darius Savage (2), Erik Smith (2), Luke Sullivan (2), Pete Thompson (1), Wade Tift (2), Scott Wiegand (1) and Dave Wilson (3).
Pac-10 Throws Champions include - Dan Ames (5), Jim Banich (2), Eric Bergreen (1), Brian Blutreich (2), John Brenner (2), Greg Garza (3), John Godina (6), Greg Johnson (1), Josh Johnson (1), Boldizsar Kocsor (2), Scott Moser (2), Mark Parlin (1), Erik Smith (1), Wade Tift (1), Scott Wiegand (1) and David Wilson (1).
Bruin Women Throwers
In the summer of 2005, Venegas turned over the reins of the women's throws program to protege Seilala Sua (the most decorated woman thrower in NCAA history) to focus on the men's team. Today, Jessica Cosby is at the helm of the women's throws program. While coaching the women throwers, Venegas' athletes posted 100 NCAA All-American performances, 22 NCAA individual champions, three West Region Champions and 31 Pac-10 titlists.
Throwers at the Pac-10 Championships
Venegas has guided Bruin men and women to conference titles in all four throws events. Since 1990, UCLA men and women throwers have won a total of 59 individual conference titles, including nine of the last 17 men's shot put crowns. Bruin women have won 14 of the 18 shot put championships, 12 of the last 17 women's discus titles and six of the last 10 women's hammer crowns.
Throwers at NCAA's
In the shot put, UCLA men's throwers have scored at the NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championships every year from 1983-1999 and from 2001-2004, and 2006-2007. The Bruin women shot putters have scored in the top-four at all but three NCAA meets. Collegiate Record
Four athletes coached by Venegas, have broken collegiate records in the shot put and discus. Valeyta Althouse, Jon Brenner, Dawn Dumble and John Godina have each held a collegiate record. Althouse set a shot put record of 61-10.25 in 1995. The mark stands as the top mark by an American-born collegian. Brenner set a collegiate shot put record of 71-11 in 1984, followed by an American record of 73-10 in 1987. Dumble set a NCAA Indoor record of 58-10.75 in the shot put in 1995. And, Godina set the NCAA meet and collegiate record of 72-2.25 in the shot put in 1995.
Venegas has coached some of the finest athletes in the professional ranks while at UCLA. Most recently, he coached one of the all-time greatest male throwers in U.S. history, John Godina, from his college years until 2004, as well as Seilala Sua, who retired from competition in 2006. Today, Venegas coaches Jessica Cosby, the 2006 USATF Senior National hammer champion and six-time NCAA All-American at UCLA.
For 10 years, Venegas was the throwing and weight training coach for Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who was named the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated for Women in January 2001 and in 2004, was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. He has also planned the strength training routines for many of the world's top sprinters, including former Bruin greats Ato Bolden, Gail Devers, Steve Lewis, Mike Marsh and Kevin Young, along with USC standout Quincy Watts.
From Athlete to Coach
Venegas' influence on his athletes goes beyond the field of competition. Several throwers have gone into the collegiate coaching ranks. Among them are Don Babbitt at Georgia, Brian Blutreich (1989-90 Pac-10 discus champion) at Oklahoma (UNC prior), Dawn Dumble (four-time NCAA Champion) and then her brother Dave Dumble (1996-97 discus All-American) at Arizona State, John Frazier (1985-86 outdoor shot put All-American) at Arizona and now Tennessee, Greg Hodel formerly at Long Beach State, Lara Saye (2002 discus All-American) formerly at UNLV and Seilala Sua at UCLA (7-time NCAA Champion) and now Cal State Northridge. Cari Soong (8-time All-American) was a volunteer coach for Oregon during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Venegas has been a keynote speaker on numerous occasions. In October 2002, he spoke at the NATFCA Congress, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. That September, he was invited to be a featured speaker for the Pan Am Coaches in San Antonio, TX.
In October 1998, Venegas was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Magazine. In 1996, he lectured for one week at Crystal Palace in London on the rotational shot put. In October 1993, Venegas lectured at the North American and Caribbean IAAF Clinic in Nassau, Bahamas. In October 1992, he was a key speaker at the IAAF strength symposium in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
In December 1990, Venegas was invited to lecture at the level three coaches program for the Caribbean and North American region in Puerto Rico. In October of that year, he was invited to speak at the TAC Throws Summit in Indianapolis.
In November 1988, Venegas spoke at the 11th World Congress of the International Track and Field Coaches Association in Barcelona, Spain. He also worked with the Spanish National Throws squad in Madrid, Spain in 1988. In January 1987, Venegas was a featured speaker on the throws at the IAAF European Coaching Congress. In November 1987, he coordinated a weeklong camp for British throwers in London as a guest of the IAAF.
Since his arrival in Westwood in 1981, Venegas has coached his Bruin throwers to 33 NCAA individual titles (men-11: seven outdoors, four indoors; women-22: 15 outdoors, seven indoors), a level that no other university approaches.
Prior to coming to UCLA, Venegas coached at Long Beach State (1980-81) and at his alma mater, Cal State Northridge (1976-79). At Long Beach State, Venegas coached Bill Green, hammer thrower and former U.S. record-holder (255-0), who placed fifth at the 1984 Olympics. Venegas also coached 1984 Olympic Trials shot put finalist Mike Smith (64-10).
A shot put and discus performer at St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, Venegas became a standout at Cal State Northridge following his 1970 high school graduation. At Northridge, he was a four-year letterman in the hammer throw and earned Division II All-America honors in 1974. Born in Tepic, Mexico, Venegas, 57, and his wife, the former Marlene Estrada, have two children, Jessica and Yvette and one grandchild, Lisette.