Bob Kersee enters his 28th year as a member of the women's track and field coaching staff. For the past 15 years, Kersee has served in a volunteer capacity, working with the hurdlers and heptathletes, event areas which have seen incredible success under his guidance.
Kersee is one of the premier sprints and hurdles coaches in the world and has guided numerous athletes to Olympic, World, U.S. and NCAA titles. In 2008, Kersee coached former Bruin Dawn Harper to a gold in the 100m hurdles. He also coached Allyson Felix to a silver medal in the 200m and a gold in the 4x400m, and Shawn Crawford to a silver in the men's 200m and Kerron Clement to a silver in the men's 400m hurdles at the Beijing Games. He also helped coach the U.S. 4x400m relay team to gold.
In collegiate track, Kersee coached Nicole Leach to a runner-up finish in the intermediate hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. This season, he will work with Leach and the other Bruin hurdlers, along with NCAA long jump champion Rhonda Watkins, heralded freshman heptathlete and hurdler Ryann Krais and Hillary Werth in the heptathlon.
In 2007, Kersee helped sophomore Leach win her first NCAA title in the intermediate hurdles, and also coached former Bruin Michelle Perry to her second World 100m hurdles crown during the summer of 2007.
Perry, a former heptathlete, stepped away from the multi-event competition after the 2004 Olympics to focus on the high hurdles and has gone on to earn two World titles and three straight No. 1 world rankings with Kersee as her coach.
Former USC Trojan and NCAA champion Ginny Powell began training with Kersee after ending her career at USC and was a World Championship finalist in the hurdles in 2007 (5th).
Widely regarded as one of the world's premier track and field coaches, Kersee was honored as the 2005 USATF Nike Coach of the Year after two of his athletes won gold at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland - Michelle Perry (100mH) and Allyson Felix (200m).
Kersee also coaches former Bruin Joanna Hayes, who won the Gold Medal in the 100m hurdles (12.37, Olympic record) at the Athens Olympics and was the No. 1 ranked high hurdler in the World in 2004.
Along with his wife, Jackie Joyner, Kersee also coached Gail Devers to several Olympic and World Championship medal performances. Devers was the top-ranked high hurdler in the world on several occasions, along with Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Valerie Brisco, Gail Devers, Greg Foster and Andre Phillips are other top Kersee-coached athletes who won numerous gold and silver medals at the XXIIIrd Olympiad in Los Angeles and then in Seoul. Devers also had outstanding Olympic performances in Atlanta in 1996 and Barcelona in 1992. In Atlanta, Devers won the gold medal in the 100m for the second consecutive Olympics (making her the fourth straight Bruin to win that event; Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988 and Evelyn Ashford in 1984) and won another gold, running the second leg on the victorious U. S. 4x100m relay.
Kersee's niece, Darnesha Griffith became only the fifth woman in NCAA history to win the high jump at both the 2002 NCAA Indoor (6-0.75) and Outdoor (6-0) championships (in the same season) and was ranked No. 5 in the U. S.
Kersee completed his ninth season as head coach at UCLA in 1993 by winning the Pacific-10 title and placing third at the NCAA Outdoor. Five of his last seven teams won the conference crown. In addition, eight of his last nine Bruin squads recorded Top-7 NCAA finishes, including a runner-up result in three of the last six campaigns and a third-place finish in 1993.
Kersee first came to UCLA in 1980 after leading Cal State Northridge to consecutive Division I national championships in 1978 and 1979. He served as assistant coach to Scott Chisam at UCLA from 1980-83, during which time he guided sprinters Florence Griffith, LaShon Nedd, Sherri Howard, Arlise Emerson and Bolden to NCAA honors.
Prior to his experience at CSUN, Kersee coached women's AAU clubs, including the South Bay Striders, Blue Angels Track Club and the L.A. Naturite Track Club.
Kersee has also been selected for various national team coaching assignments. At the 2005 World T&F Championships, he served as a U.S. Women's Team Coach/Administrator. In 1985, he served as the sprint coach for the U.S. Olympic Festival West team and served in a similar capacity at the 1987 Pan Am Games.
A 1978 graduate of Long Beach State, he helped coach the women's team while earning a degree in physical education. Prior to attending Long Beach State, Kersee competed for Harbor Junior College. In 1976, he was a finalist in the hurdles at the state junior college meet while helping lead Harbor to the Southern California championship. Following his graduation from Long Beach, Kersee began work toward a master's degree in exercise physiology at CSUN.
Born in the Canal Zone, Panama, Kersee is a graduate of San Pedro HS, where he was a standout track athlete. Kersee married Jackie Joyner in January 1986, and is the president of the Board of Directors of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Boys and Girls Club of East St. Louis, IL.
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