Yentes Named UW Track Coach

June 13, 2000


Don Yentes, an assistant in theWyoming track program for the past three seasons, has been named theprogram's new head coach, UW Athletics Director Lee Moon announced Tuesday.

Yentes replaces Larry Judge who resigned last week. In addition toYentes, Moon named Jim Sanchez as head coach of the men's and women's crosscountry program. Moon also said that Dawn Ellerbe will remain on the staffconcentrating on the throwing events. All three appointments are subjectto University Trustee approval.

Yentes came to Wyoming from Eastern Michigan University where he hadserved as an assistant for three seasons. His focus was on cross country,coaching the Eagles to the 1997 Indoor and Outdoor Championship titles. Healso coached the Eagles to their first-ever Michigan IntercollegiateChampionship that same year.

He earned a B.A. in physical education from North Park College in1981. He also has a B.A. in human institutions from Judson College.

"We feel Larry (Judge) has laid a quality foundation we can buildon," Moon said. "With Don we are changing our emphasis somewhat. We aregoing to concentrate on a more broad-based program. We will still have anemphasis on throws, but we will be focusing more on all events. We are verypleased that Jim is remaining in charge of our cross country program, andit's great to have an Olympic-caliber individual like Dawn staying to workwith our throwers.

"I think our staff is a good mixture of personalties and knowledge,"Moon continued. "I think they work well together and compliment each other.Each understands our focus. We will continue to place an emphasis on therecruitment of outstanding athletes nationwide as well as here in Wyoming.

Prior to his stint at Eastern Michigan, Yentes coached track andcross country at Jac-Cen-Del and Oak Hill High Schools in Indiana for fiveseasons (1982-87), producing a record of 53-1 in cross country and 33-6 intrack. He served as an assistant cross country and track coach at ButlerCounty Community College (1987-89), producing 21 All-Americans. He also washead track coach at Neosho County Community College (1989-91) and anassistant coach at Barton County Community College (1991-95).

"I am thrilled to receive this opportunity," Yentes said. "There isan excellent support system here giving us the tools necessary to besuccessful. Larry got the program going in the right direction, and we willbuild on that.

"A key to our success is that our staff is staying," Yentes said."Jim's record speaks for itself, and Dawn is a highly-respected throws coachwhom we are very pleased to have remain with us. Continuity with ourstudent-athletes is a big issue, and the fact that we are all staying isimportant for them. They know us and we know them, and I believe that willallow us to go forward more quickly."

Sanchez will begin his 20th season at the University of Wyoming.During his tenure he has earned the reputation as one of the top distancecoaches in the West. Over the past 19 seasons, Sanchez has coached 14 NCAAAll-Americans, four UW Hall of Fame Inductees, five Academic Cross CountryAll-Americans and one Academic All-American Women's Cross Country team.

Sanchez earned five Coach of the Year awards while Wyoming was inthe Western Athletic Conference. His teams have won conference crosscountry titles twice, finished second seven times and third eight times.His expertise in altitude training makes him a major attraction at coachingclinics nationally and internationally. He is a 1976 graduate of AdamsState College and owns a master's in Exercise Physiology from Adams State in1982.

"Beginning a new season is exciting to me each and every year,"Sanchez said. "I am as excited about entering my 20th season here as I wasmy first. I've always loved being here. I approach each season with greatenthusiasm, and I'm looking forward to next year."

Ellerbe is a four-time NCAA Champion and a world record-holder inthe 20-pound weight. A 1996 graduate of South Carolina, she was a five-timeSEC champion and a six-time All-American. Twice she was named the SECIndoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. She currently is the number onehammer thrower in the U.S., and is currently training for the Olympics.