CONTACT INFORMATION Email: J.Kenneson@tcu.edu Phone: 817-257-7318
Associate head coach John Kenneson enters his 30th season of Division I coaching and his ninth at TCU entering the 2013 season. In the last three decades, he has built a legacy as one of the top throws coaches in the country, guiding 41 All-Americans, an Olympian and countless Olympic Trial qualifiers and conference champions. Kenneson oversees all throwing events for the Horned Frogs and also supervises the strength training for the throwing athletes.
During TCU's stint in the Mountain West Conference, stretching the 2006-12 track and field seasons, Kenneson guided the Frogs to nine women's shot put titles, including a streak of eight-straight championships from 2006-09. TCU is the only school in league history to accomplish that feat.
2012 saw many TCU throwers have success. During the indoor campaign, Kenneson guided Cameron Tabor to a conference title in the men's shot put and helped TCU's throwers earn four All-Conference honors. In Outdoor competition, Tabor completed the season sweep of the shot put conference titles and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the shot put and discus.
Four school records were re-set in 2012 with Tabor taking down the men's indoor weight throw record, Kelsey Samuels earning the women's indoor weight throw top spot and Megan Smith breaking the outdoor records in the discuss and hammer throw. The indoor weight throw records for both men and women were broken for the third season in a row.
The 2011 season saw TCU snap program records in the men's and women's indoor weight throw for the second consecutive year. Kelsey Samuels picked up her first career MWC gold medal at the indoor championships and followed-up for silver medal standards at the outdoor championships. On the men's side, Cameron Tabor topped the field in the discus at the Bobby Lane Invite and took the hammer throw at the Horned Frog Invitational. Samuels and Tabor both qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Eugene, Ore.
During the 2010 season, Kenneson helped lead TCU's throws to six school records. Freshmen Cameron Tabor and Kelsey Samuels exploded onto the scene in their first collegiate seasons, as both smashed the Frogs' program marks in the indoor weight throw, as well as the outdoor weight throw and hammer throw. At one point during the indoor slate, he won four-straight shot put events.
Senior Tommy Killen (discus), junior Stormy Harrison (shot put) and Samuels (shot put) claimed All-Mountain West Conference honors for Kenneson in 2010, while Killen went on to compete at the NCAA Championships in the discus.
In 2009, Kenneson once again produced the conference champion in the women's shot put during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. TCU has now captured eighth-straight Mountain West Conference shot put titles between the indoor and outdoor seasons under Kenneson's watch.
For the second-consecutive year, sophomore Stormy Harrison crushed the women's shot put field, claiming the event-title with a new complex and seasonal-best throw of 52 feet, 6 ¾ inches. Harrison's personal-best throw was a regional qualifying mark and the second-best throw in program history. She closed out the season competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
On the men's side at the conference level, Tommy Killen captured the 2009 Mountain West Conference discus title at the MWC Outdoor Championships. By winning the event-title, Killen, a junior from Louisiana, became the first Horned Frog in program history to claim first-place honors in the men's discus at a conference championship. Overall, Killen tossed the discus 179 feet, 2 inches, which was an NCAA regional qualifying mark, to claim first-place honors at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. His toss was nearly three feet further than BYU junior Daniel Lawson, who claimed second-place honors.
Finally, senior Candis Kelley put a close to one of the most impressive indoor careers in Mountain West Conference history, winning the women's shot put for the fourth-straight year with an NCAA provisional toss of 50 feet, 2 ¾ inches. By doing so, Kelley became the first female student-athlete in MWC history to win the women's shot put title four-straight years. Harrison earned runner-up honors in the event with an NCAA provisional toss of 50 feet.
In 2008, Kenneson guided Candis Kelley, who claimed her third-straight MWC indoor shot put title during the winter, to the women's shot title at the 81st annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Two weeks later, Kelley became only the second female in TCU history to win the title at the historic Penn Relays.
Freshman Stormy Harrison won the women's shot put title at the conference outdoor meet with the second longest throw in Mountain West Conference Championship history. The Cisco natives throw of 52 feet, 2 ½ inches, set a new Lowdon Track and Field Complex record and marked the third-consecutive year TCU had won the event. Harrison, who recorded the longest-throw in the nation by an American freshman in 2008, crushed the school discus record by tossing 160 feet, 2 inches on her third throw to finish fifth overall in the event at the John Jacobs Invite. Harrison's toss broke Zelma Wade's throw of 157 feet, 11 inches set in 2005.
Tommy Killen had another stellar 2008 season under Kenneson's tutiledge. During the indoor season, he placed third overall in the shot at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships. Killen had an amazing string during the outdoor season in which he won five of six competitions in the men's discus. At the John Jacobs Invite, Killen won the men's discus in Norman, tossing a career best mark of 192 feet, 10 inches, which was an NCAA regional qualifying mark. His throw broke Jordan Reynold's previous school record of 190 feet, 8 inches, set in 1990. Killen's toss was one inch off the Olympic Trials standard.
In the men's javelin under Kenneson's watch, senior Joe Brown closed his MWC career in winning-fashion, taking the title on his last attempt in competition. Overall, Brown blasted a throw of 221 feet, 7 inches to become only the second Horned Frog ever to win a conference crown in the javelin, and the first since Wes Ritchey won the Southwest Conference in 1954. At the Midwest Regional, Brown qualified for the NCAA Championships by crushing his own school record in the men's javelin. Brown, a senior from Overland Park, Kan., recorded a fifth-place finish by tossing the javelin 224 feet to break his previous school record of 222 feet, 5 inches set in 2006.
Finally, Brown earned All-America honors by tossing the javelin 211 feet, 9 inches to place 10th overall at the NCAA Championships. By doing so Brown, who was named the 2008 Mountain West Conference Student-Athlete of the Year, became the first TCU athlete ever to be named an All-American in the javelin. The finish by Brown was also the best by a TCU javelin thrower at the NCAA Championships.
Before 2008, Kenneson coached now departed senior shot putter Candis Kelley to five consecutive Mountain West titles. In the discus, Tommy Killen represented TCU at the NCAA Championships in 2006 and had the longest throw in the nation by any freshman with a toss of 189-11 (57.90). All three of these athletes have earned MWC Athlete of the week awards, while Killen and Brown also earned Academic All-America status in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
Kenneson has spent the bulk of his career in the highly-competitive SEC. He came to Fort Worth from Lexington, Kentucky, where he served as an assistant track & field coach at the University of Kentucky for 11 of the past 12 years. While at UK, Kenneson coached his athletes to 23 All-America certificates, 28 school records and logged eight national top 20 finishes. Overall, his athletes have garnered 41 All-America certificates.
His only previous stint outside the SEC came when he led the field and multi-events program for both men and women at North Carolina State University as an assistant coach from 1985-86. Kenneson compiled an impressive portfolio with two ACC men's team championships, 11 All- ACC women athletes and 13 All-ACC men's performances, while establishing 10 school records during his two-year tenure in Raleigh.
Kenneson joined the staff at the University of Florida in 1986, holding the position of head field and multi-events coach. While at Florida he assembled one of the most competitive and productive field events programs in the history of the SEC and NCAA track & field. With shot putters Dwight Johnson and Matt Simson owning personal bests of 66-0 and 63-3, Russ Willett claiming a best discus throw of 197-11, Mike Holloway vaulting 18-8 3/4 and Dion Bentley long jumping 26-9, Kenneson's corps of field event athletes led the Gators to seven "Top Five" finishes in the NCAA Championships.
With Kenneson on board, the Gators won the SEC Triple Crown (cross country, indoor and outdoor track) in both 1987 and 1988. During the 1991-92 seasons, three Kenneson-coached athletes teamed up to form the top three shot putters in the NCAA. Simson went on to win a silver medal at the World University Games in 1992. Another world-class athlete, Tom Pukstys, to whom Kenneson served as a personal coach, is a former American and current collegiate record holder in the javelin (273-3) and was a finalist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Pukstys held the American record from 1994-2004 before Breaux Greer set the new mark with a throw of 287-8 in 2004.
Kenneson joined the Kentucky staff in 1992 and began to build a nationally-regarded field events program from scratch. Two of Kentucky's All-Americans were U.S. Junior National Team members and another, Matt Kavanagh, was the gold medalist in the hammer throw at the 1997 Junior Pan America Games. He spent one year at Auburn University (1997-98) before returning to Kentucky the following year.
While at Auburn in 1998, Kenneson helped Nakeitra Jones set the SEC women's high jump record with a leap of 6'-05".
Under Kenneson's tutelage at Kentucky, Jeff Chakouian was the only collegian shot putter to reach the finals of the 2004 United States Olympic Trials. Chakouian was the UK record holder in the shot with a mark of 66-3, was the Southeast Regional champion and finished third at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Chakouian is also one of only three SEC athletes to ever win four consecutive SEC indoor titles. Chakouian was only beaten outdoors by current Olympians Reese Hoffa (Georgia) and Edis Elkavis (Auburn). Kenneson also coached Ildiko Varga, who placed seventh in the women's discus throw at the 2004 NCAA Championships.
Kenneson is a member of the National Throws Coaches Association, and the NCAA Track Coaches Association. He is also a certified personal trainer.