Brett Halter named Missouri track and field coach

COLUMBIA, Mo. (MU) - The Mizzou Athletic Department has announced that current interim head track and field coach Brett Halter has been promoted to head track and field coach at Missouri. Halter takes the reins after the retirement of Rick McGuire, who coached the program for 27 seasons. Halter will enter his 18th season with the Mizzou track and field program this season with an emphasis in the throws events.

"The entire Mizzou family is proud to announce that Brett Halter will be taking over as the head coach of the Mizzou track and field program after 27 great years from Dr. Rick McGuire," director of athletics Mike Alden said. "Brett has shown a continued commitment to excellence both competitively and academically during his 17 seasons at Mizzou. His work with our student-athletes and our post-collegians - especially with Christian Cantwell - has led us to believe that he is the perfect man to lead the Mizzou track and field team into its next chapter. He is a forward-thinking mind that is always looking to keep our program ahead of the curve and we are confident that he can take Mizzou track and field to the next level."

"We are so fortunate to have Brett Halter take over for Dr. McGuire and lead our track and field program," senior associate athletic director and track and field administrator Mark Alnutt said. "Brett is internationally known as one of the top young coaches in this sport. He brings a wealth of experience under the direct tutelage of Dr. McGuire for 17 years which has benefited his growth as a coach. When this opportunity came about, we felt that he was the ideal fit for our track and field program based on his core values and his commitment to see our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, grow as young men and women and successfully compete at a high level. The future looks very bright for our track and field program under the leadership of Brett Halter and his staff."

Halter has established himself as one of the top throws coaches in the nation. Halter's primary coaching responsibility has been in the throws disciplines. During his time, Halter has developed and demonstrated a brilliant understanding of the varied disciplines of the technical aspects of the throws. He has combined those skills with a passionate approach to recruiting and effective teaching to make the Missouri program flourish.

In the fall of 2004, Halter was promoted to associate head coach of the Tiger track program through his significant contributions to its successful development. In 2006, Halter was named the USTFCCCA's Mideast Region Throws Coach of the Year as five student-athletes from the men's squad that season advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the various throwing disciplines. In 2008, Halter was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Indoor Assistant Men's Coach of the Year. He also coached the USA Junior World Championship Team at the World Championships this past July in Moncton, Canada.

In all, Halter has mentored 36 All-Americans, 16 league champions, eight USA Olympic Trial Qualifiers and Olympic Silver Medalist Christian Cantwell, who may be his most storied understudy. Cantwell has evolved into the World's top shot putter and is currently dominating the sport in the shot put. Cantwell has claimed six USA Track & Field National Championships in the shot put and four IAAF World Championships to go along with his Silver Medal from the 2008 Olympic Games. He is also ranked No. 1 in the world with more than 80 meets with throws better than 21.00m (69-0).

Aside from his contributions on the competition field, Halter's administrative skills have played an integral role in Missouri's success. He serves as meet director for all home meets, including the hosting of four Big 12 Championships and the 2007 NCAA Mideast Regional. He also played a key role in the design, development and construction of the championship track facility. Additionally, Halter serves as the Director of the Missouri Track and Field Camp and the Missouri Thrower Development Camp.

He is an active member of the USA Track and Field Coaches' Education Program. Halter has completed Levels I and II and is pursuing Level III certification in the throws. He is also currently serving on the USATF Coach's Advisory Committee as the Throwing Events Chair. He was coordinator of the Level II School held at Mizzou in 1996. He is also working on his International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) level V Certification, which would make him one of the first to have this distinction in the United States.

His innovative and creative ideas have made him a popular clinic speaker. In December 2008, Halter presented a seminar on "Moving toward a High Level of Competence through a Systematic Approach in the Rotational Shot Put" at the USA National Podium Project in Las Vegas. Halter also presented at the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials Super Clinic in Eugene, Ore., on the topic "Coaching Big Guys in the Shot". At the 2007 USTFCCCA Convention in Phoenix, Halter conducted a symposium with Arizona State coach Dave Dumble on shot put techniques, presented to track and field coaches.

In 2005, Halter wrote "Progressions for Coaching the Shot Put and Discus", an instructional book on the throwing events for entry-level high school coaches. In addition, Halter has developed an instructional video entitled "Speed and Power for the Throws" that was produced by Championship Productions in 2006.

Halter competed in track and cross country at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and specialized in the 3,000m steeplechase on the track. He completed his bachelor's in sociology in 1993. He earned two master's degrees from the University of Missouri, the first in public administration in 1995 and the second in education in 1996.

With the promotion of Halter, he has been working on bringing in a variety of staff members that will contribute to the success of the Mizzou track and field program. His first hire is assistant coach Fred Binggeli, who will serve as the men's distance coach and an assistant coach to Rebecca Wilmes for the men's and women's cross country teams.

"Fred is a great addition to our staff," Halter said. "He brings a wealth of experience; from the pinnacle of our sport in coaching a gold medalist at the Olympic Games, to the much needed administrative experience required of coaches in all sports in today's environment. Fred is considered one of the finest coaches to have ever coached in the state of Missouri. It is thrilling for me to have one of Missouri's finest all time with Missouri ties running long and deep throughout the state working to carry on the rich tradition of our program."

Binggeli brings with him an impressive coaching résumé after serving as a head coach at the University of Virginia and Southeast Missouri State. At Virginia, Binggeli was a five-time ACC Coach of the Year, twice doing so during the indoor season, twice during the outdoor season and once as the head cross country coach. His most recent accolade came in 1993 when he was named ACC Cross Country Coach of the Year. He was named ACC Indoor Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1994 and ACC Outdoor Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1995.

Prior to his stint at the University of Virginia, Binggeli took the Southeast Missouri State cross country to new heights, helping the men's team claim the 1984 NCAA Division II National Championship. For his contributions to the Redhawks' program, Binggeli earned a spot in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on February 10, 2008. The 1984 team placed three runners in the NCAA Division II top 10 that season and outscored the next-best team by more than 40 points as the team dominated the competition. That team also bested a variety of Division I teams that season, including Ohio State, Michigan and Bowling Green.

Binggeli has also seen success on the national level as he coached Paul Ereng to an 800m Gold Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. He also coached Ereng to three NCAA Championships during his collegiate career. In 12 seasons, Binggeli coached 17 All-Americans while at Virginia. He also coached 29 All-Americans during his five seasons at SEMO. He also brings strong ties to the current Tiger roster as he coached sophomore Kaitie Vanatta's parents at SEMO, leading them to individual NCAA Division II National Championships on the same day in 1984.

For the last 13 years, Binggeli has served as the Assistant Executive Director with the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), where he oversaw the cross country, track and field along with speech and debate. He also had duties in sports medicine, coach's education and school membership. Binggeli left his post at Virginia in 1997 to return near his home of Fulton, Mo., and has been with MSHSAA ever since. Binggeli is married to his wife, Anne, and the pair has three children: Charles, Jeffrey and Julie.

Halter and the Mizzou track and field program have also announced the hiring of Tim Cornell, a former Mizzou distance runner, as its director of operations. Cornell takes over for Will Lingle, who pursued a head coaching job during the summer. Cornell ranks in the all-time top five at Mizzou in the men's 1,500m run and is an NCAA Championship and NCAA Regional Qualifier. He is also a multiple-time All-Big 12 team member and an Academic All-Big 12 honoree.

"I have always been impressed with Tim from the day he walked on campus as a recruit until the day he graduated," Halter said. "Tim has always been a great leader and teammate. In fact, through the trials and tribulations of his competitive career, both highs and lows, Tim has exhibited only the highest qualities that we have come to expect from our student athletes. Tim was awarded the much coveted Tom Botts Award last year, an award presented annually since 1972 to seniors on the Missouri track and field team who best exemplify the ethics, integrity, citizenship and leadership demonstrated by Tom Botts. I am thrilled that Tim will have the opportunity to continue his contributions to the program."

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