June 24, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has hired Andrew Valmon as its new head coach for its men's and women's track and field program, athletics director Deborah A. Yow announced Tuesday.
Valmon, 38, who won two Olympic gold medals during his career as an athlete, comes to Maryland after serving on the track and field staff at Georgetown University since 1995. He has been the head coach of the Hoyas men's team for four seasons.
"It's a great opportunity to grow in a program committed to athletic and academic excellence," said Valmon about his new role at Maryland.
He earned gold medals as a member of the United States 4x400 relay teams in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. Valmon earned spots on 13 U.S. National Teams, also earning golds at the 1990 Goodwill Games, the 1993 World Championships and the 1994 Goodwill Games. He owns a personal-best of 44.28 in his specialty, the 400-meter dash, and was ranked as high as fourth in the nation and seventh in the world at various times in his career.
"Andrew brings a unique combination of talent, commitment, teaching and community involvement that will take our track and field program to the next level of excellence," said Yow. "He has the kind of experience and passion for track that will attract very talented student-athletes to our program. He will develop and inspire them athletically and academically to achieve their best potential. (Associate A.D.) Shawn Flynn did an outstanding job as chair of the search committee."
Valmon joined the Georgetown staff in September 1995. While there, he worked primarily with the sprinters, half-milers and jumpers. He helped lead the Hoyas men to indoor and outdoor championships and the IC4A outdoor title in 1998. In 1999, the Hoyas won the Big East Conference indoor title, as well as IC4A indoor and outdoor championships. Georgetown won Big East indoor and outdoor team titles in 2001, as well as the IC4A outdoor title. Georgetown also won the IC4A title indoors in 2002.
As a result of the numerous titles, Valmon has been honored by the U.S. Track Coaches Association with regional awards. In 2002, he was awarded the President's Award by USA Track and Field for his contributions to both USATF and to the sport of track and field. He has been a member of USATF's Athletes Advisory Committee.
His stature as an accomplished member of the track and field community was noted by Renaldo Nehemiah, a Maryland alumnus who was a three-time NCAA national champion.
"I think it's a great hire," said Nehemiah. "To have a young, enthusiastic coach there will be very good for the university. He has a lot of respect in the track and field community. He's a hungry, aggressive person who will revitalize a program that has a storied background."
Valmon is the founder of the Avenue Program (www.avenueprogram.com), an organization designed to positively impact the lives of underprivileged youths by introducing them to successful athletes and professionals, as well as organizing track and field clinics.
He earned a bachelor's degree in communications in 1987 from Seton Hall University, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame after becoming a three-time All-American. He still holds the Big East Conference championships record in the 400 and was named the Outstanding Performer of the meet after winning the 400 and participating on two winning relay teams for the Pirates in the 1987 meet.
Valmon is married to Meredith Rainey Valmon, a seven-time U.S. national champion and two-time Olympian in the women's 800. The couple and their son, Travis, reside in Rockville, Md.