2012 Head Coach - U.S.A. Track & Field, London Summer Olympic Games
Andrew Valmon is in his 12th season at the helm of the Maryland track and field program. His experience as an Olympic Gold Medalist, combined with 18 years of collegiate coaching and an expanding experience on the international level, have helped bring Maryland's cross country and track programs to prominence.
On the track, Valmon has spent his time producing multiple All-Americans. During his tenure, 41 student-athletes have earned All-America honors for their performances on the national stage. In addition, 16 school records have been established. In the classroom, Maryland track and field athletes consistently rank among the top of their peers with the cross country program earning the school’s award for the highest team GPA two years in a row (2013, 2014).
In the summer of 2012, Valmon reached the highest level of his coaching career when he was chosen as the head coach of the U.S. track & field team at the London Olympics. As a result of Valmon's leadership, Team USA achieved the second highest medal count in history. Twenty-nine medals were earned in the sport of track & field, including nine gold, 13 silver, and seven bronze medals.
Prior to the 2012 Olympics, Valmon served as an assistant coach at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, and as the head coach for the 2010 World Indoor Championships team in Doha, Qatar. Prior to coaching at the World Championship level, Valmon served USA Track & Field as the relay coach for the national team that competed at the 2008 NACAC Championship in El Salvador.
Due to the continued success of Team USA, Valmon was added to the staff for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow to lead the relay squads. While in Moscow, Valmon ensured the success of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams.
Valmon is no stranger to relay success at the highest level. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Valmon forged an outstanding career as a professional and Olympic level 400-meter runner. 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 and was ranked as high as fourth in the world at various times in his career. Valmon still holds the world record as a member of the 1993 World Championship 4x400m relay team that clocked a time of 2:54.29.
Throughout Valmon’s tenure at Maryland, he has imparted his same drive for success on student-athletes in the program, leading them to numerous nation-leading performances. Most recently, the trio of Amber Melville, Thea LaFond, and Amina Smith made appearances at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships and earned point-scoring performances in their events.
Maryland has continuously made appearances at the NCAA level in recent years. One of the most notable performers for the Terrapins was Kiani Profit (Class of ’12) who led the way in the pentathlon and heptathlon where she was a two-time NCAA runner-up. Profit is currently competing professionally.
Other recent Maryland All-America athletes include Dwight Barbiasz (high jump), Michelle Federick (400m), Dominic Berger (hurdles), Adam Durham (hurdles), Kierra Foster (long jump) and Lynn Hernandez (long jump). Berger and Durham have continued their career on the professional track.
Valmon comes back to College Park in 2014-15 ready to share his experiences with the highest levels of international competition to propel the team to new heights. A transition from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the B1G Ten will highlight a monumental change for the University as a whole.
Over the past two years, the women’s squad has moved up the ranks of the ACC, a feat Valmon feels will prepare the group for entrance into the B1G. In ACC action, Maryland made a strong presence with multiple athletes earning spots on the podium to celebrate All-ACC performances. In 2013, the women’s squad posted a 5th-place finish at the conference championships, and in 2014 the Terps placed 6th in a field of 15 teams. Postseason competition found eight Terps qualified for the NCAA first-round competition in 2013 and seven athletes in the 2014 season.
Forging ahead, Valmon is looking forward to coaching a young group of incoming student-athletes and the continuation of the development of his current squad. He will also rely on senior leadership to guide the team to a successful campaign.
As focused as he has been on improving place finishes in competition, Valmon has also established high expectations for his student-athletes in other areas. During his tenure, the team has received the ACC Sportsmanship Award and has consistently maintained a graduation rate above the national average. In 2013 and 2014, the women’s cross country team earned the President’s Cup award for the highest team GPA. Valmon has also made community service a mandatory responsibility of each team member.
While serving as the Terrapin head coach, Valmon's profile has also continued to rise in the USATF and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) communities. Valmon is the current USATF vice chair for men’s track and field. He has also served as a mentor through the US Olympic Ambassador Program and Olympic Summit organizations. In the summer of 2004, Valmon was selected to a distinguished, NCAA/USOC panel to address Olympic sport concerns. The panel met throughout 2004 and 2005, before presenting its recommendations on creative ways to increase the visibility of various Olympic sports.
Valmon, who won two Olympic Gold Medals during his career as an athlete, came to Maryland in 2003 after serving on the track and field staff at Georgetown University beginning in 1995.
After joining the Hoyas as an assistant coach, Valmon became an associate head coach before serving as head coach of the Hoyas men's team for his final four seasons there. While there, he worked primarily with the sprinters, half-milers and jumpers. He helped lead the Hoya men to numerous indoor and outdoor championships at the Big East and IC4A Conference levels including the first IC4A Outdoor title in school history.
As a result of the numerous titles, Valmon was 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 record of achievement as an athlete and coach made Valmon an excellent choice to become the new Terrapin head coach in 2003 as summarized at the time by former Maryland Director of Athletics Deborah Yow, "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. 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."
Renaldo Nehemiah, a Maryland alumnus who was a three-time NCAA national champion, also noted Valmon's stature as an accomplished member of the track and field community. "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.org), 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 three children (Travis, Maya, and Mallory) reside in Rockville, Md.