RollTide.com contributor Pete LaFleur is profiling four of Alabama's qualifiers in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships - Diondre Batson, Elias Hakansson, Alexis Paine and Krystle Schade - over the course of the national championships.
One of the top throws coaches in the collegiate ranks, Doug Reynolds has the Crimson Tide throwers corps primed to make an impact on the 2015 SEC and national scene in his fourth season at Alabama. Reynolds guides the Tide’s men’s and women’s athletes in the weight and hammer throws, shot put, discus and javelin. Reynolds’ efforts have produced impressive results in his first three years at the Capstone.
“Coach Reynolds is one of the most respected throws coaches in the nation,” says Waters. “He is one of the rare coaches that has technical expertise in all four of the throws events. He was a great student-athlete in his own right at Arizona and has a complete understanding of the winning culture we intend to create at Alabama.”
Over the course of his career as a collegiate coach, Reynolds has coached three NCAA champions, a collegiate record holder, 32 All-America selections, 22 conference champions and 62 all-conference performers.
“I’m familiar with the SEC and have coached in the league for a few years,” says Reynolds. “When I saw how I could fit in with the plan and vision that is in place, I knew this was a move I had to make.”
Reynolds’ young throwers began making their mark on the Tide record book in 2013. In the men’s hammer, freshman Elias Hakansson rewrote the top-10 lists in the indoor men’s weight throw and the outdoor hammer throw, as he shattered the school records in both events multiple times over the course of the season. Hakansson earned SEC All-Freshman honors indoors and outdoors, finishing third in the indoor weight throw at the SEC Indoor meet and third in the hammer at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The young Swede went on to place eighth in the hammer at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America honors. Hakansson’s multi-event exploits included setting school records in the weight throw (67-6 1/4) and the hammer (214-11) while completely rewriting the Tide’s all-time top performances lists in both events – overshadowing the equally noteworthy efforts from teammate Charrodd Richardson, who became the Tide’s No. 2 all-time performer in the hammer during 2013.
The Alabama throws squad built on its 2013 success as it moved into the 2014 season. The men's hammer continued to produce results as the Tide developed more quality depth in the throwing events than at any time in the last 30 years. Elias Hakansson continued to excel in the weight throw indoors and the hammer throw outdoors, but he was joined by Charodd Richardson, who surprisingly won the 2014 SEC Indoor title in the weight throw as both athletes earned All-America honors. But the highlight of the year was the emergence of redshirt freshman Hayden Reed as America's top male discus thrower. After finishing second in the discus at the SEC meet, Reed won the NCAA title at the Outdoor Championships in June, then won the USA Track & Field title a couple weeks later.
The story of the 2014 Tide throwers corps extended beyond the heroics of Reed, Richardson and Hakansson. Kyle Felpel emerged as a force in the shot put while Kevin Shannon developed into one of the region's top javelin specialists.
The Tide’s women’s throwers also have developed under Reynolds' tutelage. In 2012, two Crimson Tide throwers - Amethyst Holmes and Angelica Howard - placed second and third, respectively, in the weight throw at the SEC Indoor Championships. The 2012 SEC Outdoor Championships then saw three Tide athletes - Nia Barnes (4th), Bekah Hoppis (6th) and Brittany Hines (8th) - score points in the javelin while Holmes (7th) and Lee Stowers (8th) scored for the Tide in the women’s hammer throw. Barnes and Candicea Bernard developed into SEC contenders in both the weight throw and the hammer.
Reynolds joined the Tide as throws coach after spending six seasons in the same position at the University of Kentucky, where his student-athletes set seven school records and won nine Southeastern Conference Championship titles.
In 2011, Reynolds coached Kentucky’s Colin Boevers to his second straight SEC discus title, and fourth straight for the Wildcats, plus a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. On the women’s side, Mary Angell finished as the 2011 SEC runner-up in the discus and earned a berth in the USA Track & Field Championships.
One of Reynolds’ star pupils, Ashley Muffet, wrapped up a career in 2010 that included four All-America honors, two SEC championships, two SEC Commissioner’s Cups and a 2009 SEC Outdoor Co-Field Athlete of the Year honor.
The 2008 season remains one of the most successful for Reynolds-coached throwers, as Rashaud Scott claimed the NCAA title in the discus and was one of two Wildcat throwers to help Kentucky earn its best point total at the event in school history. In addition to his discus title, Scott added an NCAA eighth-place finish in shot put. Andy Fryman also contributed to the Kentucky total, finishing eighth in the hammer throw as the Wildcat men finished ninth at the NCAA Championships.
Prior to joining the staff at Kentucky, Reynolds worked in similar capacities at Arizona, Boise State and Kansas. In his first season at KU, he was named the Mideast Region Throws Coach of the Year. Two of his athletes - Jarred Rome (Boise State) and Scott Russell (Kansas) - went on to compete in two Summer Olympic Games and multiple IAAF World Championships. Rome was a six-time All-America for Reynolds at Boise State and a two-time United States (USATF) outdoor champion in the discus, in addition to making the USA team for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Russell, who competed at Kansas from 1998-2002, earned All-America honors six times, claimed five Big 12 conference titles in three different events, was the 2002 NCAA champion in the javelin and competed for his native Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Arizona, Reynolds earned national recognition as a Pacific-10 champion in the discus, also earning a No. 1 NCAA ranking in the event. He was the 1996 NJCAA shot put and discus champion and competed in the 1997 and 1999 World University Games, where he won a bronze medal in the discus. Reynolds also was a finalist in the discus at the 1999 and 2003 Pan-American Games. During his career, Reynolds ranked as high as third in the U.S. and 10th in the world in the discus throw.
Reynolds was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Phoenix, Ariz., where he was a standout athlete at Greenway High School. He and his wife Tracy have two children - a daughter, Sadie, and two sons, Owen and Brandt.