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 SEC and national scene is in his third 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 two years at the Capstone, but the Tide throwers appear primed to set a new standard in their specialties in the very near future as more talent continues to fill the roster and that talent continues to develop.
In 2013, Reynolds young throwers began making their mark on the Tide record book. 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 outdoor hammer at the SEC Outdoor Championships. He went on to place eighth in the hammer at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America honors. Meanwhile, Hakansson set 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. Teammate Charrodd Richardson became the Tide's No. 2 all-time performer in the hammer during 2013, as well.
Developing a total program - including a total throws program - has been the goal since Dan Waters took over the Tide program in 2011 and Reynolds' crew appears ready to being making that a reality in 2014 behind an impressive group of young athletes. In the javelin, Kevin Shannon posted four of the top 10 marks in school history during the 2013 outdoor season. Hayden Reed, a redshirt freshman this season, won the discus gold medal at the 2013 Pan-American Junior Championships over the summer. Another redshirt freshman, Joe Williams, figures to make a major impact in the discus, hammer and weight throwthis season after a stellar high school career. And Kyle Felpel, yet another redshirt, could be a threat to compete in the SEC and nationally in the shot put, javelin and discus.
The Tide's women's throwers also have developed over the last couple of years. 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. At the 2012 SEC Outdoor Championships, three Tide athletes - Nia Barnes (fourth), Bekah Hoppis (sixth) and Brittany Hines (eighth) - scored points for Alabama in the women's javelin while Holmes (seventh) and Lee Stowers (eighth) scored for the Tide in the women's hammer throw.
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 UK school records and won nine Southeastern Conference Championships.
"Coach Reynolds is one of the most respected throws coaches in the nation," Waters said. "He is one of the rare coaches that has technical expertise in all four of the throws. He was a great student-athlete himself and has a complete understanding of the winning culture we intend to create at Alabama."
Throughout his career, he has coached three NCAA Champions, a collegiate record holder, 32 All-America selections, 22 conference champions and 62 all-conference selections.
"I'm familiar with the SEC and have coached in the league for many years," Reynolds said. "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."
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 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 was one of Reynolds' most successful as Rashaud Scott claimed the NCAA title in the discus and was one of two Wildcat throwers to help UK earn its best point total at the event in school history. In addition to his discus title, Scott added an eighth-place finish in shot put. Andy Fryman also added to the Kentucky total, finishing eighth in the hammer throw as the Wildcat men finished ninth at the championships.In his first season atKentucky, he was named the Mideast Region Throws Coach of the Year.
Prior to joining the staff at Kentucky, Reynolds worked in similar capacities at Arizona, Boise State and Kansas. 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 four-time All-American at Boise State, is a two-time United States (USATF) outdoor champion in the discus, in addition to making the USA team for the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. Russell competed at KU 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 the weight throw (setting the collegiate record) to become the only athlete to accomplish that double. Russell, who earned his first World Championships berth in 2001 while a junior at Kansas, competed for his native Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
A 1998 graduate of Arizona, he earned national recognition as a Pacific-10 champion in the discus, along with a No. 1 NCAA ranking. In 1996, he was the shot put and discus NJCAA champion and competed in the 1997 and 1999 World University Games, he won a bronze medal in the discus. He also was a finalist in the discus at the 1999 and 2003 Pan-American Games. During his athletic 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 a son, Owen.