Rod Tiffin is in his tenth season as an assistant track and field coach for the Crimson Tide. His primary coaching responsibilities include the long, triple and high jumpers, multi-event athletes and the throwers.
Before coming to the Capstone, Tiffin coached the highly successful field event crew at Auburn University. While working with head coach Harvey Glance, Tiffin's field event crew has amassed 17 school records, 20 All-American honors, eight Southeastern Conference Championships, three NCAA titles, a gold medal at the World University Games, two Olympic team berths and two World Championship berths.
"My number one goal and responsibility as a coach is to help these young adults become better people," said Tiffin. "Not just better athletes on the track, but better people. I want them to be able to walk away from the University of Alabama with a degree in their hands and become contributing members of society. Alabama's student-athletes will know how to work together as a team and will show that they are focused and can put forth an effort to accomplish their goals. I want to develop the complete person, not just the complete athlete. I want our student-athletes to feel that they are better people because they were a part of the University of Alabama's Track and Field program."
In 2005, Tiffin helped coach Keith Baker to a school record in the Heptathlon. Under his tutelage, Steven Boozer recorded the third longest discus throw in the country among freshmen and earned All-America honors during his sophomore season.
During the 2001 season, Miguel Pate was Tiffin's prized athlete as he earned two All-American honors and won the gold medal at the 2001 World University Games.
Tiffin's continued work with Pate paid off when he competed at the 2002 USATF Indoor Championships in New York where he won the long jump event on his second jump with a mark of 28'02.25", setting the collegiate record. Pate's performance was the best indoor jump by an American since Carl Lewis set the world indoor record of 28-10.25 at the 1984 Millrose Games in New York. Only Lewis and reigning Olympic and world champion Ivan Pedroso of Cuba (28-3.5; 28-2.75) have ever jumped farther than Pate.
Pate went on to win the 2002 NCAA Indoor long jump championship. After his exceptional collegiate career, Pate, under the guidance of Tiffin, went on to claim three U.S. titles and a bronze medal in the long jump at the 2003 Indoor World Championship. Tiffin worked the training of Savante Stringfellow when he won a gold medal in the long jump at the 2003 Indoor World Championship.
He has coached All-Americans in several different field events including; the javelin, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, weight throw and the decathlon. He has worked with three NCAA Champions; Pate, decathlete Victor Houston, and pole vaulter Clark Humphreys. He also coached two World Championship athletes, two Olympians, an Olympic Festival team member and a gold medalist at the 2001 World University Games.
Prior to Tiffin's coaching stint at Auburn, he served one year as the head track and field and cross country coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The two previous years, Tiffin was an assistant coach for the Blazers. While at UAB, he coached 33 Great Midwest Conference (GMC) individual champions and five All-Americans. He was named the conference "Coach of the Year" during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
His track teams won the conference titles both seasons. One of Tiffin's first All-Americans at UAB was Vonetta Jeffery. Jeffery set a total of 11 school and conference records and was an All- American in the 100-meter dash and was a two-time All-American in the 200 meters and the long jump.
In 1995, Jeffery was crowned the long jump champion at the 1995 United States Olympic Festival with Tiffin's help. She is now a member of the United States bobsled team and became the first African-American female to win a Winter Olympic gold medal in the bobsled.
As an All-SEC standout decathlete for Auburn University, Tiffin also set a few records of his own. His 3,590 points scored in the pentathlon once ranked fourth on Auburn's all-time list. He previously held the seventh best javelin mark in school history. Tiffin received his bachelor's degree in Economics from Auburn in 1990.
A native of Scottsboro, Tiffin was a three sport star at Scottsboro High School. He was named to Scottsboro's first-team football roster of this century. He also played two years of college basketball at Snead State Community College before transferring to Auburn University.
He is married to the former Beth Groom of Birmingham. Their son Connor will be seven years old on April 3.
The Tiffin File
Date hired: September 1, 1997 Hometown: Scottsboro, Alabama High school: Scottsboro High School
Education: B.S. Economics (Auburn University, 1990)
September 1997 - Present Assistant Track Coach University of Alabama
October 1995 - September 1997 Assistant Track Coach Auburn University
September 1994 - October 1995 Head Track Coach University of Alabama-Birmingham