Kevin Mannon is entering his eighth season as an assistant coach for the Ohio State men's track and field team. Since joining the Buckeye staff full-time in 2004, Mannon has established himself as one of the top-rated throws coaches in the United States, having mentored a total of 15 NCAA qualifiers, seven All-Americans, five Big Ten champions, eighth conference runner-ups and 32 regional qualifiers.
Over the past year, Mannon's current group of throwers has shown steady improvement, establishing themselves as one of the deepest squads in the country. During the 2011 indoor season, Ohio State posted two shot putters that surpassed the 17.68m/58 ft. mark in Tyler Branch and Matt DeChant. DeChant finished the indoor campaign with the fourth-best throw in the country (19.94m/65-5) and brought home his third All-American award in two years. Additionally, Ohio State showcased one of the top 35-pound weight crews in Division I, as a total of five athletes (DeChant, Branch, Max Mays, Billy Gehring and Thomas Davis) eclipsed the 18.90m/62 ft. mark. Mays finished his indoor season with the 12th-best throw in the NCAA (20.88m/68- 6) in the event, earning his first trip to the NCAA championships in the process. Despite injuries to the squad during the outdoor season, Buckeye throwers continued to excel, sending a total of four athletes to the NCAA East Preliminaries. DeChant turned in a top 6 finish in the shot put at the Big Ten championships, while Mays posted top 10 finishes in both the discus and hammer.
As a student-athlete, Mannon was a 12-time All-American between two-year stints at South Carolina and Wyoming. He was the recipient of the Southeastern Conference Commissioner's Trophy his sophomore season at South Carolina after winning performances at the 1997 outdoor conference meet. Following his sophomore season at South Carolina, in which Mannon earned five All-America awards, he transferred to Wyoming, where he gained another seven All-America honors in his two seasons with the Cowboys.
In addition to the 12-overall All-America accolades, Mannon established the American collegiate record in the weight throw on two occasions during the 1999 indoor season. Mannon set the American standard of 22.76m (74-8.25) on February 13, 1999 in Laramie, Wyo. The mark stood until Jan. 10, 2004, when former Buckeye Dan Taylor heaved a measure of 23.22m (76-2.25) at the indoor season opener in French Field House. Mannon was present that day to witness the record-setting throw and later helped Taylor set the record two more times, the last reaching 24.01m (78-9.25) on Feb. 21, 2004.
A native of West Jefferson, Ohio, Mannon earned his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming in 1999. He currently resides in West Jefferson with his wife, Joanna, and three children.
Distance Crew Heads to North Carolina