Rita Somerlot is in her third season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Buckeyes.
Named one of the Women's Sports Foundation's Coaches of the Year in 1999, Somerlot was the track and field coach at Centerville (Ohio) High School from 1982-1998, where she mentored numerous individual state champions and led her 1988 team to a runner-up finish at the OHSAA championships. She became a member of the Ohio Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991.
During her two years with the Buckeyes, Somerlot helped develop Maggie Mullen into one of the Big Ten's best young throwers. The sophomore from Ontario shattered the Ohio State school record in the javelin (46.64m/153-0.25) thanks in large part to Somerlot's guidance. In 2010 Mullen was an All-American in the javelin while capturing a Big Ten title along the way as well as placing third in the hammer throw.
A member of USATF's Women's Development Committee as the chairperson for discus, Somerlot also serves the sport as a meet official and has served on one World staff and two Olympic staffs.