Nittany Lion track and field names T.J. Crater assistant coach

September 11, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- Former NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year T.J. Crater has been hired as an assistant coach on the Nittany Lion track and field staff. Crater comes to Happy Valley following coaching stints at Nevada and Central Washington and will oversee the Nittany Lion throwing events.

"T.J. Crater is an outstanding young coach who brings knowledge, experience and enthusiasm into his coaching," said Beth Alford-Sullivan, director of track and field/cross country. "His positive attitude and drive for excellence will be a very valuable impact for the Penn State throwers and the entire team. He is an overall great fit for our program and I am excited to welcome his wife, Sheryn, and him to Penn State and the State College community."

In just one year at Nevada, Crater led senior Inger Appanaitis WAC title in the javelin, as well as appearances at the NCAA Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials. Appanaitis was also an NCAA regional qualifier in all four throwing events. Crater also saw Wolfpack sophomore Constance McAlman also recorded regional qualifying marks in the hammer and discus.

"I couldn't' be more excited to be working at Penn State," said Crater. "Penn State athletics have a tradition that is known around the country and I'm fortunate to have the opportunity and be a part of it and try and build on it. Obviously, the facilities are some of best in the country, but I really fell in love with the staff, the people in the University, and the area. Between the success of the women's program and the potential on the men's team, I really think Penn State has the pieces in place to be a major combined program on the national level."

At Central Washington University, Crater was named the 2007 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA)-Division II West Region Men's Assistant Track and Field Coach of the Year and the 2007 USTFCCCA-Division II National Men's Assistant Track and Field Coach of the Year. While at Central Washington, Crater coached 30 national qualifying performances from 10 national qualifiers. He also coached nine All-Americans at the Division II level and 12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) individual champions. Crater's throwers recorded 104 of Central Washington University's 238 points to help lead the men's track and field team to a 2007 GNAC Title.

He lettered four years in track and field at the University of Idaho, from 1998-2002. While competing for the Vandals, Crater was an NCAA Championships qualifier in 2002 (35lb weight) and was a five-time All-Big West Conference Performer, three times in the hammer throw and two times in the shot put.

Crater inherits a solid Lion throws contingent including All-American Karlee McQuillen (Johnstown, Pa.). McQuillen, the Penn State record holder in the javelin, finished ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and was also a member of the United States team at the 2008 IAAF Junior World Championships. The Lions also welcome back senior and NCAA qualifier Emma Schmelzer (Bloomington, Ill.), the Big Ten runner-up in the shot put in 2008, as well as sophomores Blake Eaton (Limestone, N.Y.), and Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.). Eaton was a Big Ten scorer and NCAA regional qualifier in the shot put, while Kovacs posted a promising freshman campaign in 2008.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009