United States Sports Academy alumna LaTanya Sheffield has been selected to serve as an assistant coach for the women’s USA Track and Field (USATF) team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sheffield graduated Manga Cum Laude from the Academy in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Sports Science Degree in Sports Management.
She is currently an assistant coach at Long Beach State University (LBSU) in Long Beach, Calif. As assistant coach at LBSU, Sheffield is responsible for training sprinters and hurdlers.
“I have an opportunity to directly impact the lives of young adults,” she said. “I find it extremely rewarding and I am privileged to share my expertise, knowledge, and personal athletic experience with student athletes.”
She has coached the men’s and women’s sprinters and hurdlers for three very successful seasons. During this time, her teams have broken several long-standing school records.
“The men’s team has earned three consecutive Big West Conference championship titles,” she said. “The sprint and hurdle crew have competed at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Regional and Championship level.”
Sheffield will continue her career as an assistant coach at LBSU while she is getting her team ready for the Olympic Games in Rio.
“One of the challenges in coaching the USATF team may be accommodating the athletes’ individual training regimens in preparation for competition,” she said.
Her brother, Rahn Sheffield, first introduced LaTanya to track and field, quickly helping to develop her into a champion 400 meter hurdler in college in just two years.
“I became a NCAA Champion breaking the collegiate and American record,” she said. “Amazingly, the collegiate record lasted for 11 years.”
Her brother has since become the Director of Track and Field at the University of California, Davis, ultimately becoming an opposing team as the two siblings coach in the same conference.
“We have lovingly become sibling rivalries,” she said. “We’re both having a blast.”
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, regionally accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy visit www.ussa.edu.