MEET THE STAFF…
HEAD COACH, ALAN TURNER Alan Turner, the University of Notre Dame’s associate head track and field coach for two years (2012-14) and a member of the Irish staff for seven seasons (2010-17), was named the head coach of track and field and cross country at the University on July 18, 2014.
Turner took over for Joe Piane, who retired in May 2014 just prior to the end of his 39th season as Irish track and field and cross country coach. Piane had been the longest-tenured head coach on the Notre Dame athletics staff.
Turner, who originally joined the Irish program in September 2010, enters his fourth season as Irish head coach. After serving as an assistant coach for two years, he was elevated to associate head track and field coach in October 2012 while continuing to oversee the training of all Irish sprinters and hurdlers.
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH- CROSS COUNTRY AND DISTANCE, MATT SPARKSMatt Sparks joined the University of Notre Dame cross country and track and field program as the associate head coach in August 2014. Entering his fourth year at Notre Dame, Sparks’ area of concentration with the Fighting Irish is guiding the women’s cross country program, as well as coaching Notre Dame’s women’s distance runners throughout the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
This past season, Sparks oversaw an Irish women’s distance squad that finished 11th overall at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Sparks led the Irish women to six ACC individual titles, including four by sophomore Anna Rohrer. Rohrer highlighted Notre Dame’s season with a third-place finish overall in the cross country national final. Sparks also coached junior Jessica Harris and graduate student Danielle Aragon to second team All-America finishes in the 1,500m at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June.
ASSISTANT COACH – THROWS, ADAM BELTRAN
Entering his ninth season, Beltran has helped oversee 28 NCAA East Preliminary Round qualifiers between men’s and women’s shot put, discus, hammer throw and weight throw, and for the throw events in the men’s heptathlon and decathlon and the women’s pentathlon and heptathlon.
Included in the 28 are six throwing champions and 15 multi-event all-BIG EAST performers. In 2013, Emily Morris (Shot Put) earned all-BIG EAST honors at the outdoor meet, while Ted Glasnow (Heptathlon, Decathlon) and Carly Loeffel (Pentathlon, Heptathlon) earned all-BIG EAST honors, with Glasnow taking home the decathlon crown, during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Loeffel went on to earn second team All-America accolades at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
ASSISTANT COACH – CROSS COUNTRY, SEAN CARLSON
Sean Carlson joined the Notre Dame cross country and track & field staff in November 2011. Now entering his seventh season in a new role with the Irish, Carlson is responsible for the men’s cross country team and men’s distance and middle distance runners on the track.
During his tenure with the Irish, Carlson has assisted in coaching five NCAA Champions and directly coaching Notre Dame student-athletes to five new school records, six NCAA All-Americans and 19 athletes on Notre Dame’s top-10 lists.
ASSISTANT COACH – JUMPS, JIM GARNHAM
During his nine years with the program, Garnham has helped coach All-Americans, NCAA qualifiers, conference champions, all-conference honorees, school record-holders and Olympic hopefuls.
Among the standouts include six-time BIG EAST pole vault champion and two-time All-American Kevin Schipper, three-time BIG EAST pole vault champion Matt Schipper, two-time BIG EAST pole vault champion and two-time All-American Mary Saxer, two-time All-American Maddie Buttinger, All-American heptathlete Carly Loeffel, and most recently, three-time All-American pole vaulter and two-time ACC Champion Nate Richartz.
ASSISTANT COACH – SPRINTS, PRISTINA JONES
In 2017, Jones helped to coach a youthful Irish squad that consisted of five freshmen women’s sprinters, one freshman men’s sprinter and a graduate student transfer.
During the 2016 track season, Jones received a couple of All-American performances from the sprints and hurdles. Senior Margaret Bamgbose was All-ACC and All-American in the indoor 400m and she was All-ACC in the outdoor 400m and 200m. Bamgbose recorded PRs of 23.34 in the 200m and 51.11 in the 400m. In the hurdles, senior Kaila Barber broke the school record in the 60m hurdles (8.05), All-ACC (60m Hurdles, 100m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles) and All-American (60m Hurdles). She was the ACC Outdoor Champion in the 100m hurdles (12.92) and 400m hurdles (56.81). Barber’s PRs included 12.91 in the 100H and 55.53 in the 400H.