Radford Welcomes Olympic Star JaRod Tobler
Radford Track and Field will be seeing a new face on the coaching staff this year in categories such as jumping and multi-events. JaRod Tobler, both an experienced coach and track & field competitor, was named assistant coach of the program in mid-August. RU is excited about the prospect of having such a renowned coach join the athletic family.
Taking the place of second year Assistant Coach Ernest Moss, Tobler looks to refresh and rebuild RU’s program, making it stronger than ever before.
Attending high school at West Aurora in Aurora, IL, Tobler was a guard for the 2000 Men’s Basketball State Championship team. As a senior, he was named All-State in both track and basketball.
He took his athletic skills to Illinois State University, where he was an avid student-athlete. Tobler was named “All-Missouri Valley Conference” an astounding total of eight times and was also crowned the 2004 MVC Most Valuable Male Track Athlete, topping all scores with 31.50 points in the MVC Indoor Championship.
Following his college career, in 2006, East Tennessee State offered Tobler his first coaching position. Spending one year as a graduate assistant helping with recruiting, planning and some administration work for the university, he headed back to Illinois to coach for Eastern Illinois University. There he continued to oversee the jumps and multi-events. He coached both the men and women’s team to six league championships over the three year tenure he had with the EIU Panthers.
Taking a short break from coaching in 2008, Tobler came out of retirement to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials. He did quite well, placing sixth in the long jump, notching a personal best jump of 8.16 m. At the end of the season he was ranked sixth in the U.S.
Tobler left EIU in 2010 to train as a professional in California until 2011. The Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista
consisted of three different campuses for olympic and Paralympic athletes. The hard work and long hours paid off for Tobler when he ultimately grabbed a second place finish in the 2011 Indoor Championships.
Coming off just a seventh-place finish at this year’s US Olympic Trials, Tobler decided to return to coaching. He wanted to be in a new environment where he could offer his knowledge and experience.
It’s a good thing Tobler has solid backing with track as the Highs exhibit a hint of youth in their squad with sophomore jumpers Chris Henry and Jamiecka Baker.
“I get to apply all that I have learned from all the levels, both collegiate and pro level” said Tobler.
When asked about his career as a competitor resonating with his philosophy and style as a coach, he explained how the hard work ethic he has evolved over time will hopefully transcend to his athletes.
“I am able to give my student athletes that knowledge of what it takes to get to the next level and beyond,” expressed Tobler. “I am also able to understand what the kids are going though in terms of good days and bad days.”
Success at this level of competition requires balance, discipline, time-management, and sacrifice, to compete at the best possible level. This is something Coach Tobler knows all too well.
He hopes this information can be engrained in his athletes’ brains to help them in the coming years. With an already impressive resume, Tobler looks to continue his pursuit of success as a mentor and teacher of the sport with the Highlanders.
“I want RU to improve from last year, and we can only do that by not
only working hard, but also working smart,” stated Tobler. “If we do both of those things, I am confident we can have individual and team success.”
The indoor track and field season begins early in December. Hopefully Olympic star JaRod Tobler can shine some of his skills on the aspiring Highlander athletes.
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