Associate Head Coach - Pole Vault
Lou Andreadis is in his 11th season at Grand Valley as associate head coach for both men's and women's track and field. Andreadis' experience is a valuable resource to the Laker program and will also reunite Andreadis with head coach Jerry Baltes as they coached together at Butler University in Indiana.
Lou's main responsibilities are to work with the Laker pole vaulters and handle all multi-event scheduling for the combined events.
At Grand Valley State, Andreadis has developed a solid vault program which has seen 40 All-American honors and seven NCAA Division II National Champion pole vault performances in eleven years and set both men's and women's school records. His vaulters average a fifteen inch improvement over the last seven years. Three vaulters have seen over three feet added to their high school PR's. Under Lou's coaching, Bryant Wilson went from a 14'6" high school vaulter to clearing 18'0.5" (5.50m) in 2009 and competing at the USATF National Championship. The same year Dianna Noonan, a 12'0" high school vaulter, cleared 13'9.25" (4.20m) and also qualified for the USATF Championship.
Andreadis was named the 2012 USTFCCCA Women's Assistant Coach of the Year after Kristen Hixson won both the indoor and outdoor pole vault national championship and Jocelyn Kuksa finished second (outdoor) and third (indoor) at the NCAA Division II National Championships.
Andreadis has coached three pole vaulters to seven total NCAA Division II National Championship performances. Bryant Wilson won the indoor and outdoor event in both 2007 and 2008, while Kristen Hixson won both the indoor and outdoor events in 2012, and Jaime Roberts won the indoor event in 2016.
Coach Lou has also put together one of the largest pole selections in the entire country. Over $50,000 has been spent in poles alone to fill out complete series of poles from 12'6-16'1. He also helped design the lay-out for the two raised runways used at GVSU's indoor facility.
Andreadis graduated from Butler in 1996 with a degree in Secondary Education. Lou stayed at Butler and worked for four years as assistant coach for track and field and football as well as a part-time teacher at an Indianapolis grade school, IHM. In 2001 he was the head girls track and assistant football coach at his alma mater, Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Assistant Coach - Jumps
Assistant coach Steve Jones is in his seventh year as the jumps coach at Grand Valley State University. Before GVSU, he spent three seasons at Minnesota State University-Mankato where he worked with jumpers, multi-event athletes, throwers, and sprinters. While at MSU, Jones' athletes set several school records in addition to winning eight All-American accolades. Jones assisted in coaching the 2007 USATF US National High Jump Champion Jim Dilling (2.30m), who also won four Division II National high jump competitions.
In his time at GVSU, Jones has tutored nine NCAA Division II All-Americans and has had 34 student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships in both indoor and outdoor competition. Three school records have also been set with Jones as the coach.
At Minnesota State, Jones coached two NCAA Division II champions, seven All-Americans and 13 NCAA qualifiers.
At Minnesota State University, Jones' other duties included teaching in the human performance department, meet administration, monitoring the academic success of student-athletes, as well as assisting in hosting the 2008 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships. In his time there, Jones also received his masters degree in sport administration.
Jones graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 with a degree in consumer science. A two-time captain and NCAA Division I national participant in the high jump, Jones worked for Athletes in Action upon his graduation. Part of his time was spent in Spain where he volunteer coached for two track teams and participated in mission work. When stateside, Jones coached high school track in Wisconsin working with the jumpers, sprinters, and vaulters.
Assistant Coach - Discus
Sean Denard is in his third season at Grand Valley State University as an Assistant Track and Field Coach in charge of the Throwing Events in 2016
Denard has assisted athletes to 26 NCAA All-Americans including the 2016 NCAA Champion in the Men’s Hammer, the 2015 NCAA Runner-Up in the Women’s Hammer and the 2015 NCAA Runner-Up in the Men’s Weight Throw. Athlete’s have set 4 Conference Records, Won 14 Conference Championships and earned 97 All-Conference Awards. 52 times throwers have earned academic All-Conference awards including 3 times winning the Commissioner’s or Academic Athlete of the Year awards. 8 times his athletes have won Academic All-American status as well.
In 2016 Darien Thornton won the NCAA Title in the Men’s Hammer, surpassing the meet record by over 2 feet. He would earn the GLIAC Title, GLIAC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and Midwest Region Field Athlete of the Year honors for both the outdoor and indoor seasons while qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Additionally, Mariah Mansperger would earn GLIAC Freshmen Athlete of the Year for her performances at the conference Championships while Dajsha Avery moved up 10 spots in both the shot put and discus to earn her first and second career All-American Awards in the shot put and discus throws at the NCAA Championships.
In 2015 Thornton placed second at the NCAA Championships in the men’s 35lb weight throw, helping the men’s squad to their highest finish ever as team National Runner-Ups. Outdoors, Laura Schroeder won the GLIAC title in the women’s hammer and would go on to place second at the NCAA Championships, helping the women to their 6th NCAA Program of the Year Award in the 7th year of it’s existence.
From the summer of 2012 until the fall of 2014, while at North Central College, Denard earned his master’s degree in higher education leadership and started the Athlete Mentor Program where 250 first year athletes were mentored by 50 trained upperclassmen athletes across all sports and genders. Denard was also in charge of summer camps and grew his throwing attendance from 3 participants in the summer of 2012 to nearly 100 in the summer of 2014.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience Denard served as Coach for 2012 Shot Put Olympian and 2014 Common Wealth Games finalist, Justin Rodhe and 2014 USA Shot Put finalist Nick Baatz. Denard also has presented at several clinics on coaching the Throws, including GVSU’s annual BIG Throws Clinic.
Denard is a 2012 graduate of Mount Union College where he was an All-American in the discus, won 5 OAC Championships in the shot put and discus and was named Most Outstanding Athlete of the 2010 OAC Championships. He still owns the school record in the discus.
Denard comes from Naperville, Illinois and competed in football and track in high school, winning a state championship his senior year in football and competing in both shot put and discus at the state championships.
Assistant Coach - Distance
Aaron Watson is in his third season at Grand Valley State as an Assistant Track & Field and Assistant Cross Country Coach in charge of Distance Events.
Comes to Grand Valley State after one year as the Assistant Coach of Cross Country/Track & Field at Temple University, where he organized all aspects of the student-athlete development, including the creation of training plans, supervision of workouts, . Watson also helped five Temple runners set school records for both the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams.
Prior to coaching for Temple, Watson was a volunteer assistant coach for the Grand Valley State cross country and track & field programs from 2010-2013. As a volunteer assistant, Watson was in charge of supervising practices and team travel to competitions, administered and recorded workouts, and created programs for athletes returning from injury. In addition, Watson assisted with on-campus recruiting and worked in all areas of event management.
Watson graduated from Grand Valley State in 2012 with a degree in Sports Management.
Watson is a USA Track & Field Level Certified coach.
Assistant Coach - Sprints & Hurdles
Alan Dunson is in his second year at Grand Valley State University as Assistant Track and Field Coach in charge of Sprints and Hurdles.
This past year his athletes garnished 17 All-American honors, broke 6 School Records, 3 GLIAC Conference Records, and were represented by 11 entries at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships. He guided Angela Ritter, a now three-time School record holder, to multiple All-American finishes in the 200m dash (9th at 24.11), 400m dash (5th at 53.65), and the 4x400m relay (7th at 3:42.83).
In 2015, during his time with the Ashland University Eagles, he coached athletes to 4 All-American honors during the Indoor season and 2 All-American honors during the Outdoor season. Dunson also guided two sprinters to three GLIAC championships and two Conference Records, including Irene Skinner to the GLIAC Indoor Championships Freshman of the Year and the conference record in the 400 meters. He also guided twelve-time All-American Eliha Owens to two NCAA Runner-Up finishes in the 60 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles, as well as an appearance at the USA Outdoor National Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The new Laker coach was also a two-sport athlete at Ashland, receiving eight combined varsity letters for track & field and football. For track & field, Dunson was a two-time conference champion in the 110 meter hurdles and as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team. He was also a seven-time All-GLIAC selection, a two-time NCAA National Championship qualifier, the 2008 GLIAC Outdoor Men’s Freshman of the Meet, and holds the Ashland men’s outdoor freshman record for the 110m hurdles. Dunson was a key member of three GLIAC outdoor track & field championships, denying GVSU from claiming victory each time.
Dunson earned both his Bachelor and Masters degrees from Ashland University. He graduated from Ashland in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a degree in Integrated Mathematics, and is in the process of obtaining Masters of Education with a degree in Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century.
Prior to coaching at Ashland, Dunson was the head track & field coach at Bluffton High School in Hilton Head, South Carolina for four years from 2011 to 2014. While at Bluffton, he coached two individual state champions and a third-place finisher.