Courtesy: Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
Doug Case enters his fifth season as an Arkansas assistant coach, charged with the Razorback sprinters, relay teams and pole vault. The 2012-13 season will be his 21st coaching at the collegiate level.
Under Case’s watch, the Razorbacks made their national mark with NCAA indoor titles in the pole vault with freshman Andrew Irwin and in the 4x400-meter relay with Marek Niit, Akheem Gauntlett, Ben Skidmore and Neil Braddy. Both wins represented program firsts.
During the course of the 2012 season, Case’s athletes won five conference titles with Irwin doubling indoor and outdoor, Niit winning the indoor 200-meter title, Caleb Cross taking the 400-meter hurdle crown and the Razorbacks’ 4x100-meter relay running to first place.
Their work was recognized as Irwin was named the SEC Field Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season, SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor and outdoor seasons and USTFCCCA South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season; Cross was voted the SEC Outdoor Runner of the Year; and Gauntlett earned USTFCCCA Track Athlete of the Year accolades for the indoor season.
Case also oversaw the emergence of the Razorback relays. Arkansas won its first-ever SEC indoor title in the 4x400 relay with the foursome of Niit, Ben Skidmore, Chris Bilbrew and Neil Braddy in 2011. That same group finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the program’s highest finish in the event since 1987. At national outdoor meet, the Razorbacks’ 4x400 relay finished fifth for Arkansas’ first All-America status in the event since the 2000 season.
Case’s work did not go unnoticed as he was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) South Central Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
Cross was Case’s biggest success story of 2010. The freshman from Newport, Ark., earned All-America honors in the 60-meter hurdles indoors and competed in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays, indoors and out.
During the summer months of 2010, Cross won the USA Junior title in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.64. He earned a spot on Team USA at the World Junior Championships, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
In his first season in Fayetteville, Case’s student-athletes earned two All-America honors, an NCAA Mideast 800-meter title, seven Mideast All-Region honors, an SEC Indoor title and four All-SEC honors.
As UNI’s assistant coach, Case’s sprinters and pole vaulters earned 43 All-America honors, including national championships in the 800 meters and the pole vault, and 68 NCAA Division I national meet qualifiers. UNI sprinters and vaulters dominated the Missouri Valley Conference over the last eight years, crowning 97 individual and relay conference champions. At the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships, UNI’s Tyler Mulder took the half-mile title with a time of 1:49.20.
When it comes to the pole vault, Case built UNI into a national leader in the event. He developed three of the greatest vaulters in MVC history in Jacob Pauli, Andre Poljanec and Jarno Kivioja, a trio that claimed 12 MVC championships and eight All-America honors from 1999 to 2007.
Both Pauli, who claimed the pole vault NCAA title at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships and Poljanec competed at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Pauli, who owns UNI’s indoor and outdoor school records, also took third at the 2007 USA Outdoor Nationals.
Under Case’s guidance, UNI vaulters claimed five of his last eight MVC titles, both indoors and outdoors. In 2007, the Panthers finished 1-2-3 and took four of the top five spots in the MVC indoor pole vault and then claimed four of the top six spots at the outdoor conference meet. Kivioja claimed his second straight Missouri Valley indoor title, while Poljanec took the outdoor crown for the third consecutive season.
Poljanec earned the third All-America honor of his career at the NCAA Indoor Championships and was the nation’s No. 1-ranked vaulter outdoors heading into regional competition. Kivioja concluded his career with a berth in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In all, Case’s sprinters set school records in 10 events since 2001, including the 7.81-second effort by Jarrel Anderson in the 60-meter hurdles in 2007. He also guided Dirk Homewood to a career that included four All-America honors and school records in the 200 meters and 400 meters, both indoors and outdoors
Prior to his return to UNI, Case spent three seasons as the men’s head coach at Drake University. Under his guidance, Drake set three school records during the indoor season and its distance medley relay team placed ninth at the NCAA Championships.
Before coaching at Drake, Case served as an assistant tcoach at Arkansas State where, during his tenure, ASU’s men’s and women’s programs won nine Sun Belt Conference titles. At ASU, Case was responsible for recruiting 52 outdoor and 49 indoor individual conference champions. His recruiting classes included 39 NCAA Division I national qualifiers, four All-Americans, seven Olympic Trials qualifiers and three Olympians.
A former UNI standout as a sprinter, Case established eight school records between 1982 and 1986 and was an all-conference performer in the Mid-Continent Conference. He was a member of the school record-setting outdoor 4x100-meter, 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams, as well as the indoor 4x400-meter relay. Individually, he twice placed second at the AMCU meet in the 100 meters.
A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Case received his bachelor’s degree from UNI in 1987 and then served as a graduate assistant with the Panthers in 1988 and 1989. He and his wife, Chris, have four children: Kelsey, Lauren, Cameron and Regan.
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