- 78 Arkansas All-Americans
- Five NCAA National Pole Vault titles
- Four Olympians (including an Olympic Silver medalist)
- Three NCAA records (2012-pole vault, 2013-heptathlon, 2015-pole vault)
- Two Bowerman Trophy Nominees (finalist | semifinalist)
Joining the Razorbacks in the fall of 1998, Bryan Compton has proven to Arkansas that he was an invaluable addition for its coaching staff. In 18 years of working with the Razorback field event personnel and multi-event competitors, Compton’s student- athletes have earned 78 All-American honors which averages to a little more than four All-Americans a year. Additionally under his watch over 20 school records have been set, not including numerous heptathlon marks.
Compton’s role has grown since he first joined the Razorback staff and in the fall of 2012 he was charged with coaching all of the field and multi-event competitors. Prior to the change his main focus had been the vertical jumps, throws and assisting with the multis.
Sharp in identifying young athletes with potential, Compton recruited North Carolina transfer Sandi Morris in 2012 to his talented roster of vaulters. Coming into the program with a PR of 4.30m/14-1.25 Morris progressed rapidly with the help of Compton breaking records formerly held by Sutej within the program and NCAA. Capping her career in 2015 as an NCAA champion, silver medalist and outdoor record holder (4.72m/15-5.75) Morris continued competition on the professional circuit going on to finish second at the USATF Championships and fourth at the World Championships in Beijing.
2015 was a successful year not only for Morris but also for Compton’s vault crew of Desiree Freier and Ariel Voskamp who teamed up with Morris to earn a combined 24 points for Arkansas a the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships. 2014 World Junior Championships runner-up, Freier, went on to earn a silver medal at the 2015 USATF Junior Championships qualifying her to represent the US at the Pan Am Junior Games.
Fresh off what the track world tabbed as the ‘Year of the Vault’ in 2015 Compton produced two new sensations in Lexi and Tori Weeks who catapulted to the top of the pole vault ranks during their freshman season. One of the youngest dynamic duos on the collegiate circuit Lexi and Tori Weeks transformed into vault powers under the mentorship of Compton.
The pole vault guru coached the Weeks to two All-SEC honors apiece as well as two All-America honors in their first collegiate indoor and outdoor season. Lexi Weeks captured two conference titles and became the first freshman woman in the history of the NCAA to win a gold at the national level with two first-place finishes at the indoor nationals (where she set a meet record) and outdoor nationals, respectively. For her efforts Lexi was selected as the USTFCCCA National Scholar Field Athlete of the Year, a credit to her performance on the runway and her 4.0 GPA in chemistry.
Since day one, Compton’s coaching has produced almost magical results and an example of that is former Razorback heptathlete Makeba Alcide. The Southeastern conference four-time champion and eight-time All-American set the NCAA record in the pentathlon when she scored 4,569 points at 2013 SEC Indoor Championships. Alcide was also an accomplished high jumper and played a pivotal part in the Razorbacks’ run to the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships.
One of the most decorated of all of Compton’s recruits and student-athletes was pole vaulter Tina Sutej. A finalist for the prestigious award, The Bowerman, in 2011, Sutej ended her stellar career at Arkansas as the collegiate record holder in the pole vault both indoors and out, a two-time national champion, five-time SEC Champion and five-time All-American. She was also named the national indoor and outdoor field athlete of the year by the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Individually, Compton has also been recognized for his student-athletes success as he was named the 2005 USTFCCCA Mideast Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Arkansas’ team has also benefitted as each of the Razorbacks’ ten SEC track and field championships have come since he joined the staff as well as five out of six of Arkansas’ top-four national finishes including the 2015 NCAA Indoor title.
While Compton’s broad-range of talents has been on display throughout his tenure, his expertise in coaching the pole vault has long been his calling card. Over the past 14 years, Compton has coached 14 pole vault student-athletes to the Olympic Games, World Championships 42 All-America honors, 17 SEC championships and seven SEC championship records. The Razorback success in the event dates back to the turn of the century when April Steiner Bennett became the first woman in league history to clear the 13 and 14 foot marks.
2016 continued his Olympic legacy as three of Compton’s student-athletes including Morris, Sutej and Lexi Weeks represented their respective nations in Rio. Morris and Lexi Weeks earned trips to their first Olympic Games following runner-up and bronze finishes, respectively at the USATF Olympic Trials at Hayward field, during which Compton guided the pair from the sidelines.
Morris went on to win an Olympic silver medal in Rio and continued on following the games to set a new American record of 16-5 at a meet in Brussels, Belgium under the tutelage of Compton.
In the throws, Compton has led Razorbacks to the program’s first ever SEC title in a throwing event and coached Marie LeJour to 2001 SEC Commissioner’s Trophy, an honor that goes to the individual high-point scorer at an SEC track championship. LeJour’s award made her the first non-distance runner from Arkansas to win. In 2016 Compton coached Micah Dennis to a seventh-place SEC finish in the shot put as well as a new Razorback record of 52-9.5 , breaking a mark which stood for 16 years.
As a high jump coach, Compton has also produced, leading former Razorback Jessica Johnson to a national runner-up finish and the first All-America honor by a high jumper in Arkansas history. Johnson also broke what was Arkansas’ longest-standing school records both indoor and out.
Alcide’s success in 2012 and 2013 was the beginning of the next generation of gifted Razorback multis. Assisting Arkansas to its 2015 NCAA indoor title were multi-event athletes Taliyah Brooks and Alex Gochenour. Brooks and Gochenour scored a combined seven points for the Razorbacks finishing seventh and fourth respectively. The duo went on to secure All-American honors for their efforts at NCAA outdoor championships.
Compton was also the architect for the teammates who each scored 5,900-points in the heptathlon making Arkansas one of just a handful of schools to ever accomplish that feat.
Not only has Compton been an accomplished coach over the past 20-plus years but he was also a standout athlete in his own right. A varsity track athlete at Angelo State, Compton was a national qualifier for the NCAA Division II National Championships in both 1983 and 1984 in the long jump and the sprint relay.
Compton earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and biology from Angelo State in 1985. He has one son; Austin.