Ask anyone in Eugene to form a group of the most important people to the track & field community in Eugene, and Vin Lananna's name is sure to pop up. The former Oregon track & field head coach and current president of TrackTown USA is one of the most famous names in the sport. Now, Lananna will get a chance to showcase his coaching talents on the world's biggest stage.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Lananna would be the men's head coach of the 2016 US Olympic track & field team in Rio de Janeiro. Southern Illinois head coach Connie Price-Smith will coach the women's team.
This is Lananna's first head coaching job of an Olympic team. Lananna served as an assistant coach under George Williams at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Lananna most recently coached the US team at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. In 2012, Lananna was inducted to the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame.
Lananna has already done big things for the sport's growth in the US during his time at TrackTown USA. Under the leadership of Lananna, Eugene hosted the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships and will host the 2016 US Olympic Trials as well as the 2021 IAAF World Championships. In addition, the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held in Portland.