Trojans fall training season ends, track renovations set to begin
Eight other Trojans advance to NCAA quarterfinals
Trojans perform well in the Big Apple
Mike Pullins is in his 14th year as jumps coach at USC. "Coach Mike," as the athletes like to call him, is responsible for coaching both the women and men's jumpers.
In 2011, he guided Nia Ali to All-America honors and a sixth-place finish in the high jump at the NCAA Championships. Ali also placed second in the high jump at the Pac-10 Championships. Also at the Pac-10s, Brendan Ames took home the men's long jump title, Alitta Boyd was fourth in the women's triple jump and fourth in the women's long jump and Viktor Fajoyomi placed seventh in the men's triple jump.
He guided Manjula Wijesekara to a All-American honors in the high jump in 2009, finishing third outdoors and seventh indoors and then to even greater heights in 2010, finishing as the NCAA runner-up. Wijesekara also won the 2010 Pac-10 high jump title and placed fourth in the triple jump, after taking second in the high jump and third in the triple jump at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships. He also guided Aven Wright to the 2010 Pac-10 triple jump title and had three other athletes score: Brendan Ames (2nd - LJ), Alitta Boyd (5th - LJ & TJ) and Ekene Anene (6th - TJ). In 2008, Wijesekara reached the men's high jump finals at the NCAAs, after placing second at the West Regional.
In 2007, Pullins guided Inman Breaux to a seventh-place finish at the Pac-10s and to sixth at the NCAA West Regional in the triple jump. Also, Wright placed eighth in the triple jump at the Pac-10s.
In the last six seasons, Pullins has coached an an athlete to four NCAA titles and seven scorers overall in NCAA meets, two NCAA West titlists, 10 regional scorers, six Pac-10 Champions and 26 scorers at the conference meet (including 12 top three finishers).
Under his tutelage, the USC jumpers have been mainstays on the honors podium at the NCAA Championships. In 2006, he coached Jesse Williams to the NCAA indoor and outdoor high jump titles for the second consecutive season. Williams also won the NCAA West Regional and Pac-10 high jump championships and raised his school record with a jump of 7-7 1/4 at the NCAA finals en route to being named the USTFCCCA Male Co-Field Athlete of the Year. In 2008, Williams won the high jump at the Olympic Trials and represented USA at the Beijing Olympics and in 2001 won the high jump at the World Championships.
In 2005, Pullins guided Williams to the same NCAA indoor and outdoor double and Allen Simms to a second-place finish at the NCAAs in the triple jump. Simms won the Pac-10 triple jump, the fifth consecutive season a USC triple jumper claimed that honor.
At the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Pullins guided Julien Kapek to the triple jump title--USC's first outdoors since 1961--while Simms placed third. Simms, who also finished seventh in the long jump outdoors, won the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier in the year with a Pac-10-record jump of 56-7 1/2. To cap off a remarkable season for USC jumps, Dawid Jaworski won the NCAA high jump title--Troy's first since 1963--with a school-record jump of 7-5 3/4. All totaled, Pullins' athletes scored an amazing 43 points at the indoor and outdoor NCAA meets.
In 2002, Julien Kapek set a school triple jump record with a jump of 55-8 1/2 and then went on to place third at the NCAAs. The year prior, Djeke Mambo became the first Trojan to win both the long jump and triple jump at the Pac-10s since Luther Hayes in1961.
On the women's side in 2007, Pullins helped guide freshmen Shana Woods to the seventh-best long jump in school history and Ekene Anene to the 10th-best high jump by a USC women. Michelle Sanford placed seventh in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships and Woods came in ninth in the long jump.
Pullins guided Sanford as a freshman to the Pac-10 long jump championship in 2004, while Tatyana Obukhova took her third-straight Pac-10 triple jump championship and a fourth-place finish at the NCAAs in 2002. The year before, Obukhova was third at the NCAAs. In his first year, he coached Pam Simpson to a third-place finish at the 1999 NCAAs. He also helped Disia Page and Stephanie Jones land on the USC top 10 charts in the long jump. In fact, four of the 10 women on USC's long jump chart were coached by Pullins as were six of the top 10 women on USC's triple jump chart.
A 1987 graduate of USC, his name is still among the top 10 triple jumpers on the all-time Trojan charts. As a high school senior Mike qualified for the CIF Championships in four individual events and went on to win the triple jump, in which he placed fifth in the 1982 state meet. Mike starred at Cal State Northridge and Pasadena City College before coming to Troy. A three-time USA Track & Field outdoor qualifier (he qualified for the 1992 Olympic trials), he was forced to set track aside due to injuries and four ankle surgeries in 1994.
Mike earned his master's degree in Education Administration from USC in 2005. He is also a Level II USATF certified coach. He and his wife Erin, a former USC long jumper, live in Pasadena, Calif. and have two son, Emmanuel Michael (6/22/10 and Elijah (4/11/11).
All-Americans coached by Mike Pullins at USC:
2005: A Jumping Success
NCAA Championships Jesse Williams 1st High Jump Allen Simms 2nd Triple Jump
NCAA West Regional Jesse Williams 1st High Jump 5th Long Jump Manjula Wijesekara 3rd High Jump Allen Simms 2nd Triple Jump 8th Long Jump
NCAA Indoor Championships Jesse Williams 1st High Jump
Pac-10 Championships Jesse Williams 1st High Jump Manjula Wijesekara 2nd High Jump Allen Simms 1st Triple Jump 2nd Long Jump