Sheldon Blockburger is in his second season with the Trojans as the assistant coach for jumps and multi-events.
"This is a huge coup for USC Track & Field. Sheldon is, arguably, one of the few premier jumps and multi-events coaches in America and we are very pleased to be able to add such a great coach and mentor to our staff," said Director of USC T&F Caryl Smith Gilbert at the time of the announcement.
It didn't take long for Blockburger to prove her correct. He coached Randall Cunningham to the 2016 NCAA outdoor high jump title and to indoor and outdoor PRs. He guided Amalie Iuel to the Pac-12 heptathlon title and the second-most points in school history of 6,011. He also led freshman Lyndsey Lopes to a fifth-place finish in the heptathlon at the conference championship and to the 10th most points ever by a Trojan woman.
Just about every Trojan jumper set personal bests and four posted all-time top 10 USC jumping marks: Cunningham (high jump), Iuel (high jump), Margaux Jones (long jump), Eric Sloan (triple jump).
Blockburger came to USC after 10 seasons as the combined events/jumps coach at Arizona where he guided athletes to 11 NCAA titles and 16 Pac-12 conference titles. He had 39 athletes garner All-America honors during his coaching stay in Arizona. In 2015, Blockburger guided Pau Tonnesen to the Pac-12 Decathlon title and to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships with a school-record 8,247 points.
Prior to coaching at Arizona, Blockburger coached nine seasons at Cal Poly where he led athletes to 14 Big West outdoor titles and two NCAA titles. He coached 15 All-Americans while at Cal Poly.
Many of the athletes Blockburger has coached have gone on to achieve international success, including 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Brigetta Barrett in the high jump.
Blockburger was an outstanding decathlete himself, placing second in 1989 and third in 1990 at the USA Track & Field Championships. He also placed third in the decathlon at the 1991 Pan American games in Cuba. He posted a personal best in the decathlon on 8,301 points at the USA Championships on June 13, 1990.
Blockburger attended Orange Coast College and won the 1985 California Junior College decathlon title. He then transferred to LSU and placed fifth in the decathlon at the 1987 NCAA Championships. He graduated from Newport Harbor High in 1983 and won CIF division titles in both the long jump and triple jump during his senior season, one year after joining the track and field team.
Blockburger and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of twins, Johnny and Alyssa.