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Tina Fernandes is in her 14th year as the women's sprints assistant coach at USC. She was the 2008 Olympic coach and Team Leader representing Puerto Rico at the Beijing Games and served in a similar capacity at the 2012 London Games.
Under her guidance the USC sprint team has been one of the best in the nation over the years. That fact has not gone unnoticed around the country and Fernandes was named the West Region Sprints Assistant Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA in 2005 and 2007.
Last season she guided the USC women's 4x100m relay team to All-America honors and had four different athletes score at the Pac-12 Championships. In 2011 USC sprinters excelled with Aareon Payne taking fifth and Jessica Davis eighth in the 200m at the NCAAs, and those two teaming with Loudia Laarman and Jenna Puterbaugh to place third in the 4x100m relay with the fourth-fastest time in school history.
That quartet also took home the 2011 Pac-10 4x100m relay title and Davis captured the 200m crown. Davis also set a USC freshman 200m record with a time of 22.84, breaking the USC "Queen of Sprints" Angela Williams' 12-year-old record. Payne qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials along with former athletes Virginia Crawford (Powell) and Candice Price (Davis) and former USC sprinter Carol Rodriguez competed in the Olympics for Puerto Rico for the second time.
Her sprinters were also a force on the national scene in 2008 as Jessica Onyepunuka placed fifth in the 100m dash and Carol Rodriguez stretched it out to run the 400m and placed a close third. The pair won the same events at the 2008 West Regional to help lead USC to a third-place finish. Onyepunuka qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100m and Rodriguez became an Olympian for Puerto Rico in the 200m and 400m.
2007 was a banner year for the sprint corps as Rodriguez and Onyepunuka finished first and second respectively in both the 100m and 200m at the Pac-10 Championships and at the NCAA West Regional. Rodriguez went on to place fourth at the NCAA Championships in the 100m dash, while Onyepunuka took seventh. The pair teamed up with Shalina Clarke and Candice Davis to place third in the 4x100m relay at the NCAAs.
The 2006 women's sprints team also had a stellar campaign for USC as Rodriguez placed third at the NCAAs in the 100m and fourth in the 200m,while the 4x100m relay team of Virginia Powell, Davis, Onyepunuka and Rodriguez took third with a school-record time of 42.96. At the NCAA West Regional, Rodriguez won the 100m (11.09w) and 200m (22.23) and the 4x100m relay team also took first place. Rodriguez winning time in the 200m race set the USC and Pac-10 record.
With Rodriguez' win in the conference 100m dash race in 2007, she became the eighth Trojan in nine seasons to win the event. She followed three-time winner Powell (2004-06), only the second Pac-10 runner to win the event three straight seasons.
In 2003, Miya Edmonson won the NCAA West Region 200m title and qualified for both the 100m and 200m at the NCAA Championships, while Natasha Mayers finished ninth in the NCAA 100m final, the 10th time in 11 seasons a Women of Troy sprinter reached the NCAA 100m final.
The year 2002 was a special season as senior Angela Williams won an unprecedented fourth NCAA 100m title. Williams also went on to win the prestigious Honda/Broderick Cup honoring the nation's top female collegiate athlete, joining basketball's Cheryl Miller as the only USC athletes to win the award. But it wasn't just Williams who achieved excellence in 2002. Mayers became the first USC woman ever to win the NCAA 200m title and then placing second to her teammate in the 100m. Kinshasa Davis finished eighth in the 200m, while the 400m relay squad finished third at the NCAAs. At the 2002 Pac-10s, five USC sprinters made the final of the 100m--a dominating tour de force for the Women of Troy sprint corps.
In 2001, Angela Williams won her unprecedented third consecutive NCAA 100m title, while Kinshasa Davis took third in the 200m at the NCAAs and the women's 400m relay placed second. At the 2000 NCAAs, the 400m relay squad finished undefeated on the season by winning the NCAA title with a then school-record time of 43.14, while Davis, who had run a nation-leading 22.69 earlier in the year, took second in the 200m. Williams won her second-straight NCAA 100m title.
A fine sprinter herself in college, Fernandes competed at Long Beach City College and later at Fresno State. She has a Masters Degree in Education and a teaching credential in Physical Education. Chosen as one of the 2006 sprint coaches for the Puerto Rican NACAC and Pan American Championships. Fernandes also was selected to be a Mentor for Women in Coach by the USOC. She also was chosen for 2007 and 2008 Marquis Who's Who for Women.
Coach Fernandes and her husband share a passion for coaching as he in the head football coach of El Camino College-Compton Center. They have two children: one son, Twin, age 21, who is a defensive back on the Youngstown State football team who won Defensive Player of the Year honors for his conference his last season at El Camino College Compton Center and one daughter, T'Icis, age 18, who competes in varsity track and field.
All-Americans Coached By Tina Fernandes: