USC Adds Olympian Nieto To T&F Coaching Staff
Aug. 20, 2014
Jamie Nieto has been named as the assistant coach in charge of jumps and multi-events for the USC Track & Field program it was announced by Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert today (Aug. 20). Berry Shumpert, who served as USC's jumps coach in 2014, returned to Tennessee to be closer to home.
"As a two-time Olympian and one of the top U.S. high jumpers for more than a decade, Jamie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program," said Smith Gilbert. "He has a dynamic personality and is a great young leader and I believe he will do special things with our jumps and multi-events programs and help us win Conference and National Championships."
Nieto is a two-time Olympian in the high jump and four-time U.S. champion in the event. He has a personal best of 7-8.00 (2.34m) which he achieved in placing fourth at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Nieto also qualified for the 2012 Olympic games in London where he placed sixth. He won the high jump title at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2012 and won the title at the 2004 USA Indoor Championships.
Last season Nieto served as a volunteer assistant coach in the high jump at UCLA and had four athletes score at the Pac-12 Championships. Prior to that, he had served as the jumps coach at Southwestern College from 2011-12 under former Trojan great Tonie Campbell, where he helped lead Branden Greene to the California Community College high jump title. He also served as the jumps coach at La Jolla Country Day HS from 2012-13.
"Jamie is a perfect person to carry on the traditions at USC," said Campbell. "He comes with the highest pedigree and with the exuberance to compete and to win. He is going to do amazing things with the athletes there and I only expect the highest caliber of efforts and national championships from him. He is a perfect fit to add on to the amazing track and field tradition at USC."
In the past two years Nieto has been working with some of the U.S.'s top high jumpers, including 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett, as well as Darius Purcell, who had a PR of 7-5.25 to place second at the 2014 USATF Indoor Championships. He has also been working with one of India's top long jumpers Prem Kumar, helping him to jump 26-8.25. Nieto himself has trained with some of the best Olympic coaches in the world, including Cliff Rovelto and Dan Pfaff.
Nieto brings over 15 years of world class experience and from 1998-2013 ranked among the top 10 U.S. high jumpers. Not only was he one of the top high jumpers in the world, but showed durability in a career which lasted 20 years, beginning as a high school junior at Valley High in Sacramento, Calif. Nieto began his collegiate career at Sacramento City College and then transferred to Eastern Michigan. At EMU he set the school's indoor (7-6) and outdoor high jump records (7-4.50) and was a three-time All-American.