LA JOLLA, Calif. – UC San Diego Director of Athletics Earl W. Edwards announced Friday morning that Darcy Ahner has been named the new head coach for the women’s track & field team. She served as the Associate Head Coach for the both the men’s and women’s teams in each of the last two years and has been an assistant coach for both squads since 2000.
“We are very pleased to announce that Darcy will be our women’s track & field head coach,” said Edwards. “Her background, years of experience and past contributions not only to this department, but to the sport of track & field, assures me that she is the ideal fit for this position.”
Ahner’s appointment to the head coaching position makes UC San Diego one of the few NCAA Division II schools to have a different head coach for its men’s and women’s track & field teams. Tony Salerno, who has held the position of head coach for both squads for the last seven years, will begin his eighth year at the helm of the men’s program in 2008. Ahner will continue to assist on the men’s side in the jumps and multi-events while Salerno will continue to coach the women’s team in the throwing events.
“I could not be more excited about how far the program has come since our move to Division II and where we are heading in the near future,” said Ahner. “This opportunity for me could not have been possible without the great leadership that the student-athletes at UC San Diego showed last year and in years past.”
A Level II USA Track and Field certified coach, Ahner is also a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and will continue to serve as the strength and conditioning coach for the Triton track and field program.
“This move for Darcy acknowledges the significant role she has played in the success of the UCSD track & field programs in recent years,” said Salerno. “Her leadership with the women’s team as head coach will certainly keep the program moving forward.”
Ahner will be counted on to continue the outstanding finishes of the program over the last few years. That success includes three-straight CCAA Championships, an eighth place national finish last year, along with 18 individual CCAA Champions and nine All-Americans that have been coached by Ahner over the last six seasons.
Prior to joining the UCSD staff in 2000, Ahner spent seven years at her alma mater, the University of New Mexico, coaching the jumps and multi-events. She spent the two years prior to that at Northern Arizona University, coaching the jumps, hurdles and multi-events.
As an athlete, Ahner competed in the heptathlon setting school records in the high jump, Javelin and heptathlon at New Mexico. She was honored as the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Athlete in 1989 and was the conference heptathlon champion in 1988 and 1989. Ahner was a three-time NCAA Division I Championships qualifier, as well as a World Championships trials competitor in 1990.