Men's sprint coach Rohsaan Griffin resigns; throws coach position filled by John Newell

Newell joins track staff as throws coach

Photo with no caption
Knoxville, TN - track and field Assistant Coach (Men's Sprints) Rohsaan Griffin headshots Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Knoxville, TN - track and field Assistant Coach (Men's Sprints) Rohsaan Griffin headshots Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Photo with no caption

Having filled one offseason hole on his men’s coaching staff, Tennessee director of track and field J.J. Clark has another hole to plug.

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirmed Monday sprint coach Rohsaan Griffin has resigned and is no longer with the program. He did not elaborate.

Stanton also confirmed Clark’s previous opening on the staff as being filled. Michigan State throws coach John Newell will replace John Frazier, who left UT in June to take the men’s track and field coaching position at UCLA, his alma mater.

“I’m excited about the talent John brings to the table,” Clark said in a statement released by UT. “He’s been able to develop champions and All-Americans. John has a good sense of what it takes to win and has great knowledge of throwing technique it takes to be successful at this level. We’re looking forward to get going here at Tennessee.”

Griffin, who came to UT as a volunteer assistant in 2011, served as a full-time assistant and guided the men’s sprints, hurdles and relay units in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The highlight of his tenure was a seventh-place finish by the Vols in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor championships.

Griffin earned $55,000 annually.

The Vol 4x100 relay team was the lone NCAA qualifier produced by men’s sprints, hurdles and relays in the recent Outdoor championships. None qualified for March’s Indoor national meet.

Griffin was the 1996 NCAA Outdoor 200 champion in 1996, his final year at LSU. He went on to win the 1997 and 1999 USA Indoor 200 championships.

In five years at Michigan State, Newell produced five conference champions, 18 NCAA All-Americans and 12 NCAA national qualifiers, according to his biography.

After completing his associates degree at Sacramento State, Newell transferred to Georgia and left as a six-time NCAA qualifier in the hammer throw, weight throw, and an All-American in the shot put. He trained under hammer thrower Jud Logan, a four-time Olympian, after graduating from Georgia in 2005.

Frazier, who earned $90,000 annually at UT, coached the women’s throwers for seven years, taking on the men as well when the programs combined three years ago. Neither the Vols nor Lady Vols throwers produced a score at the spring’s NCAA outdoor championships.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 9

movol53 writes:

So what's going on with track and field??? Oh yeah not much. Question is will these openings allow UT to get better??? It's been a long time since track and field "made any noise". I'm ready for a change.

richvol writes:

JJ Clarke has done a terrible job coaching men's track. He needs to be replaced immediately. We have fallen from the best to the worst in the SEC and nationally.

FearlessFreep writes:

Re-arranging the deck chairs of the Titanic.

Clark should be fired.

thevoice writes:

Throws Coach? I shall try out for the Sits Coach. Sleeps Coach? Walks Coach? Stands Coach?

BillVol writes:

Freep is right. None of these changes mean jack unless we go after a new head coach. Don't blow this one, Dave Hart!!!

tenntrackXC writes:

UT Sprint Coaches fired by JJ Clark since Carly Smith left:
Pauline Davis- hired with no collegiate experience. fired after 2 years.
Heather VanNorman- fired after 1 year.
Norbert Elliot - fired after 2 years
Rohsaan Griffin- current M Sprint asst- hired with 1 yr part time volunteer coaching & 1 yr part time coaching. just fired after 2 yrs

JJ should do the honorable thing and fire himself!

volsmith writes:

The Track and Field program is a joke, as is most other sports at UT these days.

MikeInTN writes:

Track program is a da*n mess!!! A great program that Coach Rohe & Coach Huntsman built is reduced to this. Mr. Hart, please intervene, and get it back on track. (No pun attended)

martic#220796 writes:

in response to MikeInTN:

Track program is a da*n mess!!! A great program that Coach Rohe & Coach Huntsman built is reduced to this. Mr. Hart, please intervene, and get it back on track. (No pun attended)

so why was Rhosaan Griffin let go?

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features