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.