New Coaches Bring Championship Experience To Ole Miss
Brian O'Neal tabbed Lena Bettis to serve as an assistant coach on his first Ole Miss track and field staff.
Bettis will assist with the Rebels' sprints and relay units.
Bettis comes to Oxford after a two-year stint as an assistant coach with the Michigan State track and field program, assisting with the Spartans' sprints and jumps.
In her two years at MSU, she helped develop Tori Franklin and Ashley Stacey into record-setting jumpers. In 2012, Franklin set a school record in the triple jump and earned indoor and outdoor All-America honors. She placed third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and runner-up at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.
In 2011, Stacey achieved a school record in the long jump and advanced to the NCAA Championships in that event after scoring in the long and triple jumps at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
Bettis spent the previous two seasons as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater, Penn State.
The Riverside, Calif., native was a four-year letterwinner and a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier for the Nittany Lions prior to her assignment as an assistant. She also was a member of the school-record sprint medley relay squad that posted a time of 3:52.25 in 2007 at the Penn State Relays. In her final year of eligibility, Bettis posted a career-best leap of 42-9.5 in the triple jump at the 2008 Big Ten Championships, aiding in the Nittany Lions' first of three-straight Big Ten Outdoor team titles.
Over the course of her time at Penn State, the Nittany Lions won three Big Ten Outdoor team championships and a Big Ten Indoor championship. On the national stage, PSU finished fourth at the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships. Bettis also worked with Clarence Smith, who won both the back-to-back Big Ten Indoor triple jump titles in 2008 and 2009, to go along with an outdoor victory in 2009.
Under the tutelage of Bettis at Penn State, Tanaya Lloyd reached the 40-foot mark for the first time in her career with a leap of 40-0 to place ninth at the Tyson Invitational in 2010. Lloyd also qualified for the NCAA First Round as a sophomore in the triple jump and went on to record a personal-best mark of 40-10.5. At both the 2010 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships, Lloyd recorded sixth-place finishes.
Bettis also aided in the development of Bianca Fung into a two-time NCAA qualifier in the long jump. Fung qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the first time in her career in 2009 and placed 21st. In 2010, Fung continued her progress as she once again qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a wind-aided leap of 20-8 at the NCAA First Round. Fung proceeded to place 23rd at the NCAA Championships.
Bettis graduated from Penn State in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.
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