Vanitta Kinard is in her fourth season as an assistant coach with the Ole Miss track and field program. Kinard assists with jumps, while also serving as recruiting coordinator.
A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Kinard continues her coaching career in Oxford following stints at UNLV and her alma mater, Kansas State. She began her coaching career prior to the 2002-03 season where she served as an assistant coach at Kansas State before opting to pursue her individual career as a triple jumper.
The triple jump is an area of focus for Kinard in coaching, as well. In her four years in Oxford, she has helped develop Morris Kersh and Marci Morman into All-Americans, as both earned second-team status with their 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships performances. She was also instrumental in Kentrell Sanders earning SEC All-Freshman team honors in the triple jump last year.
Kinard also assisted in the rapid development of three Rebel jumpers during the 2010 season. Brian Knight, Caleb Lee and Aria Gaines all scored for the Rebels at either the SEC Indoor Championships or the SEC Outdoor Championships and later competed against some of the nation's top athletes at the Junior USA Track and Field Championships.
In 2009, Kinard helped jumper Wale Odetunde win the triple jump at the SEC Outdoor Championships and become the first Rebel since 1992 to accomplish that feat. Kinard also played an instrumental role in helping sprinter LaJada Baldwin capture the individual title in the 400 meters at the SEC Outdoor Championships. Both Odetunde and Baldwin were named to the All-SEC first team, while Baldwin later became an NCAA All-American for the second straight year.
She proved to be one of the top recruiters in the country and put her stamp on the Rebel program in just her first year as an assistant coach. Kinard helped bring in one of the top recruiting classes in school history and signed eight of the top high school athletes from around the country.
As a collegiate jumper, Kinard began her career at Santa Monica Junior College where she was the 1995 California JUCO triple jump and long jump champion under legendary track and field coach Tommie Smith.
Kinard went on to transfer to Kansas State where she stared for the Wildcats from 1996-98. She was a six-time All-American at KSU as she tallied five distinctions in the triple jump and one in the long jump. In her first year with the Wildcats, Kinard finished second at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the triple jump, turned in a fourth place showing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished 10th at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
As a senior at KSU, she won a Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the triple jump, finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, placed fourth at the USA Outdoor Championships and took 14th at the qualifying World University Games.
Kinard continued her stellar career by winning her first national title in the triple jump at the 2002 USA Indoor Championships by knocking off the defending champion with a mark of 44-08.25. She then finished second in the triple jump at the 2002 USA Outdoor Championships before repeating as national champion at the 2003 USA Indoor Championships.
She nearly qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but her personal record of 46-04.00 just missed the qualifying standard despite her third-place finish.
Kinard has a 4-year-old daughter, Adyn.
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