Ole Miss Track Announces Coaching Hires

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Ryan Vanhoy (courtesy of Northeastern Athletics)
Ryan Vanhoy (courtesy of Northeastern Athletics)

Sept. 20, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss Track & Field has added elite competition and coaching experience with the hiring of assistant coaches Mariam Kevkhishvili-Machavariani and Ryan Vanhoy, head coach Brian O'Neal announced Friday.

Kevkhishvili-Machavariani will coach the Rebel throwers, while Vanhoy will oversee the men's distance runners.

"I am very excited to welcome Mariam and Ryan to our staff," O'Neal said. "They are both young coaches who will be good role models for our student-athletes and who will help our team compete at the highest levels."

A former Olympian and NCAA shot put champion, Kevkhishvili-Machavariani brings an extraordinary competitive résumé with her to Oxford. She competed in the shot put at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics for her native country of Georgia, and she was a five-time national champion while at the University of Florida.

Kevkhishvili-Machavariani graduated from Florida in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in sociology. During her time in Gainesville, she became just the second athlete in NCAA history to claim five women's shot put national championships (indoors and outdoors combined) and the second woman to claim both the NCAA indoor and outdoor women's shot put titles in back-to-back seasons. She did not lose a competition to a collegiate competitor (indoors or outdoors) in her final two seasons.

She finished her Florida career as the school record holder in the indoor shot (61-0) and the SEC championship shot put record holder for both indoor (59-4.25) and outdoor (59-2.75). In addition to her five NCAA titles (2008 indoor, 2009 indoor, 2009 outdoor, 2010 indoor, 2010 outdoor), she was also a five-time SEC champion, the 2009 SEC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and the 2010 SEC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Kevkhishvili-Machavariani represented her country as an 18-year-old at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and then again in 2008 in Beijing, China. She has also competed at the 2009 World Championships and 2010 and 2013 European Championships.

Vanhoy comes to Oxford after one year at Northeastern University and the previous three at the University of North Carolina.

At Northeastern, Vanhoy coached NU runners to four Colonial Athletic Association conference titles and helped develop Eric Jenkins into an All-American in the indoor 3,000 meters and outdoor 5,000 meters. In 2013, Jenkins became the fourth-fastest American collegian ever at 5,000 meters (13:18.57) and also ran a sub 4-minute mile (3:58.11).

Vanhoy spent the previous three years with the North Carolina Tar Heels, where he helped produce two Atlantic Coast Conference champions, five NCAA East Preliminary qualifiers and two Olympic Trials qualifiers. In 2012, he guided Isaac Presson and Ashley Verplank to conference titles in the mile and 1,500 meters, respectively.

After two years as an assistant coach at UNC, Vanhoy was promoted to head men's and women's cross country coach in January 2012 and was responsible for recruiting and implementation of training programs for more than 40 student-athletes, in addition to other administrative and operational duties.

During the 2012-13 season, he mentored the men's distance medley relay team, which broke a school record that had stood for 27 years.

Prior to his promotion, Vanhoy worked as an assistant track and field and cross country coach for two seasons. While coaching the men's middle distance runners, he also managed areas of team compliance, travel and recruiting.

Vanhoy, who was a member of the Tar Heels' track team, graduated from North Carolina in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in biology. The Asheboro, N.C., native earned his master's degree in exercise physiology from UNC in 2012.

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