PHILADELPHIA – Sub four-minute miler Blake Boldon will join the University of Pennsylvania track and field staff as an assistant coach as announced by the University on Tuesday. Boldon will work primarily with Penn's men's and women's distance runners.
“We are extremely excited and pleased to have such a top young coach join our staff," said The James P. Tuppeny Head Coach of Track & Field Charlie Powell. "Blake has proven himself over and over as both an athlete and coach on the highest levels of track and field and his experiences will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow and move forward. His knowledge, his energy and his recruiting skills are excellent and we look forward to having him as a part of this storied program.”
"Very few schools boast a track and field tradition like Penn and it is clearly one of the world’s finest universities," said Boldon. "The combination of academics and track and field history at Penn is unsurpassed at any university in the world. I am extremely thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of this program. With the resources available and the incredible coaching staff already in place, I could not be more excited."
"We had some strong candidates for this position but Blake was most impressive in his knowledge of the sport in general and of the Penn program in particular," said Senior Associate Director of Athletics Mary DiStanislao. "He is very well organized in his approach. His enthusiasm for the potential in our distance program and his energy for recruiting bode very well for us."
Boldon has just finished the 2010 cross country season as the head cross country coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The UAB women’s squad finished fourth at the Conference USA Championships with three all-conference runners. At UAB last spring, Boldon’s athletes set two school records and two Blazers qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships. Also in 2010, he was recognized as one of the best young coaches in America when awarded the Gill Athletics 2010 USATF Coaches Education Level II Scholarship.
Prior to UAB, Boldon coached at Iowa State and helped guide the men’s cross country team to the NCAA Championships for the first time in a decade. Along the way, he helped Kiel Uhl win the U.S. Junior Cross Country Championships and Lisa Koll set the American collegiate record in the 10,000 meters. He was also a volunteer coach at Florida State and worked with All Americans Tom Lancashire, Barbara Parker and Andrew Lemonicello. Boldon started his college coaching career at his alma mater, Missouri State.
As an athlete, Boldon finished in the top ten at the USATF Track & Field Championships four times, and in 2007 became only the third Iowa native to run faster than four minutes in the mile. While a collegian, Boldon was a five-time Missouri Valley Conference champion at Missouri State. He was also a Drake Relays, Kansas Relays and Sea Ray Relays champion and earned Academic All-America honors as a senior.