PHILADELPHIA - Now in his 27th season at the University of Pennsylvania, Tony Tenisci was named the Betty J. Costanza Head Coach of Women’s Track and Field on Friday as announced by Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Steve Dolan. Tenisci is the just the third head coach in program history.
"This is a very exciting day for our program," Dolan said. "I have known Tony for a number of years and I've always been very impressed with his energy, interaction with the students, and event knowledge. He is an outstanding coach and an outstanding person. I knew this was the perfect move for our program. I'm more than excited to be working with Tony and I know he'll do a great job with the women's program."
"I am honored to be named for this particular postion," Tenisci said. "It is named after Betty Costanza, with whom I worked with for 16 years. She was an extraordinary woman and Hall of Fame coach, so for me to carry on her name and traditions is a great honor.
"I love Penn," Tensici added. "The young people here are not only talented athletes and intelligent students, but wonderful people to be around. Penn is its students and we always have wonderful young people here. I'm honored to work with them."
Tenisci is known as the creator of women’s hammer throwing in America. Through his efforts, this event was created and developed into one of the finest throwing events for women in track and field.
Tenisci has coached numerous standout athletes in the throwing events as well as in the horizontal jumps. Many of these student-athletes have gone on to compete at the Senior American National Championships and the Olympic Trials.
Widely regarded as an outstanding technical coach in the throws and jumps, Tenisci has held extensive clinics throughout the country. He is also known as a specialist in the areas of weight training and conditioning, having designed various strength and training programs for other teams at Penn, as well as for professional athletic organizations. He has published numerous articles in both scientific and recreational publications in the United States and overseas.
In the past decade, Tenisci has coached four individuals in six different events to seven Heptagonal championships — Julie Siebert-Johnson in the javelin in 2000 and 2003 (she also won the 2003 ECAC title in that event), Catrina Chisholm (hammer) and Charity Payne (shot put) in 2004, and then Payne once again in 2005 when she captured the indoor shot put crown. Shani Boston won the league championship in the pentathlon and heptathlon in 2007.
Tenisci began his coaching career at his alma mater, Washington State University, in 1978, where he served as a coach for the women’s track and field program and assisted with the men’s weight events.
A 1974 graduate of Washington State, Tenisci was a four-time NCAA All-American in the hammer throw for the Cougars. He is a former Canadian national record holder in the hammer throw (221-3) and has participated in the British Commonwealth and Pan American Games. He also trained and studied in Germany, Russia and Australia.
Tenisci earned his master’s degree in physical education from Washington State after doing postgraduate work in physiology and biomechanics of exercise in athletics at the University of Moscow in Russia. He has also studied at the University of Gutenburg in Germany and the University of Hawaii.