Grady O'Connor - Director of Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Grady has been the Director of both Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field since 1998. During his tenure, he has consistently fielded one of the most competitive teams in the Northwest. His programs have won twenty-one Regional Titles and counting. Under his watch, the program has produced over 195 Junior College All-Americans, set twenty one school records, and garnered several NWAACC Coach of the Year honors (02,05,06,07,10,12).
Prior to Lane, Grady coached at Cottage Grove High School (1995-96). He had an immediate impact, coaching the 4A State 100m Hurdle Champion, Katie Rowlett (14.1).
He was then hired as the combined event coach at Lane (1997), where he began establishing an impressive tradition of decathletes and heptathletes. Lane has had eleven different combined event champions since 2002. Under Grady's direction, eight decathletes currently hold scores that place in the All-Time Top 10 list at Lane. His heptathletes hold six of the top ten positions, including the school record. Many of these combined event athletes have continued on to Division I schools including: University of Oregon, University of Alabama, Michigan State University, UCLA, Boise State University, Long Beach State, and Portland State University.
Another testament of Grady’s dedication to the combined events, is the fact that several of his former decathletes are now in the coaching profession. Former decathletes coaching and generating new interest in the sport include: Octavious Gillespie (99) University of Tulsa, Josh Priester (02) - University of California at Santa Barbara, Keith Baker (04) – Samford University (AL), Cody Fleming (05) – University of California at Santa Barbara, and Collin Cram (07) - Oregon State University.
As a Lane Faculty member, Grady has a multitude of responsibilities beyond coaching. He serves as the lead instructor for the weight room and teaches various sections of strength training. He also has successfully served as the meet director for the OSAA High School State Cross Country Meet since 1998. And recently, Grady was instrumental in developing and implementing all phases of a brand new IAAF Track and Field facility.
Grady attended the University of Oregon (1989-93). He was a two-sport athlete, competing and lettering in both track and football. As a freshman hurdler, he placed 5th at USA Junior Nationals (1990) in the 400IH (52.52). He qualified for the Pac-10 Championships four consecutive years and placed 4th in the conference (1992) in the 400IH (51.49). He was also a member of both 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads that posted season bests of 40.60 and 3:09.03.
Following his competitive days as a Duck, he joined the Oregon International Athletics Team, and continued to train and compete as a decathlete. Grady then went on to earn a Master of Science degree from Oregon State University (1998). He is USATF certified Level I and II (Multi Events).
Mike Blackmore- Head Cross Country/Assistant Track Coach
Blackmore has had a positive presence in the Eugene running community going back to his days competing at the University of Oregon, where he was an NCAA All-American and sub-four minute miler, running 3:57, and a scoring member of the 1984 Men’s NCAA Outdoor National Championship Track & Field team. A member of three USA teams, he was the 1987 World University Games Silver Medalist at 5000m. Recently, Blackmore was the Head Cross Country coach at Churchill High School the last five years, where one of his many highlights was coaching State Champion Russell Drummond in the 800m in 2008.
The Prosser, WA native has had a renaissance in his own running the last few years, becoming one of the best Masters runners in the United States and the World, running times of 4:03 in the 1500m, 15:16 in the 5000m, and 31:46 in the 10,000m, while also capturing Masters National Championships in the 800m and 5000m in 2010 and just recently claiming a National title in his age group for the U.S. Half Marathon Trail Championships.
Blackmore graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master’s of Science degree in Athletic Training and has been a licensed massage therapist since 1998. He has also worked at Steens Mountain Running Camp dating back to the 1980’s and has attended and been a featured speaker at the prestigious coaching clinic the JA Summit. Blackmore’s knowledge of the human body and his experience coaching and working with distance runners will help continue the strong tradition Lane Community College has had in the distance events.
Dan West - Pole Vault
Coach West was a four-year track letterman at Montana State University where he also acquired his B.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management. Following his undergraduate time, he returned to MSU to work on his master’s degree and coach all the jumping events from 1979 until 1987. He coached multiple Big Sky Champions and school record holders at MSU. He is in his second stint with the Titan program, having coached at the University of Oregon from 1990 – 1996, and is now entering his 36th year of coaching. He is undoubtedly one of the most respected coaches in the Northwest for the pole vault. He has the skill and expertise to coach both beginner and international caliber athletes. Dan coached Britain’s top vaulter during the 1991 World Championships to a 13th place finish and again for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He has coached his Lane women vaulters to 9 school records, by 6 different athletes, 4 NWAACC champions ( 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 ) and 11 All-Americans. His Lane men vaulters have set 5 school records by 5 different athletes, 9 NWAACC champions ( 1990, 1992, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) and 20 All Americans. Through Dan’s efforts, Lane CC has the best indoor and outdoor vault training facilities and vaulting pole inventory in the Northwest. Dan is still an active vaulter who continues to vault on the Masters circuit. He has worked at camps and clinics and was formerly the Northwest Pole Vault Coordinator for the Olympic Developmental Committee. He is currently a founding member of Raising The Bar PV club that puts on a Pole Vault Symposium every February to help up-coming vaulters learn to pole vault correctly. Dan is the Northwest team salesman for On Track.
Colin McArthur –Horizontal Jumps
Coach McArthur has been the horizontal jumps coach at Lane since 2009. Under his direction, the horizontal jumps program has produced 6 individual NWAACC champions, 16 Junior College All-American’s, and a school-record in the women’s Triple Jump.
McArthur is a graduate of the University of Oregon and received a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.) and Master’s in Community and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P). McArthur competed as a jumper/sprinter for the Ducks from 1997-2000 and was a three-year letterman. He finished 6th in the Long Jump at 2000 Pac-10 Championships (24’-0.5”) and ran anchor leg on the Ducks 6th place 4x100 meter relay team at the 1997 Pac-10 Championships. He has a PR of 24’-9” in the Long Jump. Following the end of his intercollegiate career, McArthur continued to train and compete for a local Eugene club for several years prior to joining Lane’s staff.
McArthur originally hails from Wasco, OR and is a graduate of Sherman County H.S. While competing in the Columbia Basin Conference, he was District champion in the Long Jump and Triple Jump (1995). He also played tailback on an undefeated 13-0 Sherman County H.S. state champion football team (1994-1995) and was a guard on Sherman’s district champion basketball team (1995). McArthur’s prior coaching experience includes stints as a Jumps Coach at Oregon Track and Field Camps (1998-2001) and a Volunteer Jumps Coach at South Eugene H.S. (2004). McArthur is USATF certified Level 1.
Andrea Gruber -Distances
Andrea grew up in Northern California, graduating from Placer High School in 2004. After high school, she attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she ran both XC and Track. While running at UCSB, she battled injuries for two years before leaving to enlist in AmeriCorps and contribute to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
In 2007, Andrea moved to Eugene and joined the Lane XC and T&F teams, where she earned one All-American honor. Andrea now enters her second year as an Assistant Coach for the Titans, while also recently completing Lane's strenuous EMT-Paramedic program. "The experience I had running at Lane was what I always envisioned my collegiate running career to be. Now that I'm done competing on the track, I'm thrilled I can continue to contribute to the Titans as a coach. The running community in Eugene is unlike anywhere else. I hope to find my niche by combining my love of running and caring for peoples' needs."
Arnold Wardwell -Throws
Coach Arnold competed at Blue Mountain Community College and Southern Oregon University. His prior coaching experience includesHigh School track for 18 years Coached the shot put at Willamette University 2009-2010. He enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife Blythe and son Zane.
Travis Thompson - Sprints/Middle distances
Coach Thompson grew up in Newport Oregon, and graduated from Newport Highschool in 2006. Thompson capped off his senior season with a 3A state championship in the 400m, and competed at Lane Community College for two seasons. While at Lane, Thompson was an NWAACC All-American winning the 400m title in 2007.
After Lane, Thompson moved on to become a Duck and competed 4 years at Oregon while earning his Bachelors degree in Sociology. While at Oregon, Thompson was a 2 time All-American winning a 2010 NCAA championship in the indoor distance medley. His 800m time (1:47.6) ranks #8 all time at Oregon. He was a vital member of numerous 4x400m relay teams, most notably the 6th place 2009 NCAA Indoor team. Thompson was a two time team captian for the Men's Track and Field squad (2010-2011, 2011-2012).
Rebecca Rhodes - Sprints/Hurdles
For Coach Rhodes, Track and Field has been a huge part of her life from a young age. Competing in Junior Olympic Nationals in middleschool, Rhodes was able to take home a 9th place finish in the long jump as an 8th grader. While she continued to learn and hone her skills on the track, coach Rhodes would eventually bring home 14 individual district titles, 4 team district titles, and 5 individual state titles through Highschool.
After her success at South South Salem Highschool. Becca moved onto the University Of Oregon where she became a pac-10 scorer in 2010 and 2012. Her times in the indoor 60m hurdles, long jump, and outdoor 100m hurdles rankes her top 10 all time for the lady ducks.
Coach Rhodes experience not only as a division 1 athlete, but as a youth coach is what makes her unique. In her past, Rhodes has worked with Salem Track Club for 4 years, as well as the Emerald Valley Track Club for 3 years. Becca Has been responsible for mutliple Junior olympic athletes, as well as eventual Collegiate athletes.