LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver looks to claim another national title this week

LSU track and field head coach Dennis Shaver won SEC women's coach of the year honors last Wednesday. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU track and field will have 14 athletes at the NCAA Outdoor Championship this week, and they’ll be led by the reigning SEC women’s coach of the year.

Dennis Shaver has been the head coach of both the women’s and men’s track and field teams since 2004, but before that he was an assistant on LSU’s staff since 1995. Just a few weeks removed from leading the Tigers to his 38th top-three team finish at an SEC Championship, Shaver is looking to add another NCAA Championship to his resume.

Shaver made his way to LSU in 1995 after growing up on a farm in Kansas and spending his youth tending to crops and cattle. He started his coaching career at Hutchinson Community College in 1981, but not as a track and field coach.

Shaved was the secondary coach for the Hutchinson football team when he first started out. He played corner and safety at Texas-Arlington, so the switch to secondary coach made since. However, the secondary coaching job for Hutchinson was just the first step in a journey that would take Shaver to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.

He worked as the assistant coach for the track team while also being the secondary coach before being promoted to the head coach of the track team. He spent four years coaching track and football before taking the head coaching job at Barton Community College in Kansas.

He won eight NJCAA team titles at Barton before he earned a job as an assistant for the Tigers. Only it wasn’t the LSU Tigers, it was the Auburn Tigers. Shaver spent four seasons at Auburn as an assistant before he joined Pat Henry’s LSU staff as the women’s sprints and hurdles coach.

Henry left LSU for a job at Texas A&M in July 2004 and Skep Bertman appointed Shaver as the new track and field head coach shortly afterwards.

Since taking over in 2004, he’s coached 34 Olympians, 69 NCAA champion athletes, 26 NCAA champion relay teams and has been named the SEC women’s coach of the year eight times.

This year’s team will be looking to add to that growing list of accomplishments at the NCAA Championships. The men’s championship will start on June 5 at 4 p.m. and the women’s will start on June 6 at 5 p.m. Day two of the men’s championships will wrap up on June 7 and the women’s championships will finish on June 8.

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Will Nickel

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