Veteran college coach John Ridgway joined the UTA track and field coach as an assistant coach in January of 2017. Ridgway, who is in his 14th year as a collegiate coach in 2017-18, oversees the team's throwers.
In his first season in Arlington, the team's throwers set one school record and had five top-3 all-time marks in throwing events between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Ridgway joined the Mavericks after spending one season at Harvard. Prior to that, he served as the throws coach at Central Michigan from 2009-15.
During his career, Ridgway has coached one Olympian, nine All-Americans, 13 conference champions, 44 conference medal winners, one conference MVP, four conference record holders, 44 NCAA Regional qualifiers, five conference Field Performers of the Meet, the 2016 USTFCCCA Northeast Region Athlete of the Year, two IAAF World Championship qualifiers and one USATF World Junior team member.
At Harvard, Ridgway mentored Nikki Okwelogu, who earned first-team All-America honors in the shot put (eighth place) and second-team honors in the discus (10th) at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She also was a first-team All-American in the indoor season after placing third in the shot put. In addition, Okwelogu represented Nigeria in the shot put at the Rio Olympics after landing an Olympic standard throw at the NCAA East Preliminary Round (17.91m).
Ridgway began his collegiate coaching career in 2004 as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Baptist. There he helped the women's team win the 2005 National Championship. After Oklahoma Baptist, he had two-year stints at both Louisiana-Monroe and Central Florida.
Ridgway, whose top event as a competitor was the shot put, began his collegiate career at Oklahoma. As a Sooner, he earned two varsity letters and a spot on the 1999 Academic All-Big 12 team. He then transferred to North Carolina for his final two seasons, where he was recognized as an All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer during the 2000 outdoor and 2001 indoor seasons.
Ridgway graduated from UNC in August 2001 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
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