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Venable Hired as Liberty Assistant Track Coach

August 23, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Shawn Venable (right) has been hired as an assistant track & field coach at Liberty.

Shawn Venable (right) has been hired as an assistant track & field coach at Liberty.

Liberty Track & Field Head Coach Brant Tolsma has announced the hiring of Shawn Venable as assistant coach for jumps and hurdles. Venable joins the Flames after spending the last four seasons at Oral Roberts.

Venable served as assistant track & field coach/recruiting coordinator for Oral Roberts, focusing on the jumps, hurdles, short sprints and throws. He coached a number of standout performers, including two All-Americans, eight qualifiers to the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet and 13 Southland Conference champions.

"We are excited to have Coach Shawn Venable join our track staff at Liberty," said Tolsma.  "His life mission aligns very well with our team mission to develop high-level teams of individuals who represent Jesus Christ in athletics and in daily life. He is passionate and energetic and is experienced in developing high-level athletes. His strongest coaching experience is in the jumps and hurdles, the exact areas we were seeking. He appears qualified to help Liberty's track program continue to progress."    

Prior to his time at Oral Roberts, Venable spent five seasons (2007-12) as head track & field/cross country coach at Bacone College. He reestablished the program in January 2007 and quickly guided his team to success. The Bacone men's track & field team captured Red River Conference titles in both 2009 and 2012, and Venable was named Red River Conference Coach of the Year both times. Additionally, his men's track & field squad placed inside the top 25 at both the NAIA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2012.

During Venable's five years at Bacone, he coached 17 NAIA All-Americans, three NAIA Academic All-Americans, 65 NAIA national qualifiers, 15 Red River Conference champions, 103 all-conference honorees and 47 academic all-conference award winners.

Venable began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Oral Roberts, working as a volunteer assistant track & field coach for the 2005-06 season.

As an athlete, Venable started out as a middle and long distance runner at Oral Roberts before transitioning to the pole vault and decathlon later in his career. He served as team captain and earned two Mid-Continent all-conference honors as a senior. During Venable's time on the squad, Oral Roberts captured four Mid-Continent Conference championships.

The native of Owasso, Okla., owns two degrees and is nearing completion of a third. He graduated from Oral Roberts with a bachelor's degree in theology – New Testament Biblical literature in 2005. Four years later, Venable earned a master's degree in theology – Judeo-Christian Studies from Oral Roberts. He is on track to graduate with a master's degree in secondary education – sports administration from East Central University during the fall of 2016.

Venable has also shown a commitment to education within the sport of track & field, winning the 2015 Vern Gambetta Coaching Education Award from USA Track & Field (USATF). Since 2013, he has served as the USATF Coaching Education Southeast Regional Coordinator. Venable spends 8-10 weekends each year instructing USATF Level 1 schools.

Venable is an IAAF Level 5/USATF Level 3 certified in jumping events, sprinting events and combined events. He is also a USTFCCCA Strength & Conditioning Coach and a National Pole Vault Coaches Association (NPVCA) Certified Coach.

Venable and his wife, Ashley, have three sons, Keegan, Kolton and Kingston.