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Former Flames triathlete, coach trains Olympic hopefuls

October 31, 2018

Parker Spencer (’12), a former member of the Flames’ NCAA Division I track & field and the Club Sports triathlon teams as well as former head coach of the triathlon, cycling, and men’s swimming & diving teams, moved to Tempe, Ariz., in August to serve as head coach of USA Triathlon’s Project Podium.

The project, operated in partnership with Arizona State University, develops men’s triathletes who show Olympic potential. Spencer’s job is to recruit and develop a team of 12-16 triathletes to compete for medals internationally, targeting the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Spencer graduated from Liberty with a degree in exercise science and began working as an exercise physiologist and personal trainer and coach in Richmond, Va. He continued to compete in triathlons, representing Team USA in nine triathlon or duathlon world championships over the past six years. His travels took him to New Zealand, England, Spain, Germany, and Canada.

Spencer started coaching Liberty’s men’s and women’s triathlon teams in 2014. In 2015, he became the first coach of the men’s and women’s cycling teams and headed the men’s swimming & diving program when it was launched last year.

In late April, Spencer guided the Flames’ men’s triathlon team, which featured a number of international Olympic prospects, to a best-ever fifth-place finish at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Earlier in the month, he led the men’s swimming & diving team to a 13th-place national showing (out of 120 teams) in Atlanta.

Spencer’s coaching career with Team USA started last summer when he participated in an Elite Coach Development Program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. This past March, he served as an assistant coach for USA Triathlon in Australia and New Zealand.

“I really loved what I was able to do at Liberty with its Club Sports endurance sports programs, and I know that they will continue to thrive,” Spencer said. “Liberty is training its graduates to work at the top of their respective fields, and everything Liberty provided qualified me for this new position. God couldn’t have written a better job description. I’m excited to join a group of the most talented and knowledgeable high-performance staff in the world.”

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