An accomplished coach with significant international experience and a former Canadian Olympic athlete in the bobsled, Kevin Tyler comes to OU after a nearly four-year stay with United Kingdom Athletics as the strategic head coach of coaching and development.
During his time in the United Kingdom, Tyler served as the head coach for Great Britain's Junior team on six occasions including the 2010 World Junior Championships, the 2011 European Junior Championships and the 2010 and 2011 Mannheim and Loughborough Junior Internationals. He was a designated high performance coach for Athletics Canada from 2005-2009, an apprentice coach at the 2001 World Athletics Championships and a staff coach for the sprints and hurdles on the 2000 Canadian Junior National team.
Additionally, he has served in a number of leadership roles. He was director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre at the University of Alberta from 2004-2009. He also worked at NIKE Canada from 2001 to 2004 where he was the sports marketing manager for running and Olympic sports. Prior to 2001, Tyler was the technical manager of track and field for BC Athletics where he also coached athletes as part of the IOC Solidarity Program. Deeply interested in the development of the sport, he has served on technical committees at local and national levels in Canada and Great Britain. He started his coaching career in 1997 as the assistant coach for sprints and hurdles at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to have Kevin on board at Oklahoma," said VanHootegem. "He is not only going to have a tremendous impact in the sprints, hurdles and relays, but will also be a great asset to the entire program.
"The list of world medalists he has coached is very impressive, but what stood out to me about Kevin was the developmental aspect of his coaching. It was clear to me that Kevin isn't someone who just trains his athletes, but rather educates them. In addition, Kevin will play a major role with our program in terms of outreach to the Norman community and the state of Oklahoma."
Tyler has coached nine Olympians from five nations and athletes under his charge have broken 16 Canadian national records. These athletes include 400-meter World Indoor champion, World Outdoor championships bronze medalist and Canadian record holder Tyler Christopher; former Canadian record holder and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Shane Niemi; Pan American Games champion and 400-meter hurdles Canadian record holder Adam Kunkel; African Championships 400-meter bronze medalist Kaltouma Nadine, and 20-year-old 400-meter Olympic semifinalist and 2008 Canadian Olympic Trials champion Carline Muir.
He also has extensive experience working with short sprinters including 2007 100-meter Canadian champion Nicholas Macrozonaris and 2008 100-meter Canadian Olympic Trials champion Pierre Browne. In 2012, Tyler co-coached and helped revise the training program of James Dasaolu, who in 2013 was ranked #1 in the world in the 60-meter (6.48) and was an Olympic semifinalist in the 100.
"When Kevin and I spoke about this position, we didn't talk training plans or technical models," VanHootegem added. "We spoke about our philosophy of sport and our vision for the OU program. The more discussion we had, the more we realized that this was a good fit. OU Track and Field is very fortunate to have Kevin Tyler."
Tyler competed collegiately in the NAIA at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University in the sprints. He was a member of the Canadian National bobsled team, competing in the two- and four-man events in the 1987 World Championships and 1988 Olympics.
Tyler has earned coaching qualifications from both Canada and Great Britain. He is a level 3 sprints and hurdles coach in Canada as well as a master learning facilitator in run, jump, throw and a course conductor for level 1 track and field and level 2 sprints and hurdles.
A 1993 graduate of Simon Fraser with a bachelor's degree with honors in criminology, he earned a master's of arts in criminology from the University of Toronto in1994. He has completed all required course work towards at Ph.D. in criminology with a perfect 4.0 GPA at Simon Fraser.