|Position:||Assistant Coach - Throws|
Brian Blutreich, a former Olympic discus thrower (1992, Barcelona), has spent eight seasons as the University of Oklahoma throws coach. Under his watch at OU, Blutreich (pronounced BLUE-trick) has coached two Olympians, six NCAA national champions, 31 All-Americans, 21 Big 12 Conference champions and 10 current school record holders. He coached two Olympians prior to his arrival at OU and has been named a National Assistant Coach of the Year twice. He also served as the men's throw coach for the U.S. at the 2013 World Championships.
Most recently, a former Blutreich thrower, Brittany Borman made the final of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. She finished 12th in the javelin in her first international final.
Blutreich took four throwers to the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships (Chase Sammons, Liz Herrs, Julia Reedy and Jessica Woodard). Herrs, who entered the West Prelims with the top throw in the country, and Reedy finished with All-America honors, a second consecutive for Herrs. All 11 of his throwers who competed in the 2015 Big 12 Outdoor Championship scored, producing 78 points during the conference meet. Currently, 14 of his 16 throwers hold positions on the program’s top-10 lists with at least one listed in each indoor and outdoor event. That total includes two current program record holders (Reedy, who has a shared record in the weight throw and has the mark in hammer throw and Garrett Snow in javelin).
Success has been a constant for Blutreich, who coached Sooner standout, Tia Brooks (2010-13), as she put together one of the most illustrious careers in OU history. Under his watch, Brooks won four national titles and five Big 12 titles. She was a seven-time All-American in the indoor and outdoor shot put before earning a berth in the 2012 Olympics. Brooks is the NCAA all-time record holder for the indoor shot put with a mark of 63-0.75 (19.22). Following the end of her collegiate eligibility, she quickly garnered respect on the professional circuit with her eighth-place finish at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Blutreich has had at least one Big 12 Champion in seven of his eight years with the Sooner program, another indication of the consistency of his efforts. He guided then-freshman Avione Allgood to a 2013 Big 12 title in the javelin, the fourth title in a string of five consecutive OU winners in the event. Allgood went on to earn All-America honors, finishing seventh overall in 2013.
Two other freshmen also excelled under Blutreich in 2013. Tyler Renton broke the school record with a throw of 228-6 (69.66) in the men’s javelin. In the women’s javelin, Elizabeth Herrs registered the longest throw of the season at 173-9 (52.97), the fourth best throw in the nation in the 2013 season.
Blutreich coached Borman, a second Sooner Olympian, from 2010-12. Borman earned two national titles in the javelin to go with five All-America citations and four Big 12, competing in both the javelin and discus. In her first appearance at the NCAA Championships in 2010, she was runner-up in both the javelin and discus. The impressive performances that marked her time with the Sooners led to her professional career. Shortly after her graduation from OU, Borman improved her own javelin school record at the 2012 Olympic Trials with a mark of 201-9 (61.51). The mark, which came on her final throw, was her first time to meet the A qualifying standard for Olympics. She represented Team Nike in the finals after competing in prelims for OU.
Another Blutreich protégé, Karen Shump (2009-2012) made five appearances at the NCAA Championships (three indoor, two outdoor) as a Sooner. Shump was the 2010 NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the shot put with a 56-3 (17.14) mark. She is a five-time All-American in the shot put and also earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2010 after winning both the indoor and outdoor conference title in the event. Shump sits behind Brooks and Borman on OU’s all-time list in the shot put (57-2.25/17.43) and discus (182-9.00/55.70).
On the men’s side, Blutreich helped Luke Bryant to a school-record throw of 205-8 in the men’s discus, a Big 12 title, and an All-America honor with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2012.
The 2011 season was another banner year for Blutreich and the OU throwers as the group won one national title, earned six All-America honors, won five Big 12 titles and broke five program records during the year. Borman became OU’s first national champion in the javelin with a throw of 178-2 (54.32).
In 2010, Blutreich's athletes combined to earn eight All-America honors and six conference titles while breaking five program records. It also marked the first of two consecutive Big 12 titles in the hammer for K.P. Singh. Singh is the current program record holder for both the hammer (218-10.00/66.70) and the weight throw (70-8.50/21.55). In 2009, Bryant won a conference title in the discus to become Blutreich’s first thrower at OU to win a Big 12 Championship and the first Sooner conference champion in the event since 1988.
Despite only having three athletes competing for him in 2008, Blutreich managed to produce headline-grabbing results as all three produced program records in their respective events. Amy Backel, in her first season as a full-time thrower, and Buck Sullivan added their names to the Oklahoma history books. Throwing the javelin, it took Backel only one meet under Blutreich to produce a program record. The then-sophomore continued to improve her own record in the event throughout the season, eventually ending with a mark of 171-10 on her way to becoming the program's first female All-American in the event. Backel qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the shot put in 2009 and finished her career with another All-America honor in the javelin in 2010.
Academic success is equally important to Blutreich. During his tenure at OU, 24 of his student-athletes have earned All-Academic honors from the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association, including Borman, who was the USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2012. In addition, three of his student-athletes, Mikaela Johansson, a multi-time NCAA qualifier and school record holder, Backel and Borman, were recognized on a combined five occasions as CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Backel, the only Sooner student-athlete to be a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, was also one of the eight selected for prestigious NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award in 2010. The NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award, now the Today’s Top 10, recognizes student-athletes across all divisions for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community.
Blutreich came to OU after 11 years at the University of North Carolina where he served as the men's assistant head coach. Under his direction, UNC became one of the nation's premier collegiate throws programs. Blutreich's successes as a Tar Heel covered a coaching career that developed seven individual NCAA champions, 30 All-Americans, 45 Atlantic Coast Conference event champions and 112 All-ACC performers. Blutreich-coached athletes set all 12 possible UNC throws events records and helped the Tar Heels to 14 men's and women's ACC team championships. His efforts at North Carolina produced both of his USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year honors.
The 2006 Tar Heel season was a special one for Blutreich and his student-athletes as three Blutreich-coached athletes won NCAA outdoor titles, the first time North Carolina produced three national champions at the same meet. Laura Gerraughty (women's shot put), Vikas Gowda (men's discus) and Justin Ryncavage (men’s javelin) reached the top step of the winner's podium. With those performances, North Carolina became only the second program in NCAA history to win three or more throws titles in a year with three different athletes. Gerraughty would set the NCAA record in the shot put at the event with a throw of 62-10.00 (19.15) while Gowda established program records in the shot put, both indoor (64-3.75) and outdoor (64-4.50), and the discus (212-3).
Gerraughty (United States) and Gowda (India) competed at the 2004 Olympics as part of one the greatest campaigns in UNC history. Blutreich was honored as a National Assistant Coach of the Year after guiding Gerraughty to a sweep of NCAA indoor and outdoor national shot put titles and the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Championships title, becoming the first collegiate athlete to win the women's shot put.
In addition to his work at North Carolina, Blutreich was the men's throws coach for Team USA at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
Under his direction, Blutreich's wife, Lynda Lipson-Blutreich, became a three-time U.S. champion in the javelin. Lipson-Blutreich competed in the 2000 Olympics, has been on two World Championship and two Pan American teams, and is a former American record holder.
A native of Mission Viejo, Calif., Blutreich attended UCLA from 1986-90, earning All-America honors three times each in the shot put and discus. Blutreich also won back-to-back Pac-10 discus titles in 1989 and 1990.
In Blutreich's four years, the Bruins won two NCAA national outdoor championships and three consecutive Pac-10 titles. He graduated from UCLA in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. In 1991, Blutreich was a discus finalist at the World University Games in Sheffield, England.
He and his wife, Lynda, who coached the throwers at Duke while Blutreich was coaching at North Carolina, have two daughters, Brooke Alexandra and Logan Kate.