NORMAN, Okla. - The final spot on the University of Oklahoma staff has been filled as Natasha Harvey has been named assistant director of operations/assistant coach - sprints and hurdles, head coach Jim VanHootegem announced Friday.
Harvey comes to Norman after spending two seasons as a volunteer for the Jacksonville University track and field team, where she helped the Dolphins sweep the Atlantic Sun indoor and outdoor titles in the 2011 and 2012 campaigns. The 2012 title was Jacksonville's seventh in a row, setting a new A-Sun record.
"Today is a great day for OU track and field," VanHootegem said. "I am overjoyed that Natasha has agreed to be a part of our coaching staff at OU. She will play a major role in the development of building a championship program."
From 2005-08, Harvey competed as a student-athlete at Jacksonville and became the most storied female student-athlete in program history. In each of her four seasons, the Dolphins won the A-Sun indoor and outdoor titles. Harvey also earned a school record five All-American honors in the long jump (three in outdoor competition, two in indoor competition). Between her time as a student-athlete and coach, Harvey has had a hand in 12 of Jacksonville's 14 conference championships.
As a student-athlete, Harvey earned five All-America honors and seven NCAA Championships berths, produced 18 NCAA regional qualifying marks, won 22 individual conference titles and secured 35 all-conference honors. Harvey won "Most Outstanding Performer" honors at the A-Sun Championships nine times and twice competed with Team USA (2006, 2008).
Harvey also excelled academically, earning the School of Education "Outstanding Exercise Science Student" at her graduation, JU Women "Student of the Year," ESPN the Magazine All-District Second Team and Jacksonville's first A-Sun "Student-Athlete of the Year" honors. Harvey also received the Senior Student-Athlete Award and was named the A-Sun's nominee for the NCAA "Women of the Year."
"Once we identified Coach Harvey as a candidate, we were quickly aware that we had found the right person," VanHootegem said. "First, she was an amazing athlete at JU. I know because she beat a lot of my athletes! Secondly, she had a great experience there working with Coach Ron Grigg, who has been a friend and colleague of mine for the past 18 years, along with assistant coach Bambi Carson, who happens to be an OU alum. Finally, she is simply an amazing person with all of the perspective of the positive role athletics can play in a student-athlete's life. After speaking with her for the first time, I could easily see why the Atlantic Sun Conference selected her as their Woman of the Year."
Harvey graduated in 2009 with a 3.58 overall GPA in exercise science. In 2012, she earned her master's degree in sport management and leadership.