Keith Vance is in his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Air Force track and field program. Vance, who joined the Academy staff in December 2013, serves as the event coach for the Falcons' throwing team.
In his first season at Air Force, Vance saw his athletes account for two Academy records, four selections to the first-round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, three all-conference honors and 10 improvements to the program's top-10, including eight that impacted the top five. Grant Hamilton, who finished second in the shot put at both Mountain West Championship meets, set Academy records in that event during the indoor and outdoor seasons, while becoming the first Falcon to surpass the 60-foot plateau in competition.
The success continued during his second season, as Vance guided Hamilton to three Mountain West titles -- including the Academy's first conference titles in the discus throw and outdoor shot put. Two of his athletes (Hamilton -- shot put, discus throw; Cydnee Reese -- discus throw) advanced to the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while throwers accounted for four all-conference awards at the MW Championships. He also saw Hamilton improve his own Academy record in the indoor shot put and Spencer Baldwin set a new program record in the weight throw, while a total of eight improvements were made to Air Force's all-time standings in 2015.
The Falcons had a strong outdoor campaign in 2016, as Hamilton rewrote his own Academy records in the shot put and discus events, captured all-conference honors in both events and qualified to the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the fourth straight year. The Falcons' four-man javelin roster earned over half of the possible points in that event at the MW Championships, as a runner-up finish from Donny Crabill paced the lineup to four of the top-five spots and 23 team points. In addition to the Academy records set by Hamilton during the outdoor season, Vance's throwers made three additional improvements to the program's all-time standings.
Vance joined the Falcons' program after spending four years at Boise State, where he guided the Broncos' throwers to three All-American awards, 10 conference titles and two school records. In addition, 12 of his athletes combined for 20 appearances in the first-round of the NCAA Championships.
Under his guidance, four Boise State throwers advanced to the NCAA National Championships, including Matt Post (2013 participant in the hammer throw), Mele Vaisima (2012 first-team All-American in the weight throw), Alex Nelson (2011 second-team All-American in the hammer) and Pontus Thomee (2010 NCAA runner-up and first-team All-American in the javelin).
Vance's athletes accounted for 10 Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference titles, including a span of three straight championships in the weight throw by Trevor Kraychir. In addition, Thomee and Vaisima claimed two titles apiece in the javelin and weight throw, respectively, while Vaisima received the women's Outstanding Performer award at the 2012 MW Indoor Championships. During his four-year tenure, Boise State throwers accounted for nine all-MW (top-three) awards, 19 all-WAC First-Team and 10 all-WAC Second-Team honors.
His athletes also impacted the Boise State record books, with Vaisima (weight throw) and Alyssa Osai (discus throw) setting school records in their respective events. Vance also helped the Broncos' multi-event athletes in the throwing events, accounting for a part of Kurt Felix's records in the heptathlon and decathlon, as well as Alexi Morton's school record in the pentathlon.
Prior to his time in Boise, Vance spent four years as the throws coach at Tiffin University in Ohio. As the event coach for the Dragons' throwing team, his athletes accounted for seven conference outdoor championship titles and 35 all-conference (top-three) selections, as well as two American Mideast Conference Athlete of the Year recipients, five NCAA Academic All-Americans, 16 NAIA National Qualifiers and six NCAA National Qualifiers. In addition, his athletes posted 84 marks on Tiffin's all-time performance list.
He earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from The College of Wooster (Ohio) in 2004, while competing on the track and field team. Vance, who holds USATF Level 2 certification in the throwing events, went on to obtain his master's degree in business administration from Tiffin University.
Vance and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons -- Conner and Parker.