Ralph Lindeman

Ralph  Lindeman

Head Coach | Combined Events

29th Season

Alma Mater:
Arizona State (1973) | Arizona State (1976)


Ralph Lindeman to Serve as Team USA Head Coach

Lindeman will oversee the men's Team USA squad at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships this weekend in England.


Ralph Lindeman, Shelley Spires Honored by USTFCCCA

Lindeman was named the region's top coach, while Spires was honored as the top female field athlete.


Ralph Lindeman, Jamiel Trimble Honored by USTFCCCA

Lindeman was named the region's top coach, while Trimble was named the top track athlete.


Hannah Everson, Ralph Lindeman Earn USTFCCCA Regional Awards

It is the fourth coaching award for Lindeman and the first for an Air Force runner.


Ralph Lindeman and Scott Steffan Earn Regional Coaching Honors

It is the second straight year that the pair has swept the Mountain Region men's coaching awards.

Ralph Lindeman, the recipient of numerous conference and regional coaching awards, is in his 29th season at the helm of the Air Force track and field team. From the very first day he stepped onto the track at the Academy in 1989, the Falcons have benefited from Lindeman's leadership and love of coaching.

Under his direction, the Air Force men's track and field program has accounted for 29 top-three team finishes at the Mountain West Championships, including six conference titles (2012 indoor, 2012 outdoor, 2013 outdoor, 2016 indoor, 2016 outdoor, 2017 outdoor). In addition, he has watched the women become a significant presence in the league.

Since Lindeman's arrival at the Air Force Academy, the track and field team has combined for 42 Western Athletic Conference individual championship titles (37 events, five relays) and 133 MW individual championship titles (113 events, nine relays). The men have rewritten 48 Academy records, while the women have displaced 41. Lindeman-coached Air Force teams have produced two national champions, including Callie Calhoun, who earned five titles during her career, and Dana Pounds, who collected back-to-back titles in the javelin. His teams have also garnered 70 All-America selections.

Lindeman oversaw the Air Force men's cross country team during the first three years of his tenure (1989-91), guiding the Falcons to their first conference title at the 1991 Western Athletic Conference Championships. Led by two-time WAC champion, Chris Nelson, Lindeman's 1991 team went on to place second at the regional meet and 14th at the NCAA Championships. The team's second-place finish at the regional championships remains the best finish ever by an Air Force cross country team, while its placing at the national meet is the program's second-best finish since 1967.

Lindeman has received many coaching distinctions and honors during his tenure. He is a 14-time conference Coach of the Year, a three-time USTFCCCA Mountain Region Men's Outdoor Coach of the Year and a two-time USTFCCCA Mountain Region Men's Indoor Coach of the Year. He was most recently voted as the Mountain West Conference Men's Coach of the Year during the 2016 outdoor season, marking the 11th time he has claimed a MW award (indoor: 2016, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2004, 2001; outdoor: 2016, 2013, 2012, 2003, 2001). In addition to earning the 1995 WAC Indoor Coach of the Year and the 1991 WAC Cross Country Coach of the Year at Air Force, Lindeman was named the 1989 Big West Coach of the Year while at Long Beach State.

His work is not limited to the boundaries of the Academy. Lindeman served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's Track and Field Team that participated at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Previously, he was the jumps, pole vault and decathlon coach for the U.S. Men's Track & Field Team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. That team collected 19 medals - including two Gold and five Silver medals from Lindeman-coached athletes - for the squad's highest medal count since the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

He also served as an advisor to the South Korean team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and was a scheduling manager for the 1996 Games in Atlanta. In addition to his work with the Olympic Games, Lindeman has served as the head men's coach for the 2001 World University Games, the 1999 Pan American Games and the "North Team" at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival.

As the chairman of the hurdle sub-committee for USATF's Men's Development Committee from 1993-2000, Lindeman coordinated video analysis of all hurdle races at USA Championships and Olympic Trials and managed a series of annual mini-camps for the elite U.S. male hurdlers at San Diego's Olympic Training Center. Lindeman has also worked on the coaching staff for the United States men's team at the 1992 World Junior Championships and the "West Team" at the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival.

Lindeman first became excited about track and field as a seventh grader at Phoenix Christian Grade School in Arizona, when his physical education teacher took his class to a collegiate track dual-meet featuring Arizona State and New Mexico. Later, the influences of his high school track coaches, according to Lindeman, "unknowingly inspired me to pursue coaching."

Lindeman graduated in 1973 from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in physical education. He went on to complete a master's degree in exercise science from ASU in 1976.

His coaching career began in 1973, when he was an assistant coach at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Ariz., working with the football and track teams. From there, he became an assistant track coach at Glendale High School in Glendale, Ariz., working under Ken France, a legend in the Arizona coaching ranks. He also served as the head coach for the cross country and track teams during his five-year tenure at Glendale.

Following a stint as the boys' track and cross country coach at Westwood High School in Mesa, Ariz., Lindeman moved up to the collegiate ranks, becoming an assistant track coach at Arizona State, coaching the field events for the men's team. With Lindeman on staff, the 1982 Sun Devil team won Arizona State's first-ever PAC-10 title in track and field.

In 1982, Lindeman went to the University of Arizona as an assistant coach of the men's and women's teams, overseeing the sprints, hurdles and jumps. Both the men's and women's teams placed in the top 10 at the 1984 NCAA Championships.

Lindeman credits Len Miller at Arizona State University and Dave Murray at the University of Arizona for giving him his first opportunities at the university level and teaching him about coaching collegiate athletes. For his 11 years of coaching within the state of Arizona, Lindeman was inducted into the Arizona Track Coaches Association's Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2009.

Lindeman left Arizona in 1984, when he was named the head coach at Long Beach State University. During his five years there, he took the men's and women's track and field teams, as well as the cross country program, to new heights in the Big West Conference. He remained with the 49ers until his appointment at Air Force.

Lindeman has a simple coaching philosophy, which is summed up in the USAFA core values - "Integrity first. Service before self. Excellence in all we do". He believes that his role as the head coach is to make sure that the program provides a framework in which the cadet-athletes can achieve excellence, not only athletically, but also academically and militarily.

In addition to his coaching duties, he has been a featured speaker at coaching clinics in 25 states and four countries, while writing articles that have been published in three journals and chapters of the textbooks "Hurdles: Theory and Technique" and the "USA Track and Field Coaching Manual" (1999 edition).

Lindeman has been very active on various track and field committees, as well. He served as the first chairman of the Coaches' Association Ethics Committee, and was elected as the chair of the USATF Coaches Advisory Committee in 2009. He has also sat on the men's hurdle development committee during four Olympic quadrennials, holding the chairman's position from 1993-2000. In addition, he has served on the NCAA Track and Field Rules Committee, acting as the chairman for the 2000 outdoor championships and was the president of the U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association (Division I Coaches) from 2000-03.

Lindeman sees his involvement with these organizations as a way to not only make a significant improvement to the sport of collegiate track and field, but to extend benefits to the development of the Air Force program.

He has been married to his wife, Cindy, for the past 45 years, and they have two children and six grandchildren. Their daughter, Jennifer, and her husband, Brian Rowedder, both graduates of Arizona State, have three children: Maddison, Brock and Landon, while their son, Brian, a firefighter in Parker, Colo. and former high school state champion in the pole vault, is married to Heather Dunavint, and has twin girls, Elsie and Mira, and a son, Brogan.

Getting to Know Coach Lindeman
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