USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – Air Force track and field head coach Ralph Lindeman will serve as the head coach for Team USA at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, which begin this Thursday (March 1) in Birmingham, England.
“It’s quite an honor having been selected to lead this team,” Lindeman said. “I really believe my selection is a reflection of what my peers believe is the quality of leadership I can provide for the team and staff, and the reputation our Air Force teams have for a culture of commitment and a climate of respect, not to mention a tradition of championships.”
Lindeman, who is in his 29th season as the Academy’s head track and field coach, left for England just hours after guiding the Air Force men to their seventh Mountain West title since 2012 (third indoor). Lindeman, who collected his 16th conference coach of the year award on Saturday afternoon, has previously served Team USA at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (assistant coach for jumps, pole vault and decathlon) and at the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan (head manager). He has also served on national coaching staffs for the World University Games (2001), Pan American Games (1999), U.S. Olympic Festival (1993, 1987) and World Junior Championships (1992).
“Coaching an international team is a bit of a misnomer, as virtually every athlete on a USA team comes to the World Championships with their personal coach,” Lindeman said. “So, while the Team USA staff is not coaching in the truest sense, my job is to provide the leadership to coordinate and galvanize the efforts of their own coaches with the official coaching staff and USATF administration to ensure the competitors and their personal coaches understand all of the unique nuances of a global championship – logistics, the strict requirements for uniform wear, warm-ups, check-in, and even the stressful call room procedures. It’s leading this team to live up to the expectations that fans from back home – and around the world – have of Team USA.”
He will be assisted on the official Team USA men’s staff by assistant coaches Darryl Woodson, Norman Tate, Teddy Mitchell, as well as head manager Clif McKenzie.
“I wouldn’t have been able to accept this position without the approval of Mr. Knowlton and the AD Senior Staff,” Lindeman added. “Thank goodness it falls precisely in the eight-day window between last weekend’s Mountain West Indoor Championships and next week’s NCAA Indoor Championships. I’ll be excited to bring some ‘lessons learned’ from Team USA back to our own men’s and women’s team at the Academy – things like how the best athletes in the world practice and train under their personal coaches, how they prepare mentally for competition, the importance they put on nutrition and rest, and the techniques that the USATF athletic trainers use with them for rehab and recovery.”
The four-day IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held at Arena Birmingham and broadcast via NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.