TEMPE – The Arizona State University track and field and cross country programs have welcomed back two of their own to the 2013-14 coaching and support staff in the form of alumni Jeremy Rasmussen and Jessica Navarro, director of track and field/cross country Greg Kraft has announced.
Rasmussen will assume the newly created role as Director of Operations, while Navarro (formerly Jessica Pressley) will serve as a graduate assistant coach.
Rasmussen will oversee the administrative and day-to-day operational functions involving equipment distribution, high school and alumni relations, travel and other duties. Rasmussen joins the staff after spending the past six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois.
"I want to thank Greg Kraft and Don Bocchi for this great opportunity. I am excited to be back at my alma mater and to help this program continue to win championships,” Rasmussen said. “I am also really looking forward to bring back more alumni support and getting our program out serving the surrounding communities."
Rasmussen starred for the Sun Devils in both cross country and track and field prior to a productive coaching career. The 2000 Pac-10 champion in the 3,000m steeplechase and runner-up in both 2001 and 2002, Rasmussen helped the 2001 ASU men break the 100-point barrier at the conference competition for the first time in program history. In cross country, Rasmussen assisted the men's team in making history as the 1999 squad advanced to its first NCAA Championships appearance, placing 14th.
While at Illinois, Rasmussen coached three-time Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year, 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, 2009 USTFCCCA National Cross Country Athlete of the Year, 2009 Honda Sports Award Winner for Cross Country and 2009 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Angella Bizzarri – one of just eight female distance athletes to ever win a national title in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.
He coached the women to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships and his athletes scored in all four distance events at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 2010 and 2011.
Navarro assumes the role of graduate assistant for the Sun Devils where she will help with administrative duties while also working with throws coach David Dumble and the team’s throwers.
“I am more than thrilled to be able to be a part of the ASU track and field team again. Being a Graduate Assistant and being able to work with the student-athletes really seals the deal on what I hope to do as a career,” Navarro said. “I hope that I can give back as much as I learned from being a part of this amazing team and staff.”
As a student-athlete at ASU, Navarro was a 10-time All-American – tied for second all-time among ASU women – and a two-time NCAA Champion in the shot put in 2007 and 2008.
Navarro was a key component in the three ASU team championships in 2007 and 2008 and scored an incredible 52 points during her NCAA Championship career as a Sun Devil.
She was the 2008 Pac-10 champion in both the shot put and the discus, the only two Pac-12 titles of her career.
The Sun Devil track and field team is slated to begin action in 2014 beginning with the Lumberjack Invitational on Friday, January 17 in Flagstaff, Ariz.