|Alma Mater:||Sam Houston|
Jon Tipton, a graduate of Sam Houston State University, is beginning his 5th season in charge of the Bearkat throws group. Since Coach Tipton’s return to Huntsville for the 2014 season, the throwers have received 5 Academic All-American honors, 4 All-American performances, 5 NCAA Championships qualifiers, 19 NCAA Preliminary Championships qualifiers, 11 Southland Conference champions, 25 All-Conference performers, and 5 current SHSU School Records. Tipton’s athletes have helped contribute to 8 Southland Conference Team Championships since his return to the program.
In 2017, the throwers continued their tradition of excellence adding another All-American performance, with Josh Hernandez finishing 13th in Eugene, Oregon in the hammer throw. Under Tipton’s tutelage, Hernandez had a stellar freshman campaign that concluded with wins at the USATF National Junior Championships in Sacramento, California and at the IAAF U-20 Pan-American Championships in Trujillo, Peru. Hernandez ranks as the third best American ever after his 249’ performance at the USATF National Junior Championships. In total, the throwers 2017 campaign saw; 2 Academic All-American honors, 1 All-American performance, 4 NCAA Preliminary Championships qualifiers, 3 Southland Conference champions, 8 All-Conference performances, and 2 SHSU school records.
In 2016, Tipton’s throwers had a monumental breakthrough led by hammer/weight thrower Ashley Jenkins. In her historic senior year, Jenkins threw herself into the history books with a 4th place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. During the outdoor season, Jenkins earned another All-American certificate in Eugene as well as an appearance at the 2016 USATF Olympic Team Trials. Ashley Jenkins is the most decorated thrower in SHSU history earning 3 All-American certificates, 5 Southland Conference gold medals, and maintains 2 school records.
Prior to SHSU, Tipton was an assistant coach for the UC Davis Aggies for the 2012-2013 seasons. During his time at the University of California, Davis, Tipton worked with several NCAA Preliminary Championships qualifiers, including Ashley Hearn, the 2012 Big West Discus Champion and bronze medalist at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Under Tipton’s guidance, Ashley Hearn became the first woman in track and field history at UC Davis to earn a NCAA First Team All-American certificate. Hearn who is also the current school record holder in the discus, with a toss of 190’1, competed alongside Tipton at the USATF Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon in 2012.
Tipton’s first coaching experience was as the graduate assistant for SHSU Track & Field from the Fall of 2009 through the Spring of 2011, while completing his masters in Kinesiology. During his stint as graduate assistant, in which he provided direct oversight for the throwers, Tipton worked with SHSU school record holder Chris Cralle (2012 Olympic Trials Silver Medalist) who earned All-American honors in 2011 and won the NACAC U-23 Championships in 2010 in the hammer throw.
Not only has Tipton shown promise as one of the best up-and-coming- coaches in the country, but he was also a stellar athlete for the Bearkats. His discus throw of 196’6” in 2009 still stands as the school record.