Track & Field Hires Tom Pukstys As Assistant Coach

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Samford University track and field program has hired Tom Pukstys, a two-time Olympian in the javelin, as an assistant coach, head coach Rod Tiffin announced Monday.
 
“I am excited about Tom and what he brings to the program,” Tiffin said. “The international success he has had as a coach and an athlete will bring a wealth of new knowledge to the team. Our athletes will have the ability to work with a former American record holder and that experience will help all of our athletes, not only the throws group, to reach their dreams and goals.” 
 
Pukstys represented the United States in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He is also a six-time U.S. javelin champion, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program. He was an assistant coach with the United States team in the 2012 Olympics in London. Two of his current athletes recently competed in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
 
Falling in love with the javelin after his brother brought one back from his native country of Lithuania, Pukstys quit his high school baseball team and joined the track team, throwing 155 feet in his first meet.
 
Pukstys attended the College of DuPage and set the American Junior record (71.34m/234-1) his freshman year before transferring to the University of Florida following his sophomore campaign. At Florida, he trained with John Kennison. He set his first American record in 1993. He personal best is 87.12m/285-10.
 
Pukstys has served as the national coordinator for all men’s throws for USATF’s development program since 2005.
 
Pukstys graduated from Florida with a degree in public relations in 1992. He also received his Master’s in Sports Administration from Valparaiso University in 2016. 
 
Pukstys moved to the Birmingham area in 2018. He and his wife Anne have three boys, Lukas, David and Dane.
 
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