position Volunteer Assistant - Pole Vault/Decathlon
Rob Banhagel is in his eighth season as an assistant for the Ohio State track and field program. He works with the Buckeye pole vaulters and decathletes.
In his first seven years at Ohio State, Coach Banhagel has guided eight athletes into the NCAA Regional Qualifying Round, six of which were walk-on recruits and three visits to NCAA Championships. Under Banhagel’s guidance, Cole Gorski, despite being injured the entire freshman indoor season, secured a 10th place finish at the B1G Outdoor Championships with a personal record of 5.01m. In 2017, coach Banhagel was able to coach Gorski back to record breaking form after missing most of the 2016 due to a physically hindering injury. Gorski eclipsed the 17 foot barrier seven times and earned a Big Ten Championship silver medal finish as well as breaking the outdoor school record at 5.26m. Gorski opened up the 2018 eclipsing his own personal record and Ohio State indoor record with a jump of 5.40m, securing a spot for NCAA Indoor Nationals. Gorski then proceeded to break that record two more times, and earning a gold medal victory at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and helping secure a Big Ten team victory for the OSU men’s team. Gorski continued his dominance outdoor by breaking the outdoor record in his first outdoor showing and besting that record again with a 5.50m performance at the Jim Click Shootout in Arizona. Gorski took silver at Big Ten Outdoor with a 5.36m jump and again, assisted in point totals to secure a victory for the OSU men’s team on another Big Ten Championship. Gorski owns both the indoor and outdoor records at OSU.
In 2016, Coach Banhagel directed freshman Coty Cobb to a 6th place finish at B1G Outdoor Championships, a trip to the NCAA Regional Qualifying round and qualifying trip to the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships. Cobb surpassed the 5.42m mark in 2018 indoors and earned bronze medal at the 2018 Big Ten Outdoor Championships with a 5.31m jump and assisting the OSU men’s team in securing an Outdoor Big Ten Championship win.
Coach Banhagel has brought the pole vault back to relevancy within the OSU Track and Field Program and looks to expound upon that success this coming season.
Prior to Ohio State, Rob coached at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio. While at Gahanna, Rob gained national recognition while working with Jacob Blankenship who, under Rob’s guidance, broke meet, school, conference, divisional, regional and state records on his way to being a 2012 OATCCC Indoor State Champion and indoor state record holder, two-time OHSAA State Outdoor Champion and outdoor state record holder, USA Today All-USA Track and Field Member 2011 and 2012, IAAF World Youth Games Bronze Medalist 2011, New Balance Outdoor Champion 2011, New Balance Indoor Champion 2012, All State 2010, 2011 and 2012, All Conference 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and 2012 Midwest Meet of Champions second place finish. Blankenship finalized the 2012 indoor season being ranked No. 3 in the nation with a vault of 5.35m (17-6.50) and finished the 2012 outdoor season ranked No. 3 in the nation with a vault of 5.23m (17-2) and topped the 17 foot barrier fourteen times. Jake went on to represent Team USA in Beijing in 2015 and has topped the 19 foot barrier several times.
As a student-athlete, Rob competed at Western Michigan University, and at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA where he trained under Jan Johnson, 1972 Olympic Bronze Medalist and former World Record Holder. Rob traveled the U.S. with Jan as an assistant coach for Sky Jumpers Pole Vault Camps. Rob was part of the Cal Poly-Cuesta College Pole Vault surge during the early 90’s and held the record at Cuesta College for 7 years with a jump of 16’ 8” and is still listed in the top-30 Central Coast All-Time list. His PR is 5.35m (17-6.5) while jumping unattached.
Coach Banhagel has his Track & Field Technical Certification through the USTFCCCA and has been in a coaching capacity for 15+ years. Rob is a native of Ionia, MI.