Will also serve as USA juniors coach at 2011 World Cross Country Championships  

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State track and field and cross country head coach Robert Gary will represent the Buckeyes as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, August 27 to September 4, in Daegu, South Korea, USA Track and Field announced last month.

Gary, in his fifth season as the track and field head coach and 14th leading the cross country team at Ohio State, will mentor the American distance runners under the direction of USA head coach Vin Lananna, Director of Track and Field at the University of Oregon.

“I have continued with coaching post-collegiate athletes and tried to assist at this level through presentations with USATF High Performance and Inside Development, so I am truly honored to have been appointed to such a prestigious staff,” Gary said of his selection to the Team USA workforce.  “Having the opportunity to be around the best track and field athletes in the world is extremely exciting and I am very much looking forward to it. I believe the only bigger assignment for our sport would be the Olympic Games. Professionally, I consider this the highest honor I have ever achieved.”

In addition to his duties with Team USA at the track and field championships, Gary will also direct the American junior squad at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships March 20 in Punta Umbria, Spain. Gary has previous experience as an assistant at the junior level, having served on the U.S. staff at the 2010 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Mochton, Canada – that experience will serve him well, as he looks to improve an American squad that finished in eighth-place as a team at the 2010 championships.

“I was fortunate to make several world cross country teams as an athlete, and I remember having some great coaches on the staff that really helped with travel, logistics, nerves, and tactics,” Gary said. “I am extremely excited to work with the junior team because I understand that these juniors will be making the senior team in a couple of years, and this experience will be crucial toward their development.”

Gene Smith, Ohio State Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, is thrilled about the opportunity Gary will have to showcase his coaching talents on one of the world’s biggest stages:

“These are two tremendous honors and opportunities for Coach Gary,” Smith said. “He has done an outstanding job with our track and field and cross country programs, and it’s great to see his passion and energy rewarded at the sports’ highest levels. I know he will represent Ohio State well.”

Held every two years, the IAAF track and field championships provide an opportunity for America’s top athletes to test themselves against the world’s best. Team USA was dominant at the 2009 championships in Berlin, Germany, winning more overall medals (22) and more gold medals (10) than any other country.