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Nittany Lions competing or coaching in men's and women's volleyball, track and field, wrestling and basketball this week
Record Nittany Lion Contingent of 22 Begins Action with U.S. Women's Soccer Opener
Erin Tucker enters his third year as the associate head coach for the Nittany Lion track & field program following a four-year coaching stint at, his alma mater, Florida. Tucker oversees the sprints, hurdles and relays program.
The Penn State sprints, hurdles, and relay groups saw, even more, growth than the year before where Tucker’s athletes set multiple top-10/top-five program marks. In 2017, Tucker led the Nittany Lions to two conference championships, capturing the women’s title during
Four school records were broken during the second year under Tucker’s tutelage including the 60-meters (6.66) and 100-meters (10.32) by Xavier Smith, 4x100-meter relay (39.08) by Kowalchuck, Chisena, Smith and Moffett, and the men’s 4x400-meter relay (3:04.80) (i) by Chisena, Smith, Sam Reiser and Isaiah Harris that set a new Big Ten Indoor record. In addition to the multiple school records, 20 other top-five/top-10 marks were set under Tucker’s watch.
At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Nittany Lions recorded the highest combined finish in program history (Women - B1G Champions; Men – B1G Runner-up). The success of the Penn State sprints translated to Tucker earning 2017 Mid-Atlantic Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year accolades.
Penn State, traditionally a mid-distance/distance program, has quickly become a sprint school as well, qualifying a men’s 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay as well as Malik Moffett in the 200-meters to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Under Tucker, Karson Kowalchuck (Canada), Malik Moffett (United States) and Keianna Albury (Bahamas) competed at their respective nations track & field championships with Kowalchuck doubling as the 100-200 Canadian champion.
At the IAAF world championships in London, Keianna Albury and current volunteer assistant coach Eddie Lovett competed in the 4x100-meter relay and 110-meter hurdles, respectively.
Tucker wrapped up his first year in Happy Valley by making a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to serve as an Assistant Coach for the U.S. Virgin Islands track & field team. Tucker coached Eddie Lovett of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Indoor season saw Tucker lead sophomore Xavier Smith to a school record in the 60-meters, breaking a 13-year-old record in the opening meet of the season. Smith would go on to further lower the record to its season-ending mark of 6.68. Malik Moffett joined Smith in the top-five with his mark of 6.79 for the No. 4 all-time mark in program history.
During the 2016 outdoor season, Penn State’s men’s 4x100-meter relay ran the fastest time by a Nittany Lion squad in over 30 years blazing the track to the tune of 39.92 seconds at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge in Tempe, Ariz. Tucker’s relay team recorded two of the top five-fastest sprint relays in program history during the 2016 season.
Tucker’s 2016 squad also set program top-10 marks in the 100-meters and 200-meters including times of 10.45w, 10.46w, and 10.52w by Xavier Smith, Dan Chisena, and Anton Porter, respectively, as well as times of 20.73w, 20.96 and 21.05 by Malik Moffett, Xavier Smith and Dan Chisena, respectively.
During his time at Florida, Tucker coached one NCAA champion (2013 - Eddie Lovett - 60-meter hurdles), two NCAA runner-ups, 14 All-Americans, six SEC champions, and eight school record holders. Tucker also coached 13 student-athletes to top-10 performances in school history.
As a program, between 2012-15, Florida won three national titles, three SEC conference titles and posted numerous SEC runner-up finishes.
Prior to coaching at Florida, Tucker was the assistant coach for hurdles, relays, and sprints from 2003-2012 at Kentucky and he also coached at Illinois for three years overseeing the hurdles, relays and sprints program.
While with the Wildcats, Tucker helped lead the track and field program to some of the most successful seasons in program history. During his time at Kentucky, Tucker coached 27 All-Americans, 26 All-SEC honorees, 15 All-Region athletes, six SEC champions, three NCAA runner-ups and an NCAA Champion (Rondel Sorrillo, 200m, 2010). Under Tucker´s tutelage, 34 school records fell and 67 athletes ranked in the top-10 in school history.
At Kentucky, Tucker coached four student-athletes that competed at the Olympics. Luis Luna was Tucker´s first athlete to see Olympic action as she competed in the 400m for Venezuela in the 2004 Athens Games. In 2008, three of Tucker´s athletes competed in the Beijing Olympics as Sorrillo (200m) and Mikel Thomas (110m high hurdles) competed for Trinidad and Tobago, while Jose Acevedo competed for Venezuela in the 200m.
Before starting his coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the Gators in the 1999-2000 season, Tucker enjoyed a prolific collegiate career at Florida. Tucker, a four-time SEC champion, and a six-time All-American won the 400-meter hurdles at the 1998 SEC Championships with a personal best time of 49.82, which still ranks as the eighth-fastest time in Florida history. He also ran on three conference championship teams and four All-America 4x400-meter relay teams.
In the classroom, he was a two-time All-SEC academic honoree at Florida, where he earned a bachelor of arts in History and a master's degree in Education.
Tucker has three sons Ezra (8), Erin II (4), & Samuel (3).