David Kaiser wrapped up his sixth season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan men's track and field program. While overseeing the development of a young and productive field event crew, Kaiser also contributes knowledge and experience in assisting the staff with recruiting, team travel, equipment, budget management, meet management and other administrative tasks.
Prior to joining the Michigan staff, Kaiser served on the men and women's coaching staffs at East Carolina (2002-03), DePaul (2002), Purdue (1998-2001), Clemson (1993-98), Wake Forest (1991-93) and Kansas (1986-91). Through his vast experience, Kaiser has gained respect and recognition among his coaching colleagues as well as the nation's top field-event athletes.
During his six seasons in Ann Arbor, Kaiser has resurrected a storied field event tradition while re-writing some Track and Field history. Establishing new standards of excellence has been a consistent accolade throughout Kaiser's coaching career as evidenced with school records established by Sean Pruitt (weight throw, hammer throw), Michael Whitehead (indoor & outdoor triple jump), and Frank Shotwell (heptathlon, decathlon). In addition, numerous Kaiser-coached athletes have placed themselves on to the Michigan All-Time performers list, including Pruitt (shot put, discus), Brendan Lodge (weight, hammer), Vince Belitsos (hammer), Chris McHugh (hammer), Dominic Smith (triple jump), Paul Saranto (weight), Dan Bedoya (weight) and Kurt Reichenbach (heptathlon). Pruitt and Shotwell were the first Wolverines to ever win Big Ten Championships in the weight throw, heptathlon and decathlon events, respectively.
Shotwell, along with multi-event performers Kurt Reichenbach and Joe Strizich, enjoyed breakout seasons in 2010 under Kaiser's watch. Shotwell re-set his own school record in the decathlon at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Both Reichenbach and Strizich ended the indoor season on Michigan's All-Time Performance list for the heptathlon after their respective performances at the Grand Valley State Big Meet (Feb. 13-14).
In 2009, Kaiser coached junior Sean Pruitt to a Big Ten Championship in the 35-lb. weight throw and an NCAA appearance. Pruitt set new Michigan school records in the hammer throw and weight throw. He also made appearances at the NCAA Mid-East Region meet in the shot put, discus and hammer throw events. He also coached Big Ten Conference scorers Robert Peddlar (long jump, triple jump), Brendan Lodge (hammer throw) and Pruitt (shot put, discus, hammer throw).
The 2008 season was highlighted by the 2008 BIG TEN CONFERENCE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP; yet along the way, Kaiser's field event athletes garnered conference points in the long jump, high jump, discus, hammer, javelin and multi-events. Highlighting the season were sophomore Frank Shotwell, securing Big Ten titles in the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon as well as shattering Michigan's school record in both events. Junior Adam Harris took some time away from sprinting duties to claim the Big Ten Indoor Long Jump title and finished runner-up outdoors. Sophomore John Kipf took third place honors in the high jump at the outdoor conference meet.
The 2008 field events were well represented at the NCAA Mid-East Regional meet with sophomores Sean Pruitt (shot, discus & hammer), Brendan Lodge (hammer) and Vince Belitsos (hammer) holding down the throws. Junior Adam Harris (long jump) and sophomore John Kipf (high jump) took the reins in the jumps. Sophomore Frank Shotwell qualified for the NCAA Championship indoor and outdoor meets in the heptathlon and decathlon respectively. Kaiser's coaching successes envelop a career that has included working with 27 NCAA All-Americans, 4 Olympic Trials qualifiers, the Mexican National record holder in the shot put, 16 Big Ten Conference champions, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions, 5 Conference USA Champions and 93 NCAA Regional and/or Championship qualifiers. In fact, Kaiser has coached field event athletes to NCAA qualifications in every single field event.
Throughout his career, Kaiser-coached athletes have set and reset some 57 school records, and 9 All-time conference records in the Big Ten and C-USA Conferences. Over his coaching career, Kaiser has instructed numerous athletes that have found national and international experiences. In 2002, DePaul's Carey Ryan won NCAA All-American accolades in the weight and hammer throws, and then went on to represent Team USA in the hammer throw at the 2002 North America Central America (NACAC) U-23 Championships held in Texas, which he won. He also tutored Frank Guzman who captured two Mexican national titles and holds the DePaul school indoor and outdoor record as well as the Mexican national record in the shot put (64-7). In addition to the success of Guzman, Kaiser coached Wake Forest's Catrina Bindel to NCAA All-America honors in the heptathlon before she competed in the 1997 World University Games and boasted a top-five finish at the 1998 USA Nationals. Whitehead also went on to represent TEAM USA at the 2004 World Jr. Championships in Italy and the 2006 NACAC Under-23 Championships in the Dominican Republic where he finished third.
As the men's and women's field events coach at Purdue, Kaiser's athletes gained recognition at both the conference and national level. Among his notable Boilermaker athletes are Chris Brown, a three-time NCAA All-American in the weight and hammer events, and six-time Big Ten champion (weight, shot put, hammer), and Serene Ross, a two-time All-American (hammer, javelin) under Kaiser's guidance. In 2002, Ross went on to capture U.S. and NCAA individual titles and went on to twice set the U.S. javelin record. The Boilermaker women pole vaulter's captured the first five Big Ten pole vault titles following the event's inception at the conference meet in 1999. Among the athletes he coached were Kierstin Doyle who claimed both indoor and outdoor titles during that first season while becoming the first female vaulter to reach the 12-foot plateau in Big Ten history. Amy Spellmeyer -- an NCAA All-American was the first to clear 13 feet.
Additionally, 29 of Kaiser's student-athletes have been honored with Academic All-Big Ten distinction at Purdue and Michigan, while receiving 35 Michigan Academic Achievement Awards.
In addition to the on the field coaching successes, Kaiser has established his ability to recruit top American high school athletes as well as international talent. In his first three seasons at Michigan, Kaiser secured three of the nation's top recruits in their respective events. Sean Pruitt was the No. 1-ranked high school discus thrower while Brendan Lodge, was listed among the top five in both the weight and hammer throw. Frank Shotwell was ranked among the top-10 intermediate hurdles in the US while Jamaican jumper Robert Peddlar came to Michigan equally well respected in the long and triple jumps.
While at Purdue, Kaiser signed the top American hammer thrower, John Paul Smolenski, as well as a pair of Croatian-born athletes, Igor Kirin and Nedzad Mulabegovic. Mulabegovic went on to become a two-time NCAA All-American and a member of the 2004 and 2008 Croatian Olympic team. While at Clemson, he was able to secure sign five top junior level athletes from Finland in multi-event specialists Katja Pettinen, Annu Montell, Aija Kortesoja, triple jumper Jessica Hartikainen and 400 meter hurdle specialist Annika Kumlin.
Kaiser graduated from the University of Kansas in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. In 1992, he earned an M.S. in education with a concentration in sports administration and biomechanics from Kansas.
A native of Quinter, Kan., Kaiser currently resides in Milan, Mich., with his wife, Amanda, and daughters Suzannah and Katie.
What Other People Are Saying About David Kaiser...
"Coach Kaiser is an excellent coach. He definitely knows what he's talking about. Through the years we had developed a relationship where I could trust him with whatever he told me. The amount of trust that we have for each other allowed us to be dynamic in everything that we did." - Michael Whitehead (U-M track & field, 2004-07)
"I had the opportunity to work with Dave at the University of Kansas and for a while post-collegiately. He brought a sincere dedication and enthusiasm for track and field to practice every day. I knew I could trust his eye for technique analysis, and I often relied on his feedback during my vault sessions." - Scott Huffman, 1996 Olympian and three-time U.S. pole vault champion
"In the three years under coach Kaiser's wings, I noticed that not only was he a good coach, he was a mentor and a friend as well as a listener and a leader. He had a very well planned-out training routine and devoted much `blood, sweat and tears' to his athletes." - Chris Brown, three-time NCAA All-America at Purdue