Steven Rajewsky recently completed his third season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan men's track and field team, working primarily with the Wolverine sprinters and hurdlers.
In 2016, Rajewsky helped lead U-M to the best season of the Jerry Clayton Era and the best since 1997, as the team earned a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and finished fourth during the indoor conference meet, just two points shy of second place before tying for 13th during the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He coached Taylor McLaughlin to All-American honors in the 400-meter hurdles (5th place) as a true freshman.
During the conference outdoor meet, U-M totaled 90.5 points, its highest program scoring performance since 2008. Rajewsky helped Taylor McLaughlin to his first career Big Ten gold medal when he ran 49.80 to win the 400-meter hurdles out of lane one, the fastest time by any freshman in the NCAA in 2016. That came just months after he coached McLaughlin to a new program record in the indoor 400-meter dash (46.42) during his conference championships debut, and Rajewsky also helped U-M break its 12-year old Distance Medley Relay (DMR) record during the indoor season. The squad of Chase Barnett (1,200m), Phil Washington III (400m), Brennan Munley (800m) and Mason Ferlic (1,600m) timed 9:27.67 to break the record at Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational (Feb. 20), and with Washington III, switched for McLaughlin, went on to have its first All-American DMR since 2007, placing eighth at the NCAA Championships as the Wolverines secured five All-American honors overall.
In his second season in Ann Arbor, Rajewsky helped U-M to its best performance at the Big Ten Indoor Championships since 2009, featuring a pair of individual conference champions and a fifth-place finish. Rajewsky guided Chris Maye to the 60m title, helping him become Michigan's first conference champion in the event since 2009. The Maize and Blue went 1-2-5 in the event, supplying Rajewsky with a pair of all-conference performers in Maye (first-team) and runner-up Codie Nolan (second-team).
Rajewsky helped Ali Arastu break the 28-year old indoor program record in the 400m dash, formerly held by Omar Davidson, and under his direction, five of the top six times in U-M indoor history were recorded in the 60m dash, including the second-fastest mark (6.70) ever, by John Spooney.
During the outdoor season, Rajewsky guided a trio of Wolverines to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, all of whom competed in the 100m dash, giving U-M the most entries in that even in the entire east region, and tied for most in the nation.
He joined the U-M staff after spending the previous six seasons (2008-13) as an assistant coach at Kent State University, working with their men's and women's sprint and hurdles groups. During his time at KSU, he helped lead the Golden Flashes to eight Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships, including four straight women's outdoor titles (2010-13), three women's indoor crowns (2010, 2012-13) and the 2009 men's indoor championship. Under Rajewsky's guidance, his student-athletes garnered three MAC Athlete of the Year citations and three MAC Indoor Track Performer of the Meet awards. In addition, he coached 28 MAC champions, 64 All-MAC performers, 11 school-record holders, 12 NCAA East Preliminary qualifiers, one NCAA Championship qualifier and three USA Junior Championship participants.
Prior to his stint at Kent State, Rajewsky spent two seasons at Ball State University as a graduate assistant coach (2006-08), working with the Cardinals' jumps, hurdles and multi-event student-athletes. Throughout the Fall of 2006, Rajewsky also gained valuable experience as the interim head coach during a coaching staff transition. Under his watch, Rajewsky's student-athletes recorded nine MAC individual titles, five school records, 19 All-MAC performances, seven NCAA Mid-East Regional qualifying performances and four NCAA Championship qualifying performances. Rajewsky guided two-time MAC record-holder Amber Williams to All-America honors in the 100-meter hurdles, a fourth-place finish at the USA Indoor Championships and participation at the 2007 USA Championships. During his time at Ball State, Rajewsky also earned his Master of Arts in sports administration for higher education in 2008.
Rajewsky is no stranger to Big Ten track and field, earning his start in Division I coaching as a volunteer assistant coach with the women's track and field program at the University of Minnesota from 2004-06. He concentrated on the Gophers' sprints, jumps, hurdles and multi-event groups. In 2006, he helped lead Minnesota to the Big Ten Outdoor championship, guiding six student-athletes to individual conference titles. He also directed three Big Ten Freshmen of the Year, five school record-holders, seven NCAA Championship qualifiers, six NCAA All-Americans and one NCAA champion (800-meter run).
The Blue Earth, Minn., native was hired to U-M's staff on Sept. 18, 2013. In his own athletic career, Rajewsky native was a six-time All-MIAC performer and 2004 team captain of the University of St. Thomas men's track and field program. Rajewsky was a 2003 Provisional NCAA Championship qualifier and helped lead St. Thomas to eight MIAC team titles (indoor and outdoor championships from 2000-04). He graduated from St. Thomas in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a teaching licensure in social studies.
Rajewsky has spoken at, and helped direct, several camps and clinics across the country in both track and field and basketball.
Rajewsky resides in Ypsilanti with his wife Ellannee, a two-time NCAA runner-up in the heptathlon and five-time All-American in the heptathlon and sprints while at Washington State University, where coached sprinters for 11 years.
Rajewsky by the Numbers
Has coached one NCAA champion
Has guided his athletes to one first-team NCAA All-American citation at U-M (McLaughlin)
45 conference champions, including two at Michigan (one indoor: Maye, and one outdoor: McLaughlin)
Has coached 21 school record-holders, including one at Michigan
Has coached his athletes to 92 all-conference honors, including 3 at Michigan (two indoor: Maye, Nolan, one outdoor: McLaughlin)
Has coached four NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers at Michigan
Has been a member of 17 conference title-winning teams as an athlete and coach