COACHING STAFF

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HEAD Coach: Laurier Primeau

Laurier competed in both the decathlon and 400m hurdles internationally for Canada. He was the driving force behind the growth of the Vancouver Thunderbirds and coach with the club, at Saint Georges (where they won a BC High School team title under his reign) and at UBC before taking up the position as Head Coach with Scottish Athletics then Head Coach at Trinity Western University. He is currently Head Coach Track and Field at the University of British Columbia.

laurier.primeau@ubc.ca


JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT COACHES (FOR AGES 9-13)

GRAEME FELL    Junior Development Head Coach: runnergraeme@gmail.com

GRAEME FELL

Junior Development Head Coach: runnergraeme@gmail.com

Graeme began his career as a club athlete in England running cross-country and competing in all events. Specializing in steeplechase as he grew older, he earned National team spots on first Britain and then Canada. Competed at Commonwealth, Olympic and World Championships and is the former Canadian Record Holder in the 3000m steeplechase. He has been an elementary teacher for 16 years and has coached at elementary, high school and at the international level. His goal is to build successful, life long, athletes. Currently, Graeme is in charge of the Junior Development program, and advises on athlete development and program creation at virtually every level of the sport.

BRAEDEN CHARLTON: braeden@thunderbirdstrack.org    Junior Development East Coach (XC&TRACK)

BRAEDEN CHARLTON: braeden@thunderbirdstrack.org

Junior Development East Coach (XC&TRACK)

Braeden has been coaching with the Thunderbirds for the past 5 years, assisting with the Junior Development program and local elementary school outreach programs.  He is now the Lead Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track and Field Coach in Burnaby.  Throughout university, Braeden has competed at the NCAA cross country championships twice with SFU, as well as multiple all-conference finishes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in both cross country and track.


ENDURANCE COACHES

(FOR AGES 14+ MIDDLE AND LONG DISTANCES, CROSS COUNTRY)

CHRIS JOHNSON 

Head of Endurance: cjohnson@stgeorges.bc.ca

Chris competed at the national level in the 800m level and transferred the knowledge he built up during his lengthy track career into coaching. He is the former head of cross country and track and field at St. George's School where his teams won several individual and team titles at the BC High School Championships, including the overall team title (boys and girls combined) at the 2012 BC High School Track and Field Championships with a boys only team. Chris has helped guide four Thunderbird middle distance athletes to spots on the Canadian National team and several of his athletes have run for Team BC in national level competition. In July 2015, he was also appointed Lead Endurance Coach at the University of British Columbia.

SEAN DAWSON

Assistant INTERMEDIATE Endurance Coach: sdawson@wpga.ca

Sean Dawson has been coaching cross-country and track and field for the past 12 years.  He is a teacher and is the Head of the P.E. department at West Point Grey Academy.  As well, he is the head of the school's cross country and track and field teams, and has won team titles at the BC High School Championships. Sean is a certified run, jump, throw instructor and is a NCCP Level III endurance coach. Prior to teaching, Sean was a registered massage therapist at UBC Sports Massage Therapy, and was a competitive road cyclist, competing in North America and Europe

CINDY CROWTHER

Head INTERMEDIATE  Endurance Coach: cindy@thunderbirdstrack.org

Crowther comes to the Thunderbirds with extensive experience in high-school age middle distance oversight.  From 2000 – 2008 she coached with the Golden Ears Track and Field Club and was instrumental in the careers of Jamie Clark (3:52 1500m in grade 12) and Brianna Chipney (multi-time BCHS track and field medalist). 

Cindy brings incredible perspective reference pedagogy and appropriate development in formative and adolescent endurance running.  Some of her qualification in this area comes from her day-time profession in special needs for elementary school children, while a significant piece of her philosophy has evolved from her own experiences as an athlete.  Cindy still holds the BC record for 13 year olds in the 3000 meters (10:15.2), and she qualified for the U20 World Cross Country team as a 14 year old. Further, she twice won the U20 category of the Sun Run – when she was in 6th and 7th grade respectively.  Foremost in her applied principles is that working hard and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Cindy wants the athletes she works with to perform at the highest level they can, within the context of being in the sport for life.  She believes that running is an activity that is lifelong and should be perceived as more than just a teenage pursuit. 

 


INTERMEDIATE POWER SPEED COACHES

(FOR AGES 14+ Sprints, Hurdles, Throws, Jumps)

 ANDREW COOKE

Head intermediate Sprint and Hurdles Coach: cooke@thunderbirdstrack.org

Originally from Vancouver, Andrew is a former UBC Alumni and National level athlete, who actively uses these experiences to help athletes grow and meet their potential. Andrew has been coaching with the Thunderbirds for seven years, with over twenty five years of experience in Track and Field. Andrew holds his Level III NCCP Certification in Sprints and Hurdles, has coached Provincial Champions and National Level athletes. 

Furthermore, in 2017 Andrew took on the lead role as our Masters Track and Field Coach. Andrew provides an enthusiastic approach to all power/speed events, with exceptional attention to detail, form, and work ethic. 

 JENNY CARRIQUE

Intermediate Sprint Coach: jenny@thunderbirdstrack.org

Jenny has been coaching with the Thunderbirds for the past 2 years in several different areas, primarily with the Intermediate Power/Speed group, as well as the Junior Development group, School Outreach programs, and the summer camps. During her 5 year varsity career with the University of Waterloo, Jenny specialized in the 200m and 300m. She was team captain for 3 years and competed at the national level at CIS/USports each year. Along with her extensive track & field experience, Jenny is a high school mathematics teacher, who has tutored many Thunderbird athletes.

IULIANA KROEGER

Head Coach, Thunderbirds Surrey (JD-Intermediate Power Speed + Jumps):

iuliana@thunderbirdstrack.org

Iuliana was born and raised in Romania where she competed at the national level in hurdles, long jump and heptathlon. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Sports, with specialization in track and field form the National University of Phys-Ed and Sports Bucharest (UNEFS). She is a Level 2 Track and Field coach in Romania. She has worked as a physiotherapist for the International Red Cross in the management of the spinal cord injury patients in Vancouver. She is a BC fitness trainer, weight trainer and personal trainer. She is currently a Level 2 coach with UBC Thunderbirds Club in Surrey where she has tremendous passion in developing athletes' skills and enhancing their abilities to the highest level. She also uses the sport of track and field as a tool for their personal development. . Recently, Iuliana competed in the World Masters Championship, placing 4th in the Pentathlon for Canada. She is a BC Masters record holder in both triple jump and pentathlon events in the 41-45-year age group. She was the Head Coach for the BC Summer Games 2014 - Zone 3 Team, as well as the 2018 BC Summer Games Zone 4 Team Head Coach. 

LARRY BLASCHUK 

Jumps Coach: lsblaschuk@hotmail.com

First involved in track as an International level official before being invited to start coaching, Larry has been with the Vancouver Thunderbirds since 2006. He has coached numerous BC High School champions, Canadian Junior and Senior Champions, and Western Canada and Canada Summer Games medalists. Larry was the personal coach for Mike Mason, the BC Record holder in the event and a longtime National Team member as a World Junior Champion, a 2008 Olympian, a 2010 Commonwealth Games team member, and a FISU and NACAC medalist.  Larry is motivated to continue to give back to the sport that he feels passionately about. 

BYRON JACK

Horizontal Jumps Coach: udonojack@hotmail.com

Byron reached the National level as a triple-jump athlete and has been coaching since 1985. He has degrees in Physical Education and Education and is certified as a level 3 Jumps Coach. Byron still competes at the Masters’ Level internationally.

TOM WILCOX

LEAD Throws Coach: tom@thunderbirdstrack.org

As a youth, Tom won gold in the shot put at the 2008 Canadian Youth Championships. He also captured silver at the 2010 Canadian Junior Championships. Tom holds the BC Youth Male record of 18.20m. He would go on to compete four years for the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. As a Tiger, Tom was a NCAA Regional qualifier and was also named to the 2012 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team (3.25 GPA and Top 100 in event). Prior to joining the Thunderbirds, Tom spent 5 years coaching with the Coquitlam Cheetahs – his youth club. 

GORDON POLJAK

Pole Vault Coach: gordon.poljak@thunderbirdstrack.org

During his sport career, Gordan was Croatian the record holder in pole vault, as well as 3-time national champion. He also competed for the Croatian and Yugoslavian Track and Field team. Since moving to Canada in 2002 Gordan, has been involved in pole vault as a Masters athlete and assistant coach.

BILL FISHER

Pole Vault Coach: w.d.fisher-arch@telus.net

Bill Fisher competed nationally and internationally in the pole vault. Bill was national juvenile (youth) and junior champion and was selected for the National Junior Team for a European tour. Previously Bill coached Bruce Simpson, former Canadian champion in the pole vault.