T&F adds 14 state champions, and a two-time All-American to roster
Entering his 17th season as an assistant coach with SFA track and field, Ron McCown has been there every step of the away through the programs unprecedented run of success of 32 Conference Championships. McCown has proven himself as a versatile coach during his time at SFA working with the horizontal jumps and the multi-events. McCown's athletes have recorded 27 individual conference titles, 13 NCAA qualifying marks and 12 school records.
He saw great success during the 2014 season with Shambrail Woods and Cody Rhodes sweeping the multi-events titles at the Southland Conference Championships both indoors and outdoors. In addition to those four conference titles, McCown coached Jamal Peden to his first NCAA Championship appearance. After winning the SLC Championship in the long jump outdoors, Peden advanced through the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds to qualify for the championship meet where he would finish in 23rd place. He also coached Peden at the USA Track & Field Championships, where he finished 13th.
In 2013, his multi-event athletes finished out the season placing three decathletes in the top eight and two heptathletes in the top eight in the Southland Conference Championships. Cody Rhodes (decathlon) and Shambrail Woods (heptathlon) finished in the runner-up position, to earn All-Conference honors. Kelli Hermes was the SLC individual champion in the triple jump and Jamal Peden qualified for the first round of the NCAA championships in the long Jump and triple Jump.
McCown's athletes have also produced on a national level. In 2013, Peden posted the 18th best performance mark in the country in the long jump with a jump of 7.77 meters (25'6''). In 2012, Jamal posted marks of 25'8.75'' (7.84m) and 52'6''(16.00m), which ranked ranked 13th in Division I. In 2011, Chris Jones posted a mark of 7,380 points in the decathlon at the Texas Relays. The mark ranked Jones at number 28 in Division I. The 2008 season saw Aaron Harlan qualify for the NCAA Championships in the decathlon, with a personal best of 7,319 points. Aaron is also the school record holder in the heptathlon. In 2007, former Ladyjack Leah Matthews, a converted hurdler, became one of the school's top long jumpers and multi-event athletes under McCown's guidance. Matthews also became one of the country's top long jumpers. Already the SFA record holder, Matthews shattered her old mark by jumping 20-8.00 to finish second at the regional meet, earning all-region honors and advancing to the NCAA Championships. That same season, McCown worked with the men's and women's high jumpers, who closed out the year recording six regional qualifying marks and winning two league individual titles. The groups also added a third all-conference honor during the '07 outdoor campaign. In 2006, former Ladyjack Crystal Chang dominated the SLC by winning the league's heptathlon individual title and advancing to the NCAA Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Chang just missed All-America honors, finishing 12th in the pentathlon at the indoor championships. In the outdoor season, Chang returned to the championships and recorded a personal-best of 5,266 points in the heptathlon.
McCown's ability to scout talent has been proven consistently over the years. Former Ladyjacks Jennifer Schreiner and Tracy Schuup came to SFA with a different event focus, but McCown took their skills and helped them excel in other areas. Schreiner went from having never vaulted before, to becoming one of the league's top pole vaulters clearing a height of 12-10. He converted Schuup from a 400-meter hurdler into a two-time all-conference athlete who closed out her career as a conference champion in the heptathlon.
McCown has coached school record holders for the pentathlon, indoor heptathlon, women's indoor and outdoor high jump, women's indoor triple jump, and women's outdoor long jump.
McCown is a 1996 SFA graduate. He is a two-time NCAA Division I National qualifier in the decathlon with a personal best of 7,564 points. He was selected to participate in the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival. McCown also competed in the 1995 Team USA vs. Canada Decathlon competition. He placed seventh at the NCAA Championships in 1994 to earn All-American honors, and was an NJCAA All-American for Odessa College in 1992. McCown was honored as one of the best athletes in SFA history when he was inducted into the SFA Athletics Hall of Fame in October 2010.
McCown received his master's degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State in 2002. He received his bachelor's degree from SFA in 1996. McCown and his wife, Tracy, have a son, Sheldon.
The McCown Résumé • 27 SLC Individual Champions •13 NCAA Qualifiers • 12 School Records