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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Ross Richardson and Julie Stackhouse, who combined bring over 15 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level, have been named assistant coaches of the Virginia track and field/cross country program, director of track and field/cross country Jason Vigilante announced Monday (Oct. 3).

Richardson, who will work primarily with the UVa throwers, has coached nine All-Americans and 18 NCAA championship qualifiers throughout his career. He comes to Charlottesville after a year at Miami (Ohio) University, but spent five campaigns at Purdue, where eight Boilermakers under Richardson’s tutelage earned Big Ten crowns.

For his efforts, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association selected Richardson as the 2007 Mideast Region Women’s Throws Coach of the Year.

“Ross is who we’re looking for because he has a meticulous eye for detail, is very well prepared and is a fantastically accomplished coach,” Vigilante said. “I’m very fortunate that he’ll be on our staff and working with our great throws crew.”

Before to his time at Purdue, Richardson spent one year as an assistant coach at Sacramento State University. Prior to his season with the Hornets, Richardson coached at Western Illinois from 2000 to 2004 and at Garden City (Kan.) Community College from 1997 to 2000.

“It is really exciting being at a place that combines a world-class education with an athletic department whose trademark is achievement at the highest levels of the NCAA,” Richardson said. “Coach Vigilante is creating an atmosphere in the cross country and track programs of academic success along with great performance at the national level and it is invigorating and motivating to operate within that vision.”

Richardson is a certified USATF Level II coach in the throws and jumps, as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

A native of Mount Carroll, Ill., Richardson graduated from Monmouth College in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He earned All-America honors in track and field and football while competing for the Fighting Scots. In 1992, he completed his teaching certification at Western Illinois and began teaching and coaching in Avon, Ill. During the fall of 2003, Richardson was inducted into the Monmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Stackhouse, who will work primarily with women’s distance runners at UVa, coached four years at the University of North Florida before spending a year at the Air Force Academy, where in one season she coached five Mountain West All-Conference performers in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“I was looking for a person with a diverse track and field background, not necessarily a distance coach per se,” Vigilante said. “Her knowledge of the sprints is going to be a tremendous benefit for our ladies and the training they need to do for distance and middle-distance running. She has an amazing wealth of knowledge, has an enthusiastic personality and I think she is a gem for our program.”

At North Florida, Stackhouse was the Ospreys’ first full-time assistant coach and helped transition the program from Division II to Division I. In four years, the Ospreys improved their performance in the Atlantic Sun from eighth to third and in 2006, Emily Kohler earned the A-Sun’s Most Outstanding Field Performer honor under Stackhouse’s guidance.

“It is a tremendous privilege to be able to work alongside nationally-renowned Coach Vigilante and the staff he has assembled at UVa,” Stackhouse said. “The academic and athletic prowess of the University aligns to the core with my values and professional goals and I am looking forward to working with the elite student-athletes of strong character who call UVa home as well as the ones to soon join the Cavalier family.”

Stackhouse, who graduated from Furman in 2001 with a degree in health and exercise science and earned a master’s degree in the same field from Furman in 2002, served as the Southeast Region cross country representative on the Division I Executive Committee. She spent two years at Clemson as a member of the track and field team before transferring to Furman. She is also a USATF certified Level I and Level II coach in sprints, hurdles, jumps and combined events.

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