Vermillion South Dakota — Sheldon native and three-time Olympian A.G. Kruger III will coach the throws at the University of South Dakota beginning with the 2015-16 season. That announcement was made by South Dakota director of track and field and cross country Lucky Huber.
Kruger will arrive in Vermillion fresh from competition at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He is scheduled to throw the hammer on Saturday, August 22nd. Kruger qualified for the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympic Games in the hammer throw. He competed on a total of five World Championship teams and qualified for 14 U.S. National Championships.
“We are excited to add someone with A.G.’s character and experience to our program,” said Huber. “I have no doubt he is one of the best young throw coaches in the country.”
Kruger comes to South Dakota after spending the past 13 years training, coaching and teaching at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. He holds Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification, Functional Movement Screening (FMS) certification and is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
“I am excited to join the South Dakota athletics department,” said Kruger. “I hope to help the track and field programs continue their tradition of excellence.”
In 2014, Kruger broke American records in the 35-pound weight throw and 56-pound ultra weight throw. He also holds the 35-39 age group World record for the throws pentathlon, a combined event consisting of the hammer throw, shot put, discus throw, javelin throw and weight throw.
Kruger is no stranger to the DakotaDome. He set the DakotaDome weight throw record with a mark of 77 feet, 7 ½ inches in 2006.
A 2001 graduate of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Kruger earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education. He was a NCAA Division II national champion in the hammer throw as a senior. He was also named the 2001 NCAA DII National Outdoor Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Kruger was inducted into Morningside’s Hall of Fame in 2008 and the NCAA DII Hall of Fame in 2010.
Kruger and his wife, Laura, have two children: Geo (age 4) and Marina (age 2).
Kruger replaces throws coach Tyler Custis, who accepted a full-time teaching position in USD’s business school.
“I want to thank Tyler for his work with the throwers,” said Huber. “He has been a key part of our coaching staff for the past five years. He was not only a great throws coach, but is also someone that has helped South Dakota track and field raise the bar.”