Coaches

Mark Thomas

Events: Sprints
Qualifications: UK level 4 coach, sprints & 4 x 100m relay, 400m & 4 x 400m relay

Mark has been the mastermind behind our powerful 400 metre relay squads of recent years which have come 4th, 6th and 3rd in the last three years, breaking the Oxford record in the last two BUCS Finals.


Paddy O'Shea

Events: Horizontal jumps
Qualifications: UKA Performance Coach

Paddy started coaching at OUAC in 2007 following the arrival of Andrew Bullimore, who he had coached to 2nd at English Schools that year, at Oxford. More recently he has guided former Oxford Captain Daniel Hooker to the brink of Paralympic qualification during his time with OUAC while developing a deep and strong horizontal jumps squad.


Eric Brees

Events: Sprints, Relays and Hurdles
Qualifications: UK Level 4 Sprints & Hurdles

Eric has spend a long time in the sport. His roles as coach have ranged from team to event-specific coaching positions, with his time being shared between his local club Enfield & Haringey, the SEAA teams competing within UK and Europe, and his work (in his words) “with the mighty OUAC”. Over the years he has been involved in BAAB Coaching Education, lecturing and practical coaching to Levels 1, 2 and 3. He has also spent time as a “mentor” to coaches outside his club. He has been involved as a coach and director for 31 years at the Bournemouth Young Athletes Course. Finally he has recently been part of the coaching team for Active Sports Development, a programme set up to nature talented athletes. He was invited to join OUAC in the 1989/1990 season and is pleased to be able to say that he’s still popping down as and when! He has told us that he “very much enjoys meeting athletes, having a hand in their development and watching their progress no matter how large or small.” He says that “my highlight of the year is our annual trips to Portugal, which are always a pleasure to attend and offer a great opportunity for OUAC athletes to train and bond together before the season kicks off.”


Colin Mitchell

Events: Sprints

Colin started working with OUAC in 2009, having spent many years coaching at Abingdon AC, and quickly earned his place in the hearts of the sprinters with his focus on pure speed ensuring that sharpness is maintained even in the depths of hard winter training. Now providing sessions on alternate Wednesdays to ensure that session runs every week, we are delighted at the 50% increase in his coaching time.


Richard Franzese

Events: Long distance and steeplechase

As an athlete Richard Franzese did it all at Oxford. Won the Cross Country Match, twice. Won the Varsity Mile. Won the Harvard/Yale 5000. As of 2012 he has been developing the next generation of Oxford athletes with similar aplomb. Will Mycroft won bronze in the BUCS Steeplechase of 2013 in no small part due to his attention to detail while Sean Ledger went from having never been selected for better than the 4th team before to coming 2nd in the Blues Cross Country Match of 2012. These are just the first steps in what will doubtless be a very successful coaching career.


Jenny Harris

Events: Middle and long distance

Jenny, the England Athletics National Coach Mentor for Youth Endurance events, arrived as coach to OUCCC and OUAC in 2011 and set about modernising our long distance training. Our skinnies have quickly become not so skinny with the introduction of more conditioning sessions to complement the necessary mileage work on the roads and sessions on the track. Oxford’s strong tradition in the middle distances has been maintained with the emergence of Tom Frith making the last two BUCS 1500 finals and Jess Chen breaking into the all time top 10 for 3000 and 5000. With her feet now firmly under the table, expect more such performances from Jenny’s athletes in the coming years.


Ian Marriott

Events: Shot, Discus and Javelin

Ian was hired as lead OUAC throws coach in 2012 and quickly demonstrated that, although he had been primarily been a decathlon coach in the past, he was perfectly capable of developing specialist skills in the throws events. For the two previous years the throws had been dominated by Cambridge but his commitment to building a strong squad led to much more even results at the 2013 Varsity Match.


Kevin O'Hara

Events: Discus and Hammer

Based at Radley AC, where he has coached his daughter Emma to 2nd place in the UK Junior Rankings, Kevin welcomed OUAC athletes into his group in 2012 and they soon welcomed his expert eye being applied to their throwing. In particular, his work with the male Discus throwers close to Varsity was credited for the surprise 1-2 won in that event on Varsity day while the breaking of the Hammer record in the Women’s 2nd team match demonstrated the strength in depth that the squad developed for that event under his tutelage.


Kay Reynolds

Events: Hurdles

A sub 14 second high hurdler at her best, Kay has still been known to get on the track at Town v Gown and show the Oxford hurdlers how to do it as a Masters Athlete. Her coaching record is similarly strong, coaching dozens of athletes at Radley AC including developing Ashley Johnson into a national level high hurdler. OUAC have been fortunate to have her knowledgeable input since 2009.


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17th May 2014
The Varsity Match

150th Anniversary