Entering his fourth year as Head Coach and 21st year with the Tigers' Track & Field program, Brett Halter continues to establish himself as one of the premier coaches in the nation. Already renowned for his work with the throwing events when he took over the program in August 2010, Halter has continued to build the success story of Mizzou Track & Field throughout the last three years and has set the program up well to continue the momentum into the future.
Halter's primary coaching responsibility has been in the throws disciplines. During this time, Halter has developed and demonstrated a brilliant understanding of the various technical aspects of the throws. He has combined those skills with a passionate approach to recruiting and effective teaching to lead a long line of talented young Tiger athletes. In fact, Halter's accomplishments have led to him being invited to coach the throws for the US World Junior Team during 2010. He is also one of two coaches in the U.S. to hold the distinction of earning an IAAF Level V Certification.
2013 Season Halter's third year as Head Coach of the Tigers saw more athletes raise the bar as the record books continued to be re-written with 49 new All-Time Top Ten marks, four new indoor Missouri School Records and four outdoor Missouri School Records. Laura Roxberg (mile, 1500m), Dan Quigley (5000m), and Katrine Haarklau (pole vault, javelin) all continued dropping their School Record performances from 2012, and were joined on the top of the record boards by Kearsten Peoples (indoor shot put), Markesh Woodson (60m), and Chelsie Stevens (60m).
It was Mizzou's first year as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the teams showed their commitment to raising the bar to the level of the powerhouse conference, as the men walked away with an eighth-place finish at the indoor Championships, ninth at the outdoor Championships, and the women impressed with their jump from ninth during indoor to sixth at the outdoor Championships.
THE BRETT HALTER FILE
Education: B.A. in Sociology - Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania ('93) M.A. in Public Admin. - Univ. of Missouri ('95) M.A. in Education - Univ. of Missouri ('96)
As a Coach...
60 All-Americans 23 Conference Champions 9 Olympic Trials qualifiers 1 Olympic Silver Medalist 1 IAAF World Outdoor Champion 2 IAAF World Indoor Champions 2008 USTFCCCA Midwest Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year 2006 USTFCCCA Mideast Region Throws Coach of the Year USATF Level III Certified Throws Coach IAAF Level V Certification - Elite Coach Throwing Events
Halter had his first SEC Champion in freshman stand-out Markesh Woodson, who shocked the sprint-heavy SEC with a win in the 60m dash. Woodson dropped the school record in the event four times throughout the indoor season and went on to earn the SEC Freshman of the Year and an All-American honor during the indoor season. Halter's second SEC Champion was returning record-holder Kearsten Peoples, who earned her third School Record with the shot put during the indoor season, and went on to win the event during the outdoor Championship.
On the national stage, Halter had ten All-American performances from athletes across the event board. Fresman Markesh Woodson (60m indoor, 100m outdoor), sophomore Kearsten Peoples (shot put), and seniors Malcolm Pennix (long jump) and Laura Roxberg (mile indoor, 1500m outdoor) all earned honors for both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships. Joining them at the NCAA Outdoor Championships were sophomore Katrine Haarklau (pole vault) and senior Dan Quigley (5000m).
Halter's athletes found success in the classroom as well, with both teams and 11 individuals earning spots on the USTFCCCA All-Academic lists. An additional 67 student-athletes made it onto the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll, including 12 First-Year Academic Honor Roll honorees.
2012 Season Fourteen Tigers earned All-SEC honors during their debut year in the conference. Rounding out the indoor season were the All-American performances from Woodson (60m), Roxberg (mile), Peoples (shot put), and Malcolm Pennix (long jump). Six more All-American finishes ended the outdoor season with the return of Woodson (100m), Roxberg (1500m), Peoples (shot put), and Pennix (long jump), and the addition of Quigley (5000m) and Haarklau (pole vault).
It didn't take long for Halter to find his rhythm as Head Coach. In his second season at the helm of Tigers Track & Field he coached six new Missouri School Records and six new All-Time Top Ten performances for the women, and three new Missouri School Records and 12 new All-Time Top Ten performances for the men.
Once again the young throws squad thrived under Halter's tutelage with sophomore Kearsten Peoples standing out with two new School Records in the shot put and discus, a couple All-American nods, and a fourth-place finish in the shot put competition at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Joining Peoples on the record board is a strong mid-distance and distance contingent, with Dan Quigley (indoor/outdoor 5k), Max Storms (10k), and Laura Roxberg (mile/1500m) all making their mark on Mizzou Track & Field history. Rounding out the new class of Record Holders was senior Leslle Farmer (400m hurdles) and freshman Katrine Haarklau (pole vault).
Halter wrapped up the indoor season with a pair of Big 12 titles by Ricky West in the 800m and Roxberg in the mile, then an All-American finish by West in the same event. Another couple Big 12 Champions and three All-American performances during the outdoor season finished out year two for Halter. Roxberg repeated her winning performance with a first-place finish in the 1500m and was joined at the top of the podium by Peoples in the discus. Peoples went on to earn her first All-American honors in the shot put and discus, along with another All-American performance by West in the 800m.
In his first year as head coach, the Tiger track and field program showed plenty of potential highlighted by its youth and savvy veterans. In fact, Halter saw a couple Missouri School Records fall in his first year as head coach, as pole vault stand-out Brian Hancock took down the indoor and outdoor records in his event. Hancock was one of two All-Americans from the 2011 season and was joined on the NCAA podium by fellow-senior and combined events specialist Lars Rise.
The Tigers had fifteen Indoor All-Big 12 finishers, fourteen Outdoor All-Big 12 finishers, one Big 12 Champion in Lars Rise, and 21 NCAA First Round qualifiers to kick off Halter's career as a head coach.
There were plenty of other highlights from the Tigers, including from a young throws contingent that will likely be the cornerstone of the Mizzou program in the years to come. Highlighting this group of young Tigers was freshman Kearsten Peoples, who kicked off her Tiger career with an All-Big 12 finish in the weight throw. Halter also had a strong group of returners in the throwers as they picked up three Indoor All-Big 12 finishes, five Outdoor All-Big 12 finishes, and nine NCAA First Round qualifiers.
Mizzou's post-collegiate athletes also continued to perform, with Christian Cantwell voted as the world's no. 3 male athlete and top shot putter this season by Track & Field News.
Despite having a very young contingent of throwers in 2010, Halter's group once again flourished under his guidance. In fact, Halter led his student-athletes to 13 individual All-Big 12 honors in 2010 and sent six student-athletes to the first round of the NCAA Championships. He coached Andy Oaker to a third-place finish in the shot put at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and saw two of his athletes turn in fourth-place nods during the Big 12 Outdoor Championships - Chris Holly finished fourth in the hammer throw while Katie Evans was fourth in the discus.
What may be even more impressive is that, of the 13 individuals to claim All-Big 12 honors in 2010, 10 were underclassmen. Four of the six Tigers sent to the NCAA Championships were also underclassmen, setting up a bright future for the throws at Mizzou.
Halter's throwers, in particular Chris Rohr and Krishna Lee, put together one of the finest seasons in Mizzou history in 2009. Combined with what former Tiger and current Halter understudy Christian Cantwell did at the IAAF Outdoor World Championships over the summer, 2009 may indeed have been one of Halter's finest. Rohr added two more All-America honors to his already impressive ledger and picked up a pair of Big 12 Championships along the way. He also reset the league's championship meet record in the hammer throw at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. Halter's tutelage also led Rohr to a USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Field Athlete of the Year award during the indoor season, and a third-place national finish in the weight throw.
Lee highlighted the throwers on the women's side for Halter's athletes. The Tiger senior earned a pair of All-America honors and her first-ever individual Big 12 title as she blasted the competition in the women's hammer throw at the Big 12 Championships. Lee also took home the Big 12's "Most-Points-Scored" tropy as she totaled 21 in her three events at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. She finished first in the hammer, second in the shot put, and sixth in the discus.
Cantwell put the exclamation point on the end of the season for Halter and his athletes as he earned an IAAF World Outdoor Championship title in the shot put. Cantwell bested 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Tomasz Majewski in the event, who had thrown the world's best throw in the fifth round at the championships. Cantwell, undaunted by Majewski, stepped up and left little doubt about who was the best thrower in the world as he tossed a throw of 22.03m (72-3.5) in his very next attempt after Majewski set the world-leading mark. The outdoor gold for Cantwell gives him three IAAF Gold Medals as he picked up a pair of indoor titles earlier in his career. He is one of only two throwers to have claimed a pair of indoor world championships.
The 2008 season was full of many successes for Halter's pupils. In addition to having five Tigers earn All-America honors during the collegiate season, Halter's tutelage of post-collegian Christian Cantwell produced a second IAAF World Indoor Championship and an Olympic Silver Medal for the elite shot putter.
Chris Rohr gained his third All-American honor with the weight throw during the indoor season, accomplishing the feat after throwing a Mizzou school-record and then a collegiate-leading mark of 22.26m (73-0.25) at the UCM Classic in Warrensburg. The following week, Rohr connected on an even better throw of 22.42m (73-6.5) at the Big 12 Indoor Championships to earn second place. Rorh would go on to also earn an All-American honor in the hammer throw during the outdoor season.
Jason Morris nabbed his second All-American honor with the hammer during the outdoor season. Shernelle Nicholls earned sixth place at the NCAA Indoor Championships to earn herself an All-American honor, while Krishna Lee also earned herself an All-American spot in the same event. Nate Englin swept Big 12 shot put titles in 2008, winning during both the indoor and outdoor championships. He was the league's co-high scorer during thd indoor championships.
In total, Halter saw the Tigers to 28 All-Big 12 honors among the indoor and outdoor league meets. The Tiger men earned four spots in the weight throw and three in the shot put during the indoor season. Three Tigers also notched scoring spots during the outdoor season in the men's hammer throw, the women's shot put, and women's hammer throw.
Sensational Superlative Seasons
Throughout Halter's coaching career at Missouri, several seasons have been filled with major accomplishments.
In 2007, four Tiger throwers earned All-American honors, including three during the indoor season. Chris Rohr and Tyler Dailey earned certificates in the men's weight throw while Elisha Hunt had a breakthrough performance after placing fourth on the women's side. Rohr earned his second-straight honor in the event. During the indoor 2006 season, Halter put Missouri on the map in the weight throw as four Tigers scored in the Big 12 Indoor Championships while Rohr earned All-American honors with his national top-15 finish with the implement.
It was an outstanding 2006 outdoor season that followed for the Tigers. Five male throwers and female shot putter Elizabeth Robe qualified for the NCAA Championships. Halter also sent more men and women throwers to the NCAA Regional Championships than any other coach in the nation in 2006. Sophomore Jason Morris was impressive with the hammer throw, qualifying for the USATF Championships as well as the NCAA Championships, grabbing runner-up honors at the NCAA Mideast Regional, Big 12 Championships, and the Drake Relays. Englin and Bill Hobson earned top-five regional finishes with the shot, and Bobby Musil and Tyler Dailey joined Morris in the NCAA Championship hammer throw event. Nine Tiger male throwers gained 13 NCAA-Regional qualifying marks during the outdoor season, the most of any team in the nation.
In the 2005 indoor season, Conrad Woolsey won the Big 12 men's shot put title on his final throw, claiming Mizzou's fifth title in the event over a six-year span.l Holly Scherder claimed Missouri's first conference crown in the women's hammer in 2004, setting what was then the new Tiger record.
In 2003, Russ Bell became the first in Missouri history to garner All-American finishes in four separate events (2001: discus, 2002: weight throw and hammer throw, 2003: indoor shot put). That same season, Bell recorded a career-high 20 points at the Big 12 Championships while winning the conference's hammer throw title, and became a four-time Drake Relays Champion after winning two titles over his career in the shot and discus.
Tiger throwers eclipsed several milestones in 2002. Christian Cantwell became the first American collegiate to throw better than 70 feet in the shot put since 1992. Cantwell's mark of 70-4.5 set the Big 12 record while ranking him seventh in the world for the 2002 season. Russ Bell, Cantwell, and Micah Shanks each threw better than 70 feet in the weight throw, making Missouri the first school in collegiate history to have three 70-foot throwers in a single season.
In 2000, Cantwell set the Big 12 record in the shot put with a mark of 19.65m (64-6.25) as a freshman. This was the second-longest throw of all-time by an American college freshman. In addition, fellow first-year thrower Russ Bell earned USATF Junior All-American honors in the shot put, discus, and hammer. Bell also qualified for the junior team that toured Canada.
Halter was primarily responsible for the collegiate and now post-collegiate success of Olympian Christian Cantwell. Cantwell earned seven All-American honors and a Missouri school record during his time as a Tiger, and has since gone on to become an Olympic Silver Medalist and a four-time IAAF Indoor (2004, 2008, 2010) and Outdoor World Champion. Halter has remained Cantwell's coach through his years of post-collegian status. In 2004, Cantwell won his first IAAF World Indoor Championship title in the shot put, and recorded the world's longest throws in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. In 2005, Cantwell won the USATF Championship title, and advanced to the IAAF World Championships in Finland.
In 2008, Cantwell won his second indoor world title and an Olympic silver medal at the Beijing Games. Cantwell notched a second-place finish at the USATF Olympic Trials in late June to earn his first spot on an Olympic team. During the indoor season, Cantwell most likely became the first person to record a complete indoor, six-throw series with all marks topping 70 feet at the UCM Classic in Warrensburg. His best of the series, a heave of 22.18m (72-9.25), moved him to fifth on the All-Time World list indoors. A week later, Cantwell won his fifth USATF Championship title at the indoor meet in Boston. Also in 2008, Cantwell won his record-breaking sixth Drake Relays title.
In 2007, Cantwell won his third U.S. crown while also claiming a big bonus check in winning the Indoor VISA Championship Series after having the best all-around American performance with a season-best throw of 21.88m (71-9.25) at the Millrose Games.
In 2006, Cantwell recorded four throws better than the 22-meter mark (72-2.75), a feat accomplished only six times in the history of the World, and for the first time since 1990. Cantwell ranks fifth all-time in the World with seven career 22-meter throws.
2010 was maybe Cantwell's most dominant year on the world-wide circuit as he claimed his third IAAF World Indoor Championship - making him the only athlete to win three Indoor World Championships - and he claimed the USATF Championship title in the shot put. In 2010, Cantwell set the world's top two shot put marks and tossed three of the top five and six of the top ten. He threw the world's best mark for the year, 22.41m (73-6.25), in Eugene, OR, at the Prefontaine Classic.
Cantwell also clinched the Samsung Diamond Race title in Stockholm, Sweden, after resetting the meet record with a throw of 22.09m (72-5.75). That win, along with his wins in Doha, Oslo, Rome, and Eugene clinched him the title in the Samsung Diamond Series. In all, Cantwell eclipsed the 21.00m (69-0) mark in 14 of 15 meets, and eclipsed that mark in more than 80 meets in his career, showing a mark of consistency that has not been matched in the event. Also, Cantwell had won 20 consecutive shot put titles until his streak was snapped at the Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace in London on August 15. He finished third in that event with his worst throw of the season. But the 20-event win streak is as impressive as any feat ever accomplished in the sport.
Beyond the Rings
Halter's administrative skills play an integral role in Missouri's success. Prior to his move into the Head Coach position, Halter served as meet director for all home meets, including the hosting of three Big 12 Championships and the 2007 NCAA Mideast Regional, and played a key role in the design, development, and construction of the championships track facility. Since he began his tenure as Head Coach, Halter helped plan and run the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships, hosted by Mizzou during their first year in the conference. Additionally, Halter serves as the Director of the Missouri Track & Field Camp and the Missouri Thrower Development Camp.
He is an active member of the USA Track and Field Coaches' Education Program. Halter has completed Levels I, II, and III certification in the throws. He was coordinator of the Level II school held at MU in 1996. He has also earned his IAAF Level V Certification, making him only one of two coaches in the nation to hold that distinction.
His innovative and creative ideas have made him a popular clinic speaker. Most recently, in December 2008, Halter presented a seminar on "Moving Toward a High Level of Competence Through a Systematic Approach in the Rotational Shot Put" at the USA National Podium Project in Las Vegas. Halter also presented at the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials Super Clinic in Eugene, OR, on the topic "Coaching Big Guys in the Shot". At the 2007 USTFCCCA Convention in Phoenix, Halter conducted a symposium with Arizona State coach Dave Dumble on shot put techniques, presented to track and field coaches.
In 2005, Halter wrote "Progressions for Coaching the Shot Put and Discus", an instructional book on the throwing events for entry-level high school coaches. In addition, Halter has developed an instructional video entitled "Speed and Power for the Throws", that was produced by Championship Productions in 2006.
Halter competed in track and field at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He completed his bachelor's in sociology in 1993 and earned two master's degrees from the University of Missouri: the first in public administration (1995) and the second in education (1996).