Hyleas Fountain was named an assistant coach for the North Carolina A&T track and field programs by director of track and field programs Duane Ross on August 29, 2016. Fountain, a former Olympian, will serve as the Aggies throws and multi events coach.
Fountain comes to North Carolina A&T after spending two seasons (2014-2016) with the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The Wildcats throwers and multi event athletes strived under Fountain’s tutelage. There were six individual Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles won in either throws or multi events by four different Bethune-Cookman athletes during Fountain’s tenure. Those individual titles helped the Wildcat men win two MEAC championships apiece in indoor and outdoor while Fountain was an assistant.
Among the successful athletes coached by Fountain at Bethune-Cookman were Nnamdi Davis and Deidra Jordan. Davis won the indoor and outdoor MEAC championship in the men’s shot put under Fountain, while Deidra Jordan took the conference title in the heptathlon and the pentathlon in 2015. Fountain coached Chris Collins to the men’s javelin title at the 2016 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships and a qualifying mark to compete at the 2016 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round.
Desiree Richardson also thrived under Fountain with a 2015 indoor conference championship in the shot put and second-place finishes in the MEAC indoor weight throw and the MEAC outdoor shot put. In addition, Catoria Sirmon finished third in the shot put and Akassja White finished third in the discus at the 2016 MEAC outdoor championships.
Before entering the coaching ranks, Fountain earned the reputation of being one of the best track and field athletes in the world with multiple national titles and Olympic appearances. She tied the American record in the women’s pentathlon at the 2010 World Indoor Championships with a score of 4,753 points, finishing in fourth place. In 2008, she became the only American woman other than Olympic legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee to win an Olympic medal in the heptathlon when she won silver in Beijing. Fountain’s time of 12.65 in the 100-meter hurdles of the heptathlon at the 2008 Olympic Trials broke the American, Olympic Trials and USA National Championship records, all formerly held by Joyner-Kersee.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Fountain started her collegiate career at Barton Community College where she won five National Junior College Athletic Association titles and had three runner-up finishes. She would go on to star at the University of Georgia, winning NCAA individual national championships in the heptathlon (2003), indoor long jump (2004), pentathlon (2004) and the outdoor long jump (2004). She is a five-time USA outdoor champion, and she won the 2005 USA pentathlon championship.