Athletics News

USA Relay Coach Mike Marsh Talks Paris Plans

World Champs Men’s 4 x 100 — USA Back In The Saddle

Team USA relay coaches Mike Marsh and Mechelle Lewis Freeman aim for a Parisian double-gold 4×1 celebration like last summer’s in Budapest. The last such at an Olympics was Barcelona ’92.  (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Since March of 2022 Mike Marsh has guided the U.S. men’s relay program working in tandem with Women’s Coach Mechelle Lewis Freeman. Both bring experience as medalist members of champion baton squads to the task.

Both 4×1 teams won World Champs gold at Budapest ’23 — a follow-on gold at Oregon22 for the women.

The Olympic 200 winner at the ’92 Games, Marsh’s 19.73 semi in Barcelona was an Olympic Record, American Record and the low-altitude WR at the time. Marsh, everpresent on speedy UCLA and Santa Monica TC relay units of his era, led off the victorious WR-setting USA 4×1 team in Barcelona. A year earlier he collected World Champs gold for his anchor performance on Team USA in the heats (in 37.75, a WC record and to that date the fastest-ever non-final). A relay silver medalist at Atlanta ’96, he knows the event inside and out.

While coaching at the WIC in Glasgow, Marsh took time out for a phone talk on Team USA relay protocols, philosophy and plans — quadrennially a fraught topic in the press and social media— as the Paris Games roll into view. Transparency in the effort, he asserts, is vitally important to the promotion of success.

Marsh: The goal is to engage and re-engage in a continual conversation loop with the coaches and athletes. The conversations are often complex, but the silver lining is that learning and understanding are improved each time we engage, whether we communicate voluntarily or in response to a conflict that needs resolution. My responsibility is to listen and respond to what is said, independent of how the message is delivered. Specifically, I know some of the deepest and richest learning can come from your critics.

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at Track & Field News…