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Coaches

USA Track & Field (USATF) has stringent coaching requirements to include each coach passing a background check and completing a mandatory SafeSport course that is designed to educate coaches about the sexual, emotional, and physical misconduct towards athletes and the repercussions for engaging in such misconduct.

 

Spike Up Athletics is also committed to ensure our athletes receive training from coaches who have a USATF coaching certification or are currently working towards their certifications. It is always our goal to have a gender-balanced coaching staff as well. So, if you are or know of someone who is still active, a former athlete at the high school or collegiate level, willing to learn, a good role-model, can motivate and teach, and can pass a background check, please have them get in touch by clicking here

Lorenzo Washington

Head Coach

 

Coach Renz is one of the founders of Spike Up Athletics. He grew up in both Florida and Georgia and has lived in Idaho for 22 years after serving in the United States Air Force. He was a two-sport athlete in high school and went on to earned an athletic scholarship to attend NCAA Division II Albany State College, an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), in Georgia. Coach Renz excelled in sprints and jumps. Coach Renz has coached club track and field for 7 years.   

Certifications

  • USATF Level 2 Jumps Coach

  • USATF Level 1 Track & Field Coach

  • SafeSport

  • Accredited Interscholastic Coach (national certification)

Recognitions

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Dave Armitage

Associate Head Coach

 

Coach Armitage is thrilled to be coaching with Spike Up! Coach Armitage is a middle school track coach for Sage Valley Middle School, specifically focusing on sprints, high jump, long jump, and triple jump. Coach Armitage also participated in both track and cross country through elementary, junior high, and high school. Coach Armitage took 2nd place in long jump at the Idaho State Championships in 2001, and also placed 1st in the 4x200m relay, and 2nd in the 4x400m relay. Coach Armitage's ultimate goal is to inspire our athletes to push themselves, do hard things, and accomplish whatever personal goals they've set for themselves. Coach Armitage will primarily be responsible for hurdles and sprints.  

Certifications

  • USATF Level 1 Track & Field Coach

  • SafeSport

Recognitions

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Matt Biggs

Assistant Coach & Lead Throws Coach

 

Coach Biggs was a three-sport athlete that excelled in the shotput in high school and ranked in the top 10 in Washington State in discus his senior year. He competed unattached in several collegiate and Masters track meets throughout his 21 years of service in the United States Navy in several locations around the world. Coach Biggs was an assistant track and field coach at Nile C. Kinnick High School, Yokosuka, Japan in 2008 and 2009 and former throws coach at Kuna High School from 2022 to 2023. Coach Biggs takes pride in guiding young throwers through the highs and lows of competition and coaching his son Kody over the last seven years. Coach Biggs will focus on coaching shotput, discus, javelin, hammer throw, and weight throw.     

Certifications

  • SafeSport

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Courtney Linker

Assistant Coach

 

Coach Linker is a former Division 1 track & field athlete, competing for Cal State University, Fullerton, from 2002-2004 in sprints and horizontal jumps. She and her husband have been Nampa residents since 2007 and together they have two children. Coach Linker has worked as an educator in the Treasure Valley for 17 years. During that time, she has coached and volunteered for various local youth sports programs. The sport of track & field has always held a special place in her heart, and she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with Spike Up Athletes. Coach Linker will primarily be coaching horizontal jumps but will also help with sprints and relays.    

Certifications

  • Begins USATF Level 1 School on April 12, 2024

  • SafeSport

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Jack Ward Jr.

Assistant Coach

 

Coach Ward has been coaching since 1979 and has been coaching in Idaho since 1996, during which time he coached or helped coach several USATF national champions at the club level. His focus is distance running, and he competed in high school, college, and post-collegiately in the master's division. Coach Ward is also the head cross country and track & field coach at Victory Charter School. Over the past several years, he has been able to help several athletes become state champions. Coach Ward likes to help athletes work towards their goals, and he measures success by improvement and growth. When he's not coaching, he's chasing around his four young grandsons.    

Certifications

  • SafeSport

Recognitions

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Robert Thayer

Assistant Coach

 

Coach Thayer's journey to throwing began when he was in middle school, and his passion for throwing grew throughout high school despite several setbacks due to injuries. Coach Thayer is currently the throws coach at South Middle School, and he has a deep understanding of the challenges athletes face, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Coach Thayer is committed to nurturing not just the athletes' skills, but also their character and resilience. His philosophy for coaching uses six key points; and individualized approach, a growth mindset, character development, accountability, communication, and fundamentals first. Coach Thayer works closely alongside Coach Biggs to form a formidable duo in helping our athletes excel in shotput, discus, javelin, hammer throw, and weight throw.  

Certifications

  • SafeSport

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Phillip Bettis

Assistant Coach

 

Coach Bettis grew up in Nampa and was a three-sport athlete at Nampa High School. In high school, he earned Junior All-America Honors in the decathlon. Coach Bettis competed for Idaho State University for one year before transferring to Brigham Young University to finish out his athletic career. While at BYU, he competed in the multi-events. Coach Bettis earned back-to-back Mountain West Conference Championships in the indoor Heptathlon, and also earned a bronze medal in the 60 meter hurdles. During his senior year outdoor season, he posted a career high decathlon score of 7315 points, just missing the NCAA Championships by about 20 points. Coach Bettis was able to help his college team win a combined six team championships during his time at BYU. Coach Bettis will be primarily responsible for vertical jumps and multi-events but will also help with horizontal jumps.     

Certifications

  • SafeSport

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