by Paul Merca
PULLMAN—In a move long anticipated, Washington State University finally announced that Angela Whyte (left/photo by Paul Merca) was hired as an assistant coach at the school, where she will work with the hurdlers, sprinters and jumpers.
Whyte, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, is a two-time Canadian Olympian (Athens 2004 & Beijing 2008) in the 100 hurdles, where she made the finals in 2004, finishing sixth. She has competed in six IAAF world outdoor championships in her career, beginning in 2001 in her home town, and was a finalist in Moscow two years ago, finishing sixth. Whyte was third in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year in a time of 13.02
She is currently training for the 2015 IAAF world track & field championships in Beijing, and for next year’s Olympics in Rio, but is undecided on the 100 hurdles or the heptathlon.
The 2003 University of Idaho grad, who ran under current WSU head coach Wayne Phipps and current assistant Yogi Teevens, tallied 13 school records and scored 81.5 points in her two-year career (she originally started at the University of New Mexico) at Idaho, surpassing all other athletes, including those who competed for the Vandals all four years.
“Angela is a very personable and very humble person for a world class athlete. She’s done nearly all events and she can coach just about all events,” Phipps said. “Some of the training she does for the hurdles involves multi-events and benefit her hurdles races. And that matches her personality. She wants to be world class in a number of events.
“Angela was a quality high school athlete but she wasn’t winning national titles and wasn’t the most recruited athlete. (Her success shows) if you are willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices then amazing things can be accomplished. And there is no reason your career has to be done when you’re in your 20s. In track there are quite a few who have continued to compete well in their 30s. Or 40s, look at Bernard Lagat!”
The biggest obstacle in hiring Whyte at Washington State was her visa status, as she was coaching and training at Idaho under Phipps as a post-graduate athlete on a student visa. Whyte was training back home in Edmonton for the last few months while awaiting the change in her visa status.
Her hiring completes the Cougar staff, which includes Phipps, Teevens, throws coach Julie Taylor, and distance coach Allix Potratz-Lee, all of whom were on the Idaho staff with Phipps at one time or another (Teevens was at Utah State last season), with Matt McGee the lone holdover from Rick Sloan’s staff. All were hired by Phipps in July when he took over the program after Sloan’s retirement.
NOTE: Washington State University’s sports information office contributed to this report.