Derek Yush begins his first season as the throws coach at Alabama in 2018.
Yush comes to the Capstone from LSU, where he served in the same capacity from 2007-17. During his time in Baton Rouge, Yush coached Tiger throwers to 23 All-America honors and four individual national championships. His pupils also won 14 SEC championships and earned All-SEC honors 30 times while setting seven school records and two SEC Championships records.
In his final season in Baton Rouge in 2017, Yush coached Rebekah Wales to a third All-America finish in the women's javelin at the NCAA Championships, making her the first three-time All-American in the event in LSU history. Yush also coached Johnnie Jackson to the NCAA weight throw championship during the indoor season and All-America honors outdoors in the hammer throw in 2017.
The 2015 season closed the book on two of Yush's record-setting athletes - All-Americans Tori Bliss and Rodney Brown.
Bliss ended her LSU career as an SEC champion and All-American, claiming the SEC indoor shot put championship and scoring in the event at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships. Her final indoor season was highlighted by an SEC indoor meet record of 60-1 (18.31m) to win her first career conference shot put crown and an indoor personal best of 60-7 1/4 (18.47m) to finish as the NCAA indoor runner-up in the event. Her indoor PR ranked No. 8 all-time in NCAA history after the NCAA indoor meet.
After finishing as the runner-up the NCAA outdoor championships in 2014, Bliss earned All-America honors for the third time with a fourth-place finish in her final NCAA championships in 2015. That season Bliss also raised her outdoor school record to 60-8 (18.49m), which was the ninth-best mark in NCAA outdoor history at the time.
Brown continued to set records himself in his final season at LSU in 2015 when he raised his own school record and broke his Penn Relays meet record in the discus with a career-best throw of 213-5 (65.04m) at the 121st running of the Carnival to defend his title in the event. He was then crowned the SEC’s discus champion for the second time after first winning the title as a sophomore in 2013 en route to a return to the NCAA championships.
Brown made his mark on the international stage in the summer of 2015 when he made his IAAF World Championships debut in Beijing.
Yush led the LSU throws group to its most successful season at the SEC Championship in 2012 as his athletes scored a total of 82 points in conference action.
Following the 2012 season, he was honored with the privilege of serving as the men's throws coach for Team USA at the North American, Central American & Caribbean Under-23 Championships held in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Yush came to LSU in 2007 after spending eight seasons at the University of Rhode Island, where he coached the men’s throws, jumps and multi-events while also acting as an assistant with the cross country team. Rhode Island enjoyed tremendous success under Yush’s guidance as he helped lead the squad to 11 Atlantic-10 Conference titles from 2001-07, including five indoor and six outdoor crowns during his tenure.
In addition to his experience at Rhode Island, Yush served as the head men’s and women’s coach at Eastern Connecticut State University from 1998-99 after serving as the school’s assistant sprints, jumps and throws coach in 1997-98.
Yush earned his USA Track and Field Level II Coaching Certificate and is fully certified to coach sprints, hurdles, relays, jumps, throws and multi-events. He has served as the throwing events instructor for the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Academy since 2013. Yush is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist after joining the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1997. He earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Connecticut in May 1997.
The Enfield, Conn., native also served two seasons as an administrative assistant at Connecticut, where he served as a team captain and helped lead the Huskies to Big East and New England titles as a senior.
Yush and his wife, Heather, reside in Tuscaloosa.