Mike Bartolina is in second season as a volunteer assistant at Alabama in 2018, working primarily with the Tide pole vaulters. He brings 26 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
In his first season in Tuscaloosa in 2017, Alabama’s Lakan Taylor became the Tide’s first NCAA women’s pole vault champion when she won the event at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas. Taylor and men’s pole vaulter Will Herrscher also established new school indoor records in the pole vault during the 2017 season and combined for eight indoor and eight outdoor marks that rank in the top-10 the Alabama men’s and women’s all-time pole vault lists.
Prior to joining the Alabama staff, Bartolina spent 11 years as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana University, where his athletes produced 13 regional performances, one national qualifying mark and one All-America honor. In total, Bartolina’s collegiate athletes have earned 13 NCAA All-America awards, four NCAA event championships and twice finished the season with the No. 1 ranked event performance in the NCAA.
Bartolina also served as head coach at Ranger Junior College (Texas) in 1999-2000, where he led the Rangers to a pair of second-place finishes at the 1999 NJCAA indoor and outdoor track & field championships along with a third-place indoor finish and a fifth-place outdoor standing in 2000. Ranger’s Sylvia Chelimo also captured the 1999 NJCAA women’s cross country individual championship. In all, Bartolina’s athletes won 16 NJCAA individual event championships in his two seasons at the school.
He has also coached athletes who have competed in multiple Olympics, World Championships and Pan American Games over the last 20 years. His pupils include pole vaulters who hold national records in five different countries and he has coached at least one pole vaulter at every U.S. Olympic Trials since 1996.
Bartolina holds USA Track and Field Level II coaching certifications in the jumps and multi-events. After competing in the pole vault for the Oklahoma State track and field team, he completed both his BS and MA degrees at The University of Central Oklahoma.