Coaching Chat #3: Coach to Olympic Gold Medalist – Sue Humphrey

Ellie Kormis

Ellie Kormis

ALTIS Director of Education

Welcome to Coaching Chat, an ALTIS vodcast series where Education Director – Ellie Kormis – chats with coaches, coach educators, and teachers who coach – from High School coaches, to Pro coaches, to new coaches, to the seasoned warhorses of our profession.

Episode 3 sees us joined by Coach Sue Humphrey – a High Jump Coach from the USA, who boasts a tremendous coaching biography, and offers a wealth of experience to share from for the benefit of others. A brief highlight list of her achievements include:

  • USA Head Women’s Olympic Coach in 2004
  • Member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic staffs
  • Headed up Team USA’s delegation at the 1985 IAAF World Cup and the 1987 Pan American Games
  • Coached 1996 Olympic high jump Gold Medalist Charles Austin
  • Coached three of the seven American women to have cleared 6 feet, 6 inches or higher in the high jump – Coleen Sommer, Yolanda Henry and Angie Bradburn
  • The only female coach to ever win the Nike Coach of the Year Award
  • The only female coach to have NCAA champions in the HJ, LJ, and TJ
  • Women’s Assistant Coach at the University of Texas from 1984-89
  • Assistant Coach at Arizona State, Cal State-Long Beach and the University of Texas men’s team
“You can’t be in a team staff situation and have a personal ego” – Sue Humphrey Click To Tweet

Specific discussion points:

In this 23-minute chat Sue discusses:

  • Her greatest coaching successes so far
  • The biggest challenges of her career – what were they, how did she overcome them and what did she learn? 
  • The reality of being a team leader at a major championships
  • General climate in T&F for female coaches past and present – is this any different to male coaches? 
  • Advice to early career coaches looking to forge a career in T&F and / or elite sport
“You can’t practice the adrenaline of a competition in practice" – Sue Humphrey Click To Tweet


If you want to connect with Sue and chat further, check out her social media accounts:




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