About our coaches

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Bryan Carrel

Founder/Head Coach

Bryan Carrel enters his 15th season as a volunteer coach with the Illinois Men's and 13th with the Illinois Women's track and field teams, working primarily with the pole vaulters. He started offering club opportunities in Terre Haute in 1994. Prior to his time at Illinois Carrel coached at Indiana State and Central Michigan as the pole vault and jumps coach. A four-time national qualifier in the pole vault during his collegiate career at Indiana State, Carrel is still the ISU outdoor school record holder in the event and was ranked among the top pole vaulters in the country during both his prep and collegiate careers. Carrel is a 1996 graduate of Indiana State with a degree in education. Prior to his enrollment at Indiana State, Carrel spent four years with the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. In addition to his coaching duties, Carrel is employed at Gill Athletics specializing in pole vault equipment. 

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Dave Cluver

Pole Vault Coach

David Cluver has been involved with coaching the pole vault for 7 years.  David completed his collegiate pole vault and hurdles career at Millikin University. While there, he earned All-Conference honors in the pole vault and 110 high hurdles eight times for the CCIW. Following his time at Millikin University, David served in the United States Marine Corps deploying twice to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to joining the Pole Vault Junkies, David was the pole vault and hurdles coach at Swansboro High School in Swansboro, North Carolina.  While there, David had state qualifiers each year and boasts two state champions. In addition to David’s coaching duties, he is employed at Gill Athletics as their pole vault specialist.   

 

Derek Nelson 

Sprints/Hurdles Coach

Derek Nelson is a volunteer coach at the University of Illinois, who specializes in coaching sprints, hurdles, and relays. During his time at Illinois he has mentored athletes to 2 All-America awards and 2 Big Ten Champion performances. Prior to Illinois, Nelson coached at North Central College where he guided the women's National Champion in the 60 hurdles, as well as 3 individuals and 2 relays to All-America awards among 8 national qualifiers. In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Nelson was also the director of the Davis Community Track and Field Club from 2011-2015, which has produced six CIF state finalists. In addition to coaching, Nelson also works as an academic adviser for TRiO student services at Parkland College. Nelson grew up in Davis California competing in track and field, football, and rugby. He attended North Central College where he competed in the 400 hurdles, relays, and javelin while becoming an 8-time national qualifier and 3 time All-American. During his time at North Central College he earned a bachelors degree in Sports Management as well as a Masters in Higher Education Administration.