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Blue Lightning Track Club Coaching Staff

More Than 100% of Blue Lightning Track Club's final roster qualified for the AAU National Junior Olympics in 2017.

BLUE LIGHTNING TRACK CLUB COACHING STAFF

The Blue Lightning Track Club’s coaches are passionate about developing youth athletes.  Collectively, we bring more than 60 years of combined youth, collegiate, national and international track and field experience to the team. We are comprised of National Champions, National Record Holders, NCAA All-Americans, Collegiate Conference Champions, High School State Champions, Regional Champions, MVP Award Recipients, and Sports Hall of Famers.

Professionally, we are business owners, consultants, managers, educators, counselors, human resources professionals, community advocates, and project managers.

Our coaching staff includes full athletic scholarship recipients and graduates from top academic and athletic programs in the United States – Auburn University (South Eastern Conference),  Brown University (Ivy League), and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Our coaches are consummate students of track and field and latest coaching techniques improving the sport. In addition to exposing youth to the exciting world of track and field and latest training fundamentals for speed, strength, and endurance, we emphasize a positive and motivational team environment.  Mentoring is an essential part of our coaching philosophy. We focus on developing a Champion’s mindset within each athlete and bringing out their best on the track, in the classroom and most importantly, in their communities.    As recent evidence of the effectiveness of our coaching philosophy, more than 90% of Blue Lightning Track Club athletes qualified for the AAU National Junior Olympics in 2017, and 100% were academic honor students.

We invite you to review our coaching staff through the profiles below.

Note: Our coaches are background-screened by USA Track and Field and AAU associations, and SafeSport Certified.

Steve Strother, Head Coach / 200-400m Sprints / Relays

Steve Strother is the co-founder and Head Coach of the Blue Lightning Track Club and a Certified Double-Goal Coach with the Positive Coaching Alliance and brings tremendous experience and skill to youth athletes. He was a 4-time NCAA Track and Field All-American, 11-time All-SEC Sprinter, and SEC Champion. His team won four SEC Championships during his Auburn athletic career. Coach Strother was inducted into the New Rochelle, N.Y. Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, and was recently profiled by Auburn University to represent their School of Arts and Sciences to potential Auburn students around the world.

Strother’s Track & Field Experience
– 2013-Present – Head Coach of Blue Lightning Track Club – Sprints / 400m / Relays.
– 1980 SEC Indoor Championships 4×400, 1st Place (Auburn Univ, 1st leg).
– 1980 SEC Indoor Championships 400m, 3rd Place (Auburn Univ).
– 1979 NCAA National Outdoor Championships, 2nd Place 4×100 (Auburn Univ, 3rd leg).
– 1979 NCAA National Qualifier in 200 Meters.
– 1978 Drake Relays 4×100 Meters Champion 1-st place (Auburn Univ, 2nd leg).
– 1979 Top 6 200 Meters SEC Championships (20.48).
– 1978 NCAA National Indoor Championships, 3rd Place 4x400m (Auburn Univ).
– 1978 NCAA National 400m Qualifier for Indoor Championships (Auburn Univ).
– 1978 Eastern Tennessee Invitational, 1st Place 400m (Auburn Univ).


– 1978 Eastern Tennessee Invitational, 2nd Place 4x400m (Auburn Univ, 3rd leg).
– 1978 Millrose Games 2nd Place 4×400 (Auburn Univ 3rd leg).
– 1978 Vitalis Olympic Invitational 2nd Place 4×400 (Auburn Univ 3rd leg).
– 1980 SEC Team Champions 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980.
– 1976 Eastern States H.S. Championships, 1st place 60-yard dash (New Rochelle H.S., Junior).
– 1976 New York State H.S. State Championships, 1st place 300-yard dash (New Rochelle H.S., Junior).
– 1976 New York State H.S. State Championships, 2nd place 60-yard dash (New Rochelle H.S., Junior).
– 1975 New York State H.S. State Championships, 1st place 880-yard Relay dash (New Rochelle H.S., Soph, Anchor).
– 1975 New York State H.S. State Championships, 2nd place 100-yard dash (New Rochelle H.S., Soph).
– 1975 New York State H.S. State Championships, 2nd place 60-yard dash (New Rochelle H.S., Soph).

Read more

Auburn University in Auburn, AL.
B.A., Psychology
1977-1982

Coach John Butler, III, Blue Lightning Track Club

John Butler III, Distance Coach

Coach Butler, originally from Akron, Ohio, is a retired United State Airforce veteran.  He matriculated as a young distance runner during the running boom of the late 70s and early 80s.  He was guided and mentored by some of the finest coaches and runners of the Midwest during that era.  Coach Butler is also a USATF Level 1 distance coach whose experience includes: serving as the current 2018 XC Coach for Stockbridge H.S., former Head Boys Track & XC Coach, Columbia HS (Dekalb Co., 2008-11), & Rockdale County HS Distance Coach responsible for writing all of the distance workouts which enabled the Bulldog Boys XC  teams to have an unprecedented 4 year streak (2012-15) of GA State 6A qualifications.  Currently, Mr. Butler is a veteran educator in the Rockdale County School System.

Events

800, 1500, 1600, steeplechase, 3000, 3200

Cross Country

Education

A.S. – Medical Laboratory Technology, City University, Seattle (Washington);

B.A. – Liberal Studies (minor in History), Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois;

M.A. – Humanities (emphasis in History & Philosophy), California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, California;

M.Ed – Special Education (Behavioral Disorders), Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia;

Ed.S -Curriculum & Instruction, Argosy University Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

Michelle Haffner, Race Walk Coach, Blue Lightning Track Club

Michelle Haffner, Race Walk Coach and USATF  Official

Coach Michelle Haffner, Race Walk Coach for the Blue Lightning Track Club from Steve Strother Photo & Video on Vimeo.

 

-Trained  AAU Junior Olympian Katie Haffner to a U.S. # 3 in the 2018 A1500-meter race walk.

-Trained  USATF Junior Olympian Katie Haffner to a U.S. # 7 in the 2018 1500-meter race walk

-Trained Junior Olympian Aaron Smith to a U.S. # 17 in 2018.

-Trained Junior Olympian Katie Haffner to a U.S. # 9 in 2017.

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