Rock Light is in his second season with the Red Raiders and serves as the long jump, triple jump and pole vault coach. In his first season with Texas Tech, his athletes earned distinction as NCAA All-Americans, as Light guided a long jumper and pole vaulter to the honor. He also coached team members to numerous personal bests, as well as long jump school records indoor and outdoor.
Light continues his legacy at Tech as he hits the recruiting trail and picks up nationally-ranked long jumpers, triple jumpers and pole vaulters. Due to his recruiting abilities, the Red Raiders have depth on the roster for years to come.
Rock Light comes to Texas Tech after serving as an assistant at the University of Oregon for two seasons.
A highly-regarded coach at the collegiate, U.S. and international levels for three decades, he helped the Duck women jumpstart their transition process with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, as selected by Track and Field News. In the 2005 season, the men's squad was crowned Pac-10 Champions and the team finished second overall at the West Regional Meet and ninth at the outdoor national meet. The men's duck squad also finished sixth as a team at the indoor national meet.
Light was named the 2005 Pac-10 Men's Co-Coach of the Year as he coached student-athletes to seven new school records. He coached two All-Americans, co-coached one National Champion, and instructed 13 top five all-time indoor performances and 17 top 10 all-time outdoor performances.
Prior to his arrival in Eugene, Light was better known for his success at Louisiana State as the team's recruiting coordinator and mentor for their heralded men's and women's multi-events, high jump and men's hurdle student-athletes. As an assistant coach for six seasons from August 1989 through August 1995, his athletes claimed four NCAA titles (men's and women's high jump, heptathlon and decathlon), 15 All-America performances, 13 SEC titles and 12 school records. The LSU men and women combined for 11 NCAA team titles, eight SEC titles and 19 top-10 NCAA team finishes. In that stretch, he also coached post-collegian Charles Austin, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, 1991 World Championships gold medalist and Olympic record holder (7'-10").
In his previous coaching position, he served as men's and women's head track and field and cross country coach at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos (January, 1983-July, 1989). He guided SWTSU to a pair of Southland Conference titles (and six runner-up finishes) to go along with five Gulf Star Conference crowns. Individually, his athletes won seven combined league titles and 21 All-America honors. In return, he was named 1989 NCAA District VI Coach of the Year, and overall was a seven-time Southland and Gulf Star Conference Coach of the Year honoree.
Light began his coaching career as women's track and field and cross country head coach at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., for two seasons (August, 1980- August, 1982). He was honored as NAIA National Coach of the Year following his team's NAIA cross country win in 1981 (and then-meet record low 25 points), and outdoor national runner-up finish in 1982. Individually, his athletes claimed four individual track and field and cross country crowns, two NAIA national records and 15 All-America plaques.
In between his LSU and Oregon stints, he worked as a financial advisor in Baton Rouge, La., from 1995-2003, and also served as a USA Track and Field lead instructor for coaches' education since 1991. He has instructed coaches in Level II jumps and combined events, and assisted in developing the course curriculum for both Level II programs.
As a student-athlete, he was a two-time All-America sprinter at Adams State, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1979, and added a master's degree in exercise physiology in 1980.
A native of Lamar, Colo., Light and his wife Shanny have two sons, Tyler (25) and Brett (22).